Innovation Asset Blog

Facebook Privacy Patent

A piece by Gina Smith in Readwrite Social from July 2012 reported on the issuance to Mark Zuckerberg of the very first patent he applied for in 2006 – six years after he filed the application along with a co-inventor.

The patent was referred to in the news post as broad, ironic (for Facebook) in covering the topic of privacy, and lengthy in its prosecution because of constant rejections by Examiners for obviousness. The patent is titled “Dynamically Generating a Privacy Summary” with an abstract that reads as follows:

“A system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary is provided. The present invention provides a system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary. A profile for a user is generated. One or more privacy setting selections are received from the user associated with the profile. The profile associated with the user is updated to incorporate the one or more privacy setting selections. A privacy summary is then generated for the profile based on the one or more privacy setting selections.”

The patent was evidently granted after changes were made following a last ditch full-court press by Facebook shortly before its announced initial public offering. The patent “can only be described as the ultimate geek vanity trophy,” said Smith. It is “mostly a fancy accessory for Zuckerberg.”

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.