Another Armonk classic.
Prior art:"Want fries with that?"
Novel: "Want fries with that? There's room in your bag.."
U.S. Patent No.7,571,105
Weight based upselling
Commentary: Note that there are no method claims, just system and Beauregard. That's because the method claims that were originally filed--with identical steps as the CRM claims here--were effectively Bilskied in the first office action in August 2008 (the Examiner applied the Machine-or-Transformation test prior to the CAFC's adoption of it).
IBM didn't fight the rejection, and promptly canceled the claims. Why? Because it had already gotten those basic methods through in the parent case. That's right, this is a continuation of what is now U.S. Patent 7,509,262, which issued in March 2009 (not sure how that one slipped by the radar at 12:01...) and has extremely similar method claims:
Note the extra computer beef there in bold. IBM added most of that in a preliminary amendment "in an effort to expeditiously move this case to allowance." A nice preemptive move, particularly since it was made pre-Bilski (I've tried this trick myself post-Bilski).
But it turns out it wasn't necessary here. The amendment didn't make it in front of the Examiner before the mailing of her first office action (May 2008), in which she allowed the original, unamended, broad method claims. Oops... Things got squared away with an Examiner's amendment that incorporated the changes, along with a few others (notably, the "using a computer" modifiers were not in IBM's preliminary amendment).
So IBM tried again, submitting those very same original method claims in a child application (that became this week's '105 patent) and it was examined by the same Examiner...who, as noted above, rejected them under M-O-T in August 2008, just three months after she had allowed them in the parent case. Go figure. There must have been a "memo" that went out last summer that caused the change of heart.
But wait... it looks like there's some extra room in the bag: there's another continuation application in the works that's currently being upsold to the same Examiner.