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IP: 1999 patent issued for using barcode tatoos for human identification
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 16:04:29 -0400



Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 09:40:28 -0800
To: nobody () well com
From: Jim Warren <jwarren () well com>
Subject: 1999 patent issued for using barcode tatoos for human
 identification

Aside from the comparison of this patent to the numbers tatooed on 
prisoners in Hitler's death-camps during World War II more than half a 
century ago, and its comparison to the barcode scanning systems that have 
been in use for decades to identify everything from cans of soup to 
patient tags used in some hospitals and medical records -- one wonders 
what kindergarden child working in the US Patent and Trademark Office 
concluded that this was a non-obvious and novel "discovery" worthy of a 
patent?!

The US PTO is obviously in need of some adult supervision!

===

http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+967198+0+7+25907+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f5878155 


United States Patent    5,878,155
Heeter  Mar. 2, 1999
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Method for verifying human identity during electronic sale transactions
Abstract
A method is presented for facilitating sales transactions by electronic 
media. A bar code or a design is tattooed on an individual. Before the 
sales transaction can be consummated, the tattoo is scanned with a 
scanner. Characteristics about the scanned tattoo are compared to 
characteristics about other tattoos stored on a computer database in order 
to verify the identity of the buyer. Once verified, the seller may be 
authorized to debit the buyer's electronic bank account in order to 
consummate the transaction. The seller's electronic bank account may be 
similarly updated.

===

--jim, Jim Warren; jwarren () well com
Contributing Editor & technology public-policy columnist, MicroTimes Magazine
Also GovAccess list-owner/editor


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