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It won't stop Facebook's giant competitors, like Match Group or IAC.
But for an entrepreneur who wants to start a new business, the costly dueling patent claims will be a barrier.
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Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it will wedge its way into an already-crowded corner of online commerce.
The social networking site plans to use its giant storehouse of personal data to create a dating service, promising to help users find "meaningful relationships," not just "hookups," as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg put it.
The company applied for a stupid patent on "social dating" back in 2013, and earlier this year, the Patent Office granted the application.
Online dating is a perfect example of a software-based business that truly doesn't need patents to be innovative.
This arms race, of course, costs many millions of dollars and benefits no one other than patent system insiders.
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It remains to be seen whether Facebook's new service will be a "Tinder-killer" that users flock to, or a flop for a company that's long been beset with privacy concerns.
But there's one thing Facebook, its competitors, and its detractors should all be able to agree on.