June 17, 2010
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to give Amazon a patent for a “new” social networking system. I put “new” in quotes because the Patent doesn’t appear to allude to anything that isn’t already being done by the likes of Facebook, Myspace and various other social networking websites.
According to the Patent filing:
“A networked computer system provides various services for assisting users in locating, and establishing contact relationships with, other users. For example, in one embodiment, users can identify other users based on their affiliations with particular schools or other organizations. The system also provides a mechanism for a user to selectively establish contact relationships or connections with other users, and to grant permissions for such other users to view personal information of the user. The system may also include features for enabling users to identify contacts of their respective contacts. In addition, the system may automatically notify users of personal information updates made by their respective contacts.”
TechFlash says the patent was created by Brian Robertson and Warren Adams, the two men who sold PlanetAll to Amazon in 1998, a social networking platform which was later ditched by Amazon in 2000. Amazon sent the patent to the U.S. Patent office in May 2008. read more