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How to master the etiquette of the Out Of Office email

By Rhymer Rigby | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-30 07:56

In ridiculous patent news, it was revealed earlier this year that IBM owns US Patent no. 9547842 - the patent on Out Of Office (OOO) email replies. That's right, the automatic responses you've used every time you've been on holiday for the two last decades, without ever thinking once, "You know what, this could be a lucrative piece of intellectual property."

To be fair to IBM, it has said the patenting is "defensive". This means that it will not enforce the patent. Rather, it has taken it out to ensure that "patent trolls" won't be able to patent OOO and then sue companies for using it. A heroic social service, for the good of mankind?

Maybe. There remains the worry that at a future date, the patent could be sold as part of a portfolio to a less scrupulous company, which will then attempt to turn the words "annual leave" into a billion dollar revenue stream.

How to master the etiquette of the Out Of Office email

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