EFF’s Stupid Patent of the month: Dispatch a taxi (on a computer)(credit: David R.

Tribble)
Paying for a ride to get around town isn’t new.

The first gas-powered taxicabs date to the beginning of the 20th century, and the horse-drawn “hackney coaches” of London date to the 17th century.
In the vehicle-for-hire business, it’s all about efficiency and execution, not “invention.”
That long history notwithstanding, the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents that claim monopoly rights to, essentially, calling up a taxi—on a computer.
US Patent No. 5,973,619 is owned by Hailo Technologies LLC, a shell company formed on April 6, which sued (PDF) Uber and Lyft two weeks later.
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