They "patented" stuff used by Napoleon...
Really, "instant messaging" like these dudes claim has been around for a long, long time. Such a system existed even in the earliest Novell Netware systems that I used in the mid-80's, same with various utilities that existed on VAX/VMS that operated over ARPANet. Multi-node BBSes also had this feature, at least by 1990, when multi-node BBSes became possible on low end equipment (DOS with DesqView, etc.)
This is just another farce, where someone "patented" something they didn't invent because it has been used for a long, long time. Next, some jerks will patent "digital logic" because you know, Charles Babbage forgot to.
Maybe I should patent bricks - since no one has a patent filed for that. Yeah, you own a brick house, you owe royalties large...Edited by EvanPitts - 7/18/11 at 6:48am