In the "are you serious?" category today, Amazon was awarded a patent on adding a string to the end of a URL to find something such as:
I've been using this style of URL since '04 on this site and '03 on another and 2000 on other sites. That seems like they ripped of my idea and patented it. Anyone lawyers out there want to take up the case? :-D
Serious though, A9 wasn't the first, nor will it be the last. All this does is weaken the overall acceptance of patent law. Laws require either willing or forced acceptance by those under the law in order for the "rule of law" to prevail. If laws are unjust, or just plain stupid people will ignore them. When was the last time you heard someone in Topeka get ready to break into a rousing chorus of the alphabet on a Friday night only to stop cause The Man might be listening? Patents like this reduce people's acceptance of the patent law, thus weakening the law in its entirety.
I love patents. They're a great way to stimulate invention. But please, please, USPTO, actually research your patent submissions. Or at least the ones relating to software. Go ahead and keep letting companies patent human life.