One of the great things about working for eBay was the support of the legal team for the creation and filing of patents. Over the course of my four years at eBay, I filed several patent applications, starting with my first in last 2004.
When I was growing up, I used to always hear about the patents filed by my grandfather (in the food business). They were always a symbol of success, intelligence and pride in my family.
What patent is this, you might ask? Well, with great thanks to Google for their new, searchable patent database, I have now for the first time had a chance to read it for myself. It is patent #3108882, dated January 29, 1963, and is titled “Method of Preparing an Edible Fish Product“. To translate from the legalese: it is the method of preparing & packing gefilte fish in glass jars with jelly. Yes, you now know where that came from.
I know there are significant problems with the patent system as it stands today, particularly around software. However, I can’t help feeling proud of the patents that I worked on at eBay, and grateful for their support shepherding them through the legal hurdles.
Patent applications only display on the US Patent Office website 18 months after the application is filed, so right now only two of the applications are showing up. The rest will likely become visible over the next year or so.
Here is the link to my patent applications on the USPTO website. Note the most recent one to show up, for “seller and item filters”, the backbone of the eBay Express website.