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IP: RE: 1999 patent issued for using barcode tattoos for human identification
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 15:53:52 -0400

From: "=?us-ascii?Q?Sven_G._Bilen?=" <sbilen () psu edu>
To: <farber () cis upenn edu>
 IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2911.0)
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I think the "prior art" on this one may be close to 2000 years old.  Tell me
if these lines from Revelations 13 (KJV) don't sound a bit like this "novel"
patent, particularly its linking the patent's primary usage to commerce
where without the tattoo you can't complete a transaction:

"16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,
to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no
man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast,
or the number of his name."

Sven G. Bilen, Ph.D.                                      |\_-_/|
Assistant Professor                                        \___/
Engineering Design & Graphics and Electrical Engineering   (. .)   --
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The Pennsylvania State University                           ''' |  **  |
245 Hammond Bldg., University Park, PA 16802-1401               |  **  |
(814) 863-1526, FAX (814) 863-7229                               \    /
sbilen () psu edu    http://www.ecsel.psu.edu/~sbilen                 --

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ip-sub-1 () admin listbox com
[mailto:owner-ip-sub-1 () admin listbox com]On Behalf Of Dave Farber
Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2000 4:04 PM
To: ip-sub-1 () majordomo pobox com
Subject: IP: 1999 patent issued for using barcode tatoos for human

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

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

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



United States Patent    5,878,155
Heeter  Mar. 2, 1999
Method for verifying human identity during electronic sale transactions
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
Also GovAccess list-owner/editor

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