Philip Greenspun has an excellent essay up on the web titled Internet Software Patents. He sets the tone by suggesting that "the natural progression of an industry is innovation, consolidation, then litigation." Philip better be careful of he’s going to be spending a lot of time in East Marshall, Texas.
His decomposition of U.S. Patent 5367627 and analysis is straightforward and highlights the absurdity of this stuff. Philip also asks "Are computer nerds smarter today than they were in the 1960’s" and provides a nice annotated timeline of Internet and e-commerce.
Does anyone know if the USPTO examiners are allowed to use Google Patent Search in their evaluation / review process?