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by Franki

A company by the name of “DE Technologies” is in the middle of suing Dell because they offer an international e-commerce platform by which they offer their products, and that international shopping cart system adds up all the various changes, taxes and shipping, and tells the shopper in their own currency, what they will owe should they choose to purchase the product in question. Apparently the idea of telling people what they will have to pay for something in total before purchase is some secret technology that required a patent.

Apparently, only DE Technologies are smart enough to work out that a person would want to know the total price before committing to a purchase if it’s international, and because it incorporates currency conversion and stuff. (another “gee, how did they think of that?” aspect.) DE are alleging that Dell is in violation of their patent and owes them lots of cash. This is what happens when you have patent officers that have no idea about the technology they are in charge of, making the decisions. They think nearly everything is “revolutionary” and worthy of a patent, when to someone in the business, it’s a totally obvious process. I wrote a shopping cart years ago for a client, and it was an Australian shopping cart designed to take our new (back then) GST into account, the last thing it did before sending people off to pay, was display and email a pre payment tax invoice to Australian customers. Apparently the process wasn’t that “special” if someone like me could infringe on it just by doing what was obvious.

If you live in Europe, you are running out of time to tell your local representative that you are terrified that the same patent rubbish going on in the US is about to be imported into the EU. Check out http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/ if you want to help make a stand against this madness. For more on the DE/Dell story, see here.








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