It’s been a while since the Lab went near the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a fresh trademark registration, but it went back again in March, and I tossed it into my slush pile, where it has sat for some time now, waiting for me to get to it.

There’s not really a whole lot to go on here, anyway. Not much more than a name.

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Apr 14 2012

If you produce software – any kind of software – the issue of patents has probably come up. The fact is that it is impossible to produce a piece of software that actually does anything practical without infringing on at least one patent – and for complex systems, probably hundreds of them.

Let’s say you wanted to write a quick program to index music collections. Congratulations, you’ve just run afoul of… umm, let’s see… I count at least four patents for that, at a glance. What about indexing images? Well, depending on how you do it there are at least 30 patents that apply to that.

Think of something obvious you can do with software. There’s a patent for that. Probably a lot of them. You probably owe someone money.

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Zynga and Zynga’s CEO, Mark Pincus, are – in my experience – not spoken of very highly at all.

It comes as no surprise to me, therefore, that Zynga has submitted a patent application that covers virtual currencies of the sort used in a variety of casual and free-to-play MMO games.

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