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Patent Number 9325732: Computer Security Threat Sharing

The main reason that I tend to rail against API specific patents is that much of what I see being locks up reflects the parts and pieces that are making the web work. I see things like hypermedia, and other concepts that are inherently about sharing, collaboration, and reuse–something that should never be patented. This concept applies to other patents I’m seeing, but rather than being about the web, it is about trust, and sharing of information. Things that shouldn’t be locked up, and exist within realms where the concept of patents actually hurt the web and APIs.

Today’s patent is out of Amazon, who are prolific patenters of web and API concepts. This one though is about the sharing of security threat sharing. Outlining something that should be commonplace on the web.

Title - Computer security threat sharing
Number - 09325732
Owner - Amazon Technologies, Inc.
Abstract - A computer security threat sharing technology is described. A computer security threat is recognized at an organization. A partner network graph is queried for security nodes connected to a first security node representing the organization. The first security node is connected to at least a second security node representing a trusted security partner of the organization. The second security node is associated with identification information. The computer security threat recognized by the organization is communicated to the trusted security partner using the identification information associated with the second security node.

I’m sorry. I just do not see this as unique, original, or remotely a concept that should be patentable. Similar to a previous patent I wrote about on trust, I just don’t think that sharing of security information needs to be locked up. The USPTO should recognize this. I feel like this type of patent shows how broken the patent process is, and how distorted company’s views on what is a patentable idea. Honestly, these types of patents feel lazy to me, and lack any creativity, skills, or sensible view of how the web works.

I feel like I should start rating these patents with some sort of Rotten Tomato score, and start giving companies some sort of patent ranking for their portfolio. Something that encompasses the scope, lack of creativity, originality, and damaging effects of the patent. This reminds me that I need to finish my work pulling court cases from the Court Listener API, and index them for any companies, and their patent portfolios. Ultimately this is where the real damage to APIs and the web will play out, similar to the Oracle vs. Google API copyright affair, but I will keep sharing stories of these ridiculous patents, and maybe even start ranking them all by how much they stink.