So I came across Google Patents the other day and thought that it was a pretty cool idea! Searching for whether a patent already exists had been a pretty hard job in the past, so having a readily available resource such as Google is a fantastic step forwards.
Especially in light of the recent Microsoft ‘FUD’.
Here’s a patent I came across whilst browsing around the various database related patents that exist out there:
Electronic shopping and merchandising system
The present invention provides a merchant system for online shopping and merchandising. The merchant system architecture provides great flexibility for a merchant to adapt the merchant system to their existing business practices, promotions and databases. The merchant system includes a dynamic page generator, a configurable order processing module and a database module capable of retrieving data from the database without regard to its schema. The present invention enables merchants to create electronic orders which are easily adaptable for different sales situations. The order processing module includes multiple configurable stages to process a merchant’s electronic orders. The merchant system is capable of generating pages dynamically using templates having embedded directives. The database module and the dynamic page generator allow merchants to modify their databases and page displays without having to reengineer the merchant system.
Wow, it looks to me like Microsoft patented the Online shopping cart! There’s a lot of interesting patents that Microsoft seem to have taken out. Google makes searching for these relatively easily.
There’s some great other patents as well out there too:
And every geek’s favourite!
The POCKET PROTECTOR