US7000183 is basically patenting the way the web works. It is used to sue random online merchants.

Please help find prior art to stop this patent which should not have been granted in the first place.

Claim 1.

  1. A computer-implemented method for viewer-specific presentation of information, the method using a computer comprising a CPU, a memory operatively connected to the CPU, and a program stored in the memory and executable by the CPU for presenting information, the method comprising:

    establishing a database of metadata defining a predetermined plurality of viewer states, at least one data state corresponding to each of said plurality of viewer states, a plurality of data types, and a plurality of data elements, each of said data elements being tagged for association with at least one of said data types and one of said data states;

    receiving a request for information from a viewer;

    identifying a respective viewer state associated with said viewer, said respective viewer state being one of said plurality of viewer states; referencing said database to identify a collection of one or more data states related to said viewer state;

    referencing said database to identify a collection of multiple data types relating to the request for information;

    referencing said database to identify a data element data store storing multiple data elements, each of said multiple data elements being tagged for association with one of said data states and one of said data types;

    selecting viewer-specific data elements from said data store by determining a corresponding data state of each data element in said data store, examining data elements related to each data type, and for each data type selecting a corresponding data element having a corresponding data state that is preferred among said data states corresponding to said viewer state;

    presenting said viewer-specific data elements to said viewer to satisfy said viewer's request for information.

The face of the patent lists many references that were known to the examiner. To be helpful, a reference would need to be more on target than any of these.

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QUESTION - Can you find anything that was published before Sept 2000 that shows all of these steps? For example 'based on your recently viewed products' or 'people who bought the products you bought also bought' etc... It can be even broader like information based on the visitor location etc.

3 Answers 3


GroupLens wrote an article on recommendation engines back in 1994. Its exactly like the example you are looking for (Expect thy are referring to news articles):

For example 'based on your recently viewed products' or 'people who bought the products you bought also bought' etc




phpbb was used as early as June 2000? and had user-specific information.

I can't find a starting time for PHP nuke (but they "finally" got their website October 3 2000), but if it's early enough, it's basically the smoking gun for this patent, IMO.

But it could be argued that user-specific information was the entire point of PHP (1995)

HoTMaiL as a website had user-specific presentation, but not quite in the same vein as this patent?

Heck, any .com with a shopping cart, or things to buy (amazon 1994, ebay 1995) could also qualify as user-specific presentation.


This is an application of HTTP Cookies[1], first implemented in the Web by Lou Montulli (a famous web programmer) in 1994[2].

But web cookies themselves were just an application of "magic cookies" to web browsers, and magic cookies are an essential part of most OSI level 5,6,7 communications (e.g. to implement TCP session-based communications over session-less UDP, or to taylor a device's response depending on the requester's identifying number or "magic cookie"). [3]

The only thing remotely "novel" about the patent is that they are using cookies to save/retrieve a users's "list of one or more data states in a ranked order of preference for satisfying a request for information for said viewer state". A large cookie.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/04/technology/04COOK.html

[3] Google search "tcp magic cookie": https://www.google.com.au/search?q=tcp+magic+cookie

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