I don't mean to single out IBM, really, but it's sometimes hard not to. After all, when you are consistently the #1 patent filer, you're going to get noticed. And when you appear to be the #1 filer of accelerated examination applications, your're going to get noticed by folks like me who look for those things. So this one that came up today caught my eye, though not for 101 issues -- it appears to be quite, um, clean.
Instead, this patent reminded me of a sign in a pizza place near where I grew up that always gave us a chuckle: "Banks sell no pizza; We cash no checks."
Filed: July 31, 2008
Commentary: Since when is IBM in the dishwasher business? Kind of like Microsoft's recent agriculture patent, I suppose. There was also a patent to erstwhile Lehman Brothers on a "Method and system for analyzing commuting routes" in 2007 that remarkably issued in under seven months (and with some of the least formal drawings ever -- see Fig. 6), but even that one appears to have been developed and used in-house for Lehman's employees. (Barclays owns the patent now. I hope this patent's traffic analysis performs better than Lehman's market analysis did.) I somehow doubt that IBM's engineers were in the company kitchen eating lunch when they just decided to design a better dishwasher controller. But I could be wrong.