From Slashdot: “The USPTO has grante …

From Slashdot:

“The USPTO has granted IBM a patent for utilizing naming conventions to assign gender-based avatars for instant messaging. A user named Teri, IBM explains, would be given a girl avatar, while a user named Terry would be provided with a boy avatar. The three IBM ‘inventors’ were stymied by users named Pat, who as a result will be assigned a ‘generic, genderless human figure image as his or her avatar.’ Way to honor that significant-technical-content patent pledge, Big Blue!”

Since I just updated my avatar, Bob and Ben both have distinctly male avatars where Pat certainly has a “generic, genderless figure”. Whoo-wee, I think we got ourselves some prior art, here boys!