September 30, 2002

Auction Patent Yeah Right

Alright enough is enough. This guy Tom Woolston claims to have originally come up with the idea for online auctions, and is suing eBay for patent infringement. Well, what was it I was building in 1992 at my old startup, Coconut Computing, then? In 1992, a client named David Hunt came to us with a project: he wanted us to use our COCONET HOST and CocoTalk API software to build him an online auction service for sellers and buyers. Buyers could browse or search categories and subcategories and make bids on items that sellers had listed. I even hired a full-time programmer to work on the project. I'd like to see Woolston claim he was doing this in 1992!

Update 5/27/2003: More comments on this in a more recent brianstorms blog entry talking about eBay losing the lawsuit.

Posted by brian at September 30, 2002 03:05 AM


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