I had an anonymous tip in this afternoon pointing my attention to this post on the Electronic Fronteir Foundation’s site.
Link: EFF: DeepLinks
A company called NeoMedia has a patent on reading an “index” (e.g, a bar code) off a product, matching it with information in a database, and then connecting to a remote computer (e.g., a website). In other words, NeoMedia claims to have invented the basic concept of any technology that could, say, scan a product on a supermarket shelf and then connect you to a price-comparison website. To bust this overly broad patent, we need to find prior art that describes a product made before 1995 that might be something like a UPC scanner, but which also connects the user to a remote computer or database. Take a look at the description and please forward it to anyone you know who might have special knowledge in this area. You can submit your tips here.
What do you think? Would you ever take a ‘picture’ of a barcode with your phone to try and compare it’s price? I think that whole process is just far too much of an arse myself.