"In 2006, IBM boasted it was 'holding itself to a higher standard than any law requires because it's urgent that patent quality is improved.' On Thursday, the USPTO revealed that IBM was seeking a patent for Controlling and Using Virtual Universe Wish Lists. The product of six IBM inventors, Big Blue explained that a 'virtual wish list device determines an item in a virtual universe that is desired by an avatar.' Led by Chief Avatar Sam Palmisano, IBM is still drinking the virtual world Kool-Aid, dropping $80,000 to host a recent Second Life-based conference for 200 or so members of the IBM Academy of Technology. IBM indicated the virtual venue was chosen to avoid sending 'the wrong kind of message' (pdf) that something like a $400,000 real-world meeting might send during troubled economic times."