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Author Topic: EFF's "Stupid Patent of the Month" raises awareness, shames patent trolls  (Read 1771 times)

Edvard

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Quote
We wish we could catalog them all, but with tens of thousands of low-quality software patents issuing every year, we don’t have the time or resources to undertake that task.

But in an effort to highlight the problem of stupid patents, we’re introducing a new blog series, Stupid Patent of the Month, featuring spectacularly dumb patents that have been recently issued or asserted.


Their first example:
Quote
U.S. Patent No. 8,762,173, titled “Method and Apparatus for Indirect Medical Consultation.”
...
    a.    take a telephone call from patient
    b.    record patient info in a patient file
    c.    send patient information to a doctor, ask the doctor if she wants to talk to the patient
    d.    call the patient back and transfer the call to the doctor
    e.    record the call
    f.     add the recorded call to the patient file and send to doctor
    g.    do steps a. – f. with a computer.
...
What we found was that the original claim 1 (which was similar but not identical to the claim that eventually was patented) had not claimed a computer.
The examiner correctly issued a rejection, saying the claim was abstract and thus wasn’t something that could be patented. In response, the applicant added element (g) (“providing a computer, the computer performing steps “a” through “f””). And the rejection went away.

Somehow, something that wasn’t patentable became patentable just by saying “do it with a computer."
:-\


from aGupieWare Blog

mwb1100

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Somehow, something that wasn’t patentable became patentable just by saying “do it with a computer."

Just got back from filing my patent on Internet porn. Tomorrow I start looking for an island country to purchase.

Edvard

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To clarify, this patent went through one day before the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank decision, which boiled down to "you can't patent something just by saying 'do it with a computer'".
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In a concise 17-page opinion, the Supreme Court recognized that Alice claimed the abstract concept of “intermediated settlement,” something the Supreme Court recognized was “a fundamental economic practice long prevalent in our system of commerce.” Having done this, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that merely adding “a generic computer to perform generic computer functions” does not make an otherwise abstract idea patentable. This statement (and the opinion itself) makes clear that an abstract idea along with a computer doing what a computer normally does is not something our patent system was designed to protect.

So now we see it's doubly stupid because the patent still stands even though it's passing premise has been invalidated.

40hz

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So now we see it's doubly stupid because the patent still stands even though it's passing premise has been invalidated.

Bingo!

Besides...you can't shame trolls or stupid legislators. They have no shame to begin with.

Renegade

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That was an excellent patent! ;D

I'm really looking forward to more of them.

Here's one classic patent:

https://encrypted.go...om/patents/US6360693

A stick. For a dog.

And another.

https://encrypted.go...om/patents/USD461025

This patent could be used for both of them:

http://patft.uspto.g...%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2F
srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,090,268.PN.&OS=PN/7,090,268&RS=PN/7,090,268



Really? A bag on a stick? For dog poop? Like I said, better used to dispose of patents.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stoic Joker

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Here's one classic patent:

https://encrypted.go...om/patents/US6360693

A stick. For a dog.

Found this is the patent:
Quote
. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section includes a wood.

How is "making" a wooden stick out of a piece of wood considered a creation?

MilesAhead

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Here's one classic patent:

https://encrypted.go...om/patents/US6360693

A stick. For a dog.

Found this is the patent:
Quote
. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section includes a wood.

How is "making" a wooden stick out of a piece of wood considered a creation?

My friend, who tried to patent handbrakes on wheelchairs, also had an idea he wanted to patent for a basketball auto return for practicing free throws.  It amounted to a hinged wooden rectangle with 2 folding legs.  The idea was it would be attached to the stem of the backboard about 3 feet above the ground.  When you pulled up on the bottom edge the two legs would slip into place creating a 45 degree angle.  When you made a hoop the basketball would bounce off the wood and return to you.  You could keep shooting and practice by yourself without losing your position at the free throw line as long as you made baskets.

Way simple.  But at least it did something that may have sold if he just made them rather than worrying about patenting the device.