Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
So how would you feel if you could not block spam because some company received a wide-rranging patent for email filtering. Such a possibility is in the cards after the U.S. patent office granted (as usual, well after such systems were widely deployed) just such a patent. "Different methods of message preprocessing are addressed in the patent, including forwarding based on instructions stored in user profiles, forwarding parts of the e-mail message content, forwarding e-mail to wireless devices, junk e-mail filtering and virus detection." It would have been nice had they developed and sold such a system, but of course, there's no requirement that you actually invent anything to be granted a patent these days. Most people expect that companies selling filtering systems will have to pay royalties to this company, but it seems to me they could probably get a lot more money from the spamming industry to block these products and eliminate spam filtering entirely.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 31, 2021 09:45 a.m.