Tag Archive for 'patents'

My new patent

My next patent is to patent a plotline where an outraged private individual goes postal on the USPTO, blows up the main office, stages a mass protest in front of the ruins and then gets killed in an epic shootout with the FBI.

I’m just afraid it’s going to fail the non-obviousness test.


Amazon successfully blackmailed out of $40M

Soverain Software of Chicago, IL successfully blackmailed Amazon out of $40M using patents originally owned by OpenMarket, one of the many companies ruined by divine (*spit*). Soverain Software bought the patents from divine in a bankruptcy sale.

Soverain Software is run by a former divine Sr VP Katharine Wolanyk. I’m sure she learned the “ethics” of eCommerce at divine and is continuing the “good” work at Soverain Software.

OpenMarket owned several eCommerce patents most of which fall into the “so obvious I could design and code it, bug-free, in 2 hours”-category.


Microsoft patents breathing

The USPTO has published a patent filing originally filed by Microsoft in 2004. The filing is an attempt to patent a way to visually emphasize numbers in an eletronic document by surrounding the number in a rectangle frame. Wow! The groundbreaking research at M$ really does come up with some really great ideas!

Here’s an example of what’s getting patented:

In case any M$ lawyers are reading, you can send your cease-and-desist letters to me.


Is the time right for patent reform?

A Harvard professor is releasing a book this November that severely criticizes the US patent laws. He’s claiming that the patent laws no longer promote innovation, but are actually stiffling it.

Today we get news that the US Patent Office has actually rejected a Microsoft patent after it had already been granted based on evidence presented by Public Patent Foundation.

The US patent law as it currently stands is nothing but a meal ticket for patent lawyers and companies, who employ an army of patent lawyers. I don’t think it ever was the intention of the founding fathers to promote companies, who do nothing but hold patent “portfolios”, with no intention of ever actually implementing anything based on the patents.

Furthermore it’s long been clear that the US Patent Office no longer has the resources to adequately investigate patent claims. They are granting overarching patents for obvious and trivial “inventions”, such as the 1-click-shopping patent Amazon.com received, or the more general shopping cart patent previously owned by Divine, now owned by one of those patent portfolio companies.

With this week’s news, it looks like the tide is turning, and there might be some real chance of patent reform in the United States. Let’s hope it comes soon.