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Google Gets Patent on Electronic Shipping Notifications

Google last week got a patent on estimated shipping time that it applied for on January 25, 2007

Google last week got a patent on estimated shipping time that it applied for on January 25, 2007. It's titled "Electronic shipping notifications" and the abstract of US No 7,996,328 reads:

"A broker facilitates customer purchases from merchants. Shippers ship shipments containing the purchases from merchants to the customers. A shipper identifies a shipment using a shipment identifier. The broker uses the shipment identifier to obtain the status information for the shipment from the shipper. The broker analyzes the status information in combination with other information to calculate an estimate of the time that the shipment will arrive at the customer's address. The broker sends an electronic message, such as an e-mail or text message, to the customer prior to the estimated shipment arrival time to inform the customer of the impending arrival. The customer can thus arrange for someone to be at the shipping address to receive the shipment at the estimated arrival time."

It might never have been discovered or at least not discovered so quickly if Google hadn't started complaining about being the victim of "a hostile, organized campaign...by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies waged through bogus patents" that Google itself bid a king's ransom for and lost.

That set Geekwire to watching what Google is patenting these days and it was instantly rewarded with this little wonder that Google deems more accurate than the usual tracking number look-up. And that in turn set Gizmodo to wondering if Google has "UPS, FedEx and USPS by the balls" and what it might mean to major shippers like Amazon.

See http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,996,328.PN.&OS=PN/7,996,328&RS=PN/7,996,328.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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