A stray search turned up a United States patent application filed in late March 2004 by Yefim Goldin from Studio City, California, for a web service that promises to do the following:
The present invention provides a system and method for the marketplace invoices generating and management. The system is a web based software created to assist marketplace sellers, such as those on E-bay, half.com, amazon.com and others, in invoices generation and simplifying printing the invoices and mailing labels. Since the invention is web based software there's no need to install anything on a user"s computer. The invention allows the user to register on the website and start processing and printing the invoices. The system extracts (parses) information directly from the websites, not from the emails. There's no need to set it up with a user"s email software. The system is set up to print all invoices at once as a batch versus individual invoices which will save hours daily. All the user does is specify the range of invoices that they would like to print and click the print button from the user"s web browser such as Internet Explorer. The system also extracts name, an address and email information to form XML file for batch label printing by system"s postal software...
Like many programmers, I'm skeptical of programming patents in general, and ecommerce patents in particular—way too many of them seem to be incredibly obvious. But this one is particularly bad: poorly written, badly edited, and worst of all, unoriginal.
FillZ provides complete-order fulfillment and processing tools. Users can easily generate pull lists and packing slips, sorted by location, order number or SKU number. A confirmation email can be automatically sent upon order shipment. Integrated postage printing through leading online postage services is provided. Orders can be downloaded into QuickBooks or Amazon format anytime. Sales report with graphs is provided online. It allows for bar-code scanning and bulk-loading...The program currently provides access to eight selling venues, the Endicia postage system and Stamps.com.
FillZ isn't the only one. Current competitors like Monsoon, Indaba, and The Art of Books all advertise integrated invoicing and mailing label printing across multiple marketplaces. It doesn't take a genius to come up with the idea; it's more a matter of hard work and attention to detail. It's disappointing to see Mr. Goldin attempt to use the patent system to claim control over what is so clearly an idea not original to him.
Posted by Anirvan