AN OVERBROAD PATENT ON product comparison table interfaces - This application from CompareMetrics (funded by FLOODGATE Ventures) seeks to patent the idea of...Comparing products for a user by adjusting one criteria based on user preference for another criteria! 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before 5/23/2011 that discusses:

  • Adjusting two criteria (e.g. price and memory) which are related to one another when comparing different products in a product comparison table

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual.

EXTRA CREDIT - Quantitative criteria (such as memory, weight or screen size) and displaying criteria in a tabulated format (!). See figures below for an example.

TITLE: Changing criteria for a user when comparing complex product offering

Summary: [Translated from Legalese into English] Display two or more criteria for two or more products in a table. Receive an input from a user related to one criteria. Automatically modifying the other criteria in the table.

  • Publication Number: US 20120330778 A1
  • Application Number: US 13/477,831
  • Assignee: CompareMetrics
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating 5/23/2011
  • Open for Challenge at USPTO: Open through 6/25/2013
  • Link to Google Prior Art Search - "Find Prior Art"

Claim 1 requires each and every step below:

A method of providing a comparison among two or more offerings, comprising:

  1. Displaying a tabulation of two or more criteria for two or more offerings;

  2. Receiving an input from a user relating to a first one of the criteria in the tabulation; and

  3. Automatically modifying, by a computer system, based on the input received from the user for the first one of the criteria, the tabulation with respect to at least one criterion other than the first one of the criteria.

In English this means:

A method for providing a comparison among two or more products, comprising:

  1. Displaying at least two criteria for two or more products

  2. Receive an input from a user related to one criteria (e.g. screen size)

  3. Automatically modifying the other criteria (e.g. weight) and displaying it in the table.

Good prior art would be evidence of a system that did each and every one of these steps prior to 5/23/2011

You're probably aware of ten pieces of art that meet this criteria already... separately, the applicant is claiming quantitative criteria which move together in a user interface - e.g. change the screen size on the laptop product and the weight goes up automatically.

"Comparison interface and a visual trade-off analysis of criteria"

What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.


Didn't just about all of Dell's online shopping screens allow this? Hard to tell now as Dell update this stuff all the time. (Purely coincidence my answer actually matches their example).

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Would the Wayback Machine help? Screenshot and link below are for an MP3 page but you could probably easily find something for laptops by clicking around.

Screenshot from 2010: http://cl.ly/image/0S2i243K251z

Page: http://web.archive.org/web/20100217121624/http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&SubCategory=23&N=2100080023

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