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Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 05:47 PM EDT

You know how I always write that software is math, so allowing software patents is like patenting 2+2=4, and then telling the world they can't use 2+2 any more?

Well, they've about done it now. I read on Patently-O about a new ruling from the US Patent Board of Appeals that I simply couldn't believe. Here's what I read:

Patent Board Eliminates "Technological Arts" Requirement For Business Method Patents

Ex parte Lundgren, Appeal No. 2003-2088 (BPAI 2005).

In a landmark decision, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences has issued a precedential opinion eliminating the Patent Office procedure of rejecting patents under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as outside of the “technological arts.” . . .

This decision will once again expand the role of business method patents by freeing them from being tied to a computer or other electronic device. At the same time, this decision widens the gap between the US and many other countries who are still debating patentability of software.

It is unclear at this point whether the PTO solicitor will ask the Federal Circuit to review this case. . . .

Lundgren had claimed a “method of compensating a manager” that involved several steps of calculating a proper compensation based on performance criteria and then transferring payment to the manager. The examiner rejected the claims arguing that they were “outside the technical arts, namely an economic theory expressed as a mathematical algorithm without the disclosure or suggestion of a computer, automated means, apparatus of any kind, the invention as claimed is found non-statutory.”

There is more on Patently-O, including more information on Dr. Carl Lundgren, the brainiac who wanted a patent on a method of paying a manager. Sigh. Can't you do that with just a pen and paper? Next they'll say we can patent our brain waves. That is, after all, where all those marketable ideas spring from, so what is to stop us from patenting the method our brain uses to come up with ideas? Whoever gets that patent will then own all ideas, nobody else can have any without paying him, and patent law will have reached Patent Nirvana.

Naturally, I wrote to Dennis Crouch, the lawyer who writes Patently-O, immediately, because although I read the decision he provided on his site and what he wrote, I either couldn't believe it or felt I didn't understand it. Dennis is a patent attorney at McDonnell, Boehnen, Hulbert & Berghoff, LLP.

Well, as it happens, I did understand it. You can now patent 2 + 2 = 4. Kidding, but it's close. Read on for what Dennis wrote to explain the decision to us. One thing I specifically asked him to explain is, now what? How can this be overturned? And is there anything anyone can do?


Removal of Technological Arts Requirement May Create New Flood in Business Method Patent Applications
~ by Dennis Crouch

The 1998 case of State Street Bank opened the flood gates on business method patents in the US. However, the vast majority of business method patent applications that were filed have not resulted in issued patents because of delays at the patent office and a new multilayer approval process. In addition many 'true' business methods have been still considered unpatentable by the patent office unless the claim to be patented explicitly recited that the method in question operates through a computer or other "technological" means. This requirement has become known as the 'technological arts' requirement and has effectively limited business method patents to those directed to electronic commerce and data processing. Thus, novel methods of compensating an employee, negotiating a deal, or structuring a corporation have been barred unless they recite that the method in question operates through a computer.

Carl Lundgren, an inventor and professional predictor, has been fighting with the Patent Office for years over his application involving a method for compensating a business manager by utilizing a set of objective performance measures. The Office initially rejected Lundgren's application because it did not meet the technological arts requirement. However, on appeal, Lundgren was able to convince a majority of the members of the PTO's administrative review board, the BPAI, to remove the technological arts requirement and overturn the Examiner's rejection.

This decision eliminates the technological arts requirement and, as a consequence, frees business method patent applicants from being tied to a computer or other electronic device.

Two avenues for change:

1) The PTO may be able to appeal this to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Your readers may want to contact the USPTO Director or Solicitor.

2) Congress is currently considering patent reform.


Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains | 228 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here please
Authored by: mondo on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 05:51 PM EDT
Not that there will be any, of course..... :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-topic Stuff here please
Authored by: mondo on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 05:53 PM EDT
Please (please please please) make links clickable. Change the Post Mode to
"HTML Formatted" (as per the option box) and use those magical html
codes, marked in red, as appropriate.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents Removed - Dennis Crouch Exp
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 05:55 PM EDT
Yet another way that the US is attempting to stifle independent thought.

Because small players (i.e. independent parties) cannot afford to check their
thoughts and processes against the patent office and the danger of submarine
patents on business methods, your business of many years can become someone
else's because you used a THOUGHT PROCESS that was patented to conduct

Welcome to Patent Nirvana!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Well, sauce for the goose
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 06:01 PM EDT
If this is really the case, then it should now be possible to patent the
business method of filing spurious patents and then using them to blackmail
companies that actually produce things into paying you to leave them alone.

File fast - there's a lot of prior art and competition for that method.

[ Reply to This | # ]

If 2+2 is taken...
Authored by: snorpus on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 06:17 PM EDT
I'd like to lay claim to 1 + 0 = 1

Just think of all those math proofs that depend on this "method".


73/88 de KQ3T ---
Montani Semper Liberi
Comments Licensed:

[ Reply to This | # ]

Good News!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 06:34 PM EDT
No, really! The sillier it gets the easier it will be to get someone to take
notice and do something about it. Wouldn't it be great if this guy sues someone
in government for using his patent to reward a good performer?

[ Reply to This | # ]

If Dr. Carl Lundgren is so smart...
Authored by: Jude on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 06:48 PM EDT
... then why did he patent something that has the proverbial snowball's chance
of being enforced?

Exactly how does he think he can enforce this? How would the typical company
respond to some random wingnut who walked in off the street and demanded to know
how management compensation was calculated?

[ Reply to This | # ]

It's a new form of taxation.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 06:56 PM EDT
Very soon you won't be able to operate any business without licencing patents for the operations required to carry out that business.

It's just not a tax which is paid to the Government, but to the future Commercial Overlords.

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sorry, I can't give you a raise -
Authored by: J.F. on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 07:00 PM EDT
Giving you a raise would violate this patent and I'd be forced to take the
license fee from your raise. So I'm doing you a favor by not giving you a


[ Reply to This | # ]

May I present the demise of America
Authored by: kawabago on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 07:01 PM EDT
Patent pool companies are going to explode in number and start attacking every
small business in America. It will very quickly become impossible to do
business in the United States and the economy will collapse. Oh, except the
patent attorneys! They will become the new elite!


[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents Removed - Dennis Crouch Exp
Authored by: rongage on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 07:22 PM EDT

Please correct me if I am wrong here...

Is it true that the courts usually defer to the patent office on matters of validity of any given patent? A presumption of validity? If so, then would it not be a simple matter to show the fallicy of this presumption.

What I am thinking: if the PTO keeps on with allowing absurd patents, wouldn't it be trivial to establish that the presumption of validity is indeed wrong? Absurd patents like the recent chap who got a patent on a wheel. Absurd patents like one-click shopping. Once this is established (by court ruling), wouldn't that ultimately result in the unraveling of the "authority" of the PTO?

I say, let them keep on with the train of absurd patents. Heck, let's give them all the rope they need to hang themselves with....

Ron Gage - Linux Consultant
Pontiac, Michigan

[ Reply to This | # ]

greed without bounds
Authored by: publius_REX on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 07:24 PM EDT
Just when the Internet is poised to give all humans equal
access to information, knowledge and true freedom, the
money grubbers have used every possible device to enslave
us all. Now they own our thoughts! (You would not
believe what the idiot I work for put into the employment
contract about "intellectual property". OK, yes you would.

Unless a means can be found to get money out of politics,
to give people the vote back, and to take it away from
large corporations, this craziness will just get worse.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Are all American schools patent violators?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 07:34 PM EDT
After all, schools are surely distributing ideas (such as 2+2=4) without paying

I think all American schools should be stopped. Of course, the rest of the world
can go happily onwards. :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tomorrow's headine: John Doe with fast food method patent sues MacDonalds
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 07:45 PM EDT
Seriously. Add these two things together:

1) No technological requirement

2) First to file, not first to invent

What you get is an avalanche of patents on anything old and people flocking to
the courts to sue each other.

This may actually bring some good, as there may be very clear, very bad economic

Also, the stupidity of most patents will be clear to people without a technology

It will make it very easy to reform the patent system once and for all. This may
be the "That's enough" event we've all been waiting for to bring some
sanity into the patent system.

But it will get much worse before it gets better, you'll see.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How does this affect prior use of said invention?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 07:45 PM EDT
Assuming that this (or any) patent is issued on the new ruling, how would this
affect any prior users? Does it mean, for example, that no company can pay
people on the basis of merit (even though common sense would allow that)? Not
that this has any common sense...
If they continue to make rulings that make prior refusals for patent issuance
inappropriate, what does this mean to all prior inventors - especially those
refused? Is it retroactive to when the patent was filed, or the ruling was
Are all companies (and individuals) now going to be violators of patents, simply
because somebody filed a patent on (for example), how to comb one's hair, or how
to use a fork?
Perhaps the best way to turn this around is actually to file a patent that has a
good chance of succeeding on the new ruling, and then use it on all of the
American people.
After all, this sounds as bad as the right for a local government to take land
from individuals and give it to, say, Walmart, on the basis of "public
good" or "tax income".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patenting the Thought Process.....
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 07:50 PM EDT

If a method can be divorced from its implementation, then the the thought
process itself can be patented.

If so, there will be no end to this nonsense.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Can I now, for example, get a patent on "A method for extraction of O2 from . . .
Authored by: PTrenholme on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 08:23 PM EDT
known, of course, as "breathing?"

Maybe just the "inhale" part. Then you'd only have to pay if you

IANAL, just a retired statistician

[ Reply to This | # ]

At what point does the rest of world give up on the US ?
Authored by: starsky on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 08:23 PM EDT
I am starting to look at patents in a very similar manner to financial system deregulation. Making it too easy to get a patent is like reducing regulations, but instead of making whole industries able to abuse the consumer due to excessive deregulation, you concentrate power in the small number of very large corporations, who abuse the whole marketplace. (read J Stiglitz - "The Roaring Nineties" to understand the downside of excessive deregulation)

The consequences of this on innovation and competition are startling, and I am starting to think that it will have a dramatic effect on the US economy in the long term.

Firstly, other nations (especially European nations and China) will look at the absurdities of the US patent system and refuse to acknowledge the Patents issued in the US. eg: "I don't care if you have patented a method for determining pay, I am going to do it anyway!".

It is often argued that The United States is dependent on royalties from patents and copyright, therefore they should maximise the income from these. The Free trade agreements signed with other nations show that this is clearly the logic being employed, eg: Australia. Countries like Australia get free access to the US market by adopting DMCA provisions, extending copyright duration, and signing patent treaties.

It is possible that nations that currently have patent treaties with the US will start to undo them because they are not prepared to accept such broad application of patents. Think of it like a global version of the Boston Tea Party. Nations won't buy from the US, they will buy from elsewhere, from countries where there is better competition because there is no license cost (tax). This could result in a much broader loss of revenues from intellectual property licensing.

Secondly, corporations operating outside of the US, will have a massive disincentive to operate in the US. The over expansion of the patent system adds to the risk (cost) side of the equation in operating in the US. Corporations will need to factor in the risk of being sued for violating someones patent. They have the same risk now, but it is a much greater risk as the realm of what is patentable expands.

The consequence of these scenarios happening could be devastating tothe US economoy. Falling foreign income, and falling investment inflows could have phenomenal long term implications on employment, interest rates, and poverty.

A lot of what I have posted above may sound like a doomsday scenario, but seriously, is it getting to the point where other nations will give up on the US patent system, tear up their patent treaties, and laugh at the US from afar?

If the answer to that question is yes, what are the consequences for the US ?
Are the consequences really that far off what I have mentioned above?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Unbelievable. US Patents Have No Credibility.
Authored by: Simon G Best on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 08:25 PM EDT

Wow! My flabber is well-and-truly ghasted.

With this and the 1994 Pass Labs patent I recently found (US patent 5,376,899 - essentially long-tailed pairs with negative feedback applied on both sides), I am now convinced that US patents simply have no credibility. Sure, there may be lots of US patents for genuine, new, non-obvious, useful inventions, but the credibility of US patents is now so low that the fact that something's covered by a US patent simply does not tell me that it was new, non-obvious, etc.

Hmmm... I wonder: if, in a case of alleged patent infringement, the defendant bases their defence on the general lack of credibility of US patents, what are the chances of such a defence succeeding? Small, I would guess (what with not being a lawyer, etc), but it would make an interesting point.

But I'd also like to take the opportunity to say this:- The truly innovative will be able to find ways to support, encourage, promote, enable and protect innovation itself without the need for patents at all. But I doubt many patent practicioners believe in - or want - that kind of innovation.

FOSS IS political. It's just that the political establishment is out of touch and hasn't caught up.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: Bas Burger on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 08:43 PM EDT
It looks like "grab everything as fast as you can and run" has
started. One has to wonder what desperaty level has been the ground for this



[ Reply to This | # ]

Why not just blow up the floodgates...
Authored by: wvhillbilly on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 10:33 PM EDT
This is getting totally ridiculous.
Let's just blow up the floodgates. Make everything patentable including 2+2=4,
brain waves (as PJ suggested), books, music, motherhood, things that have been
in use since the creation of the world, genes, breathing, speaking, sticks, just
everything. Then abolish patent examiners and replace them with a simple
machine that automatically stamps your patent "Approved" and drops it
in a basket for you to take home. Then you can hire a patent attorney and sue
the pants off of anybody and everybody who uses anything close to your patent.
(Oh, and I suppose you could patent pants too.) Then all the patent attorneys
will get filthy rich and the rest of the world will be bankrupt.

Seriously, the only thing I can see this as being is the most monumental gravy
train for patent attorneys ever. And it is just going to lead to more and more
abuse of the patent system until the whole thing collapses in total confusion.

When are people going to come to their senses and realize greed just begets more
greed, and ultimately everybody ends up getting hurt?

What goes around comes around, and the longer it goes the bigger it grows.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This might not be such a bad thing
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 10:34 PM EDT
Hear me out...

One of the things I have always hated about the 'Technical Arts' requirement is
that, as PJ has stated, it allowed for any buisness methods, or thoughts to be
patented if they somehow involved 'technology'. Technology was treated as some
black art which somehow made everything novel or by definition non-intuitive.

This decision just strips that falsehood away and puts these existing 'Technical
Arts' accepted patents on the same level as any other 'Buiness' or thought

This is a good thing because soon it will become blatently obvious to even teh
average Joe or Jane that the existing patent system needs to be fixed, and fixed
imediatly. Not only will there be a huge public outcry, but even louder cries
from the large constituents including Microsoft. MS, IBM, Sun and Novel have all
been vocal about patent reform lately and were a huge factor in congress taking
up the reform issue.

Putting these Technical patents where they belong and no longer under some
mystic umbrella of protection, could be seen as a first step to getting them
revoked as part of a larger reform; albeit a hugely scary one!

Just trying to see some good in this. Unfortunatly this is the best I have.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Increased cost of doing business
Authored by: star-dot-h on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 11:25 PM EDT
Can the Patent office please compensate us for the additoinal cost and risk of
doing business? I notice that our Professional Indemnity insurance renewal
certific specifically excludes patent infringements from its cover. I have not
dared ask yet how much it will cost to get that exclusion excluded.

At the same time, clients' are beggining to insist that we indemnify them for
any IP infringements (in any jurisdiction) we may be guilty of. It is something
I push hard to get changed these days. (By the way, does Groklaw have some IP
indemnity standards we can all start applying in business?)

This is worse than taxation without representation.


Free software on every PC on every desk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 11:34 PM EDT
This is what fresh college grads call the rule of law.

Can't rely on common sense.

Have to have Congress make up some rules for it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: thyrsus on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 12:59 AM EDT
Perhaps a subversive bureaucrat is trying to implement Abraham Lincoln's

"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 01:04 AM EDT
It is become ridiculously trivial to obtain a US patent on almost anything that
can be vaguely described.

When a patent infringement lawsuit is brought, the courts tend to strongly
presume that the patent is valid.

Neither of these tendencies by itself would chill innovation in the US, but the
combination of both tendencies will soon drive all meaningful invention out of
the country.

The legislative branch can save US inventiveness by adjusting patent law to make
patents meaningful again. The executive branch can save US inventiveness by
directing the USPTO to behave sanely. The judicial branch can save US
inventiveness by refusing to presume that patents are commonly valid.

I think our greatest hope lies with the courts. I think defenders in patent
infringement cases should begin to argue that patents in general have become a
ludicrous sham, and no longer can a patent be presumed valid or meaningful just
because it has been granted. If enough judges agree with such arguments, the
teeth will be drawn from the patent menace.

In the meantime, I am teaching my grandchildren to speak and write Chinese.
Just in case.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 01:36 AM EDT
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If this is true,
then a fair amount of optimism is called for.

Consider: there is always someone bigger than you are, even if you're MS. When
MS met the internet they could hardly recognize what they're seeing. The
internet is slowly growing over MS like weeds. When they met Linux, again, they
couldn't recognize it since the whole concept was so far out of their universe.
Linux is slowly reeling in the users that once thought there was no

Not being able to see or comprehend anything else bigger than it for a long
time, MS found themselves bumping into something much larger than them. Now
they are groping for a way out.

The same thing is true for these pipe dreamers who think they can patent every
idea that comes to mind while they do their business on the porcelain throne.
Who will enforce it? How will they collect? Who do they sue when someone uses
their business method without paying a royalty?

Eventually, that huge, slow and imperceptible force, called "the common
consciousness of humanity" will bump into the pipe dreamers and realize
that enough is enough. When the business owners who "own" these ideas
notice that we're not working as hard as we used to, that they're spending more
time in court than they are at making money, and that they need to spend time
with their families, then maybe they might chill out on the patent buffet and
share their ideas.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Last stand
Authored by: Anni on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 02:48 AM EDT
What I found surprising was this:

"The examiner rejected the claims ..."

I didn't know they were still rejecting things. Ah well, it was the famous last
stand, then. </sarcasm>


Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: muswell100 on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 03:14 AM EDT
So by allowing patents on thought, the US is now putting a price tag on
thinking. Ergo, we can assume that this means making thought a valuable
commodity. Now as we all know, a commodity increases in value as it becomes
rarer - and judging from this ruling, it's a particularly valuable (rare)
commodity in the States right now. Or at least in the Patent Board.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: blacklight on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 03:59 AM EDT
A country can't preserve its technological leadership by issuing worthless
patents any more than it can resolve its deficit account issues by printing
money. I am deathly afraid that the government of my country, the USA, is doing

We, as a country, can't have IP protection if it does not rest on a pillar of
uncompromising intellectual integrity, nor can we have strong finances if they
don't rest on a pillar of uncompromising financial integrity and responsible
financial policies. I am deathly afraid that the reckless policies of this
American government will cost our American people dearly. We are the strongest
country in the world, but this strength only delays the day of reckoning and
creates a delusion that this day of reckoning will never arrive - And the longer
the delay, the more overwhelming and harsh this day of reckoning will be.

Katrina and Rita were natural catastrophes. However, in terms of impact, even
they will pale in comparison with the man made ones - our man made ones. And we
really have no one to blame but ourselves for this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 04:19 AM EDT
Ummmm, don't get me wrong, but wouldn't performance based bonuses to executives
pretty much be covered by prior art? Namely, 5000+ years worth of bonuses
awarded to people in power for completing performance objectives. eg a title
for performing well in a battle?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why should technical art make any difference
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 05:30 AM EDT
Business method patents are just plain daft whether or not
there is any technical art or not.

Computer automation of a process that can be done manually
is an obvious step - that is the whole purpose of
computers after all. Anything that that is not patentable
without "technical art" should not be patentable just
because "technical art" has been added.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • I agree - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 06:18 AM EDT
Software Patents in Europe
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 05:48 AM EDT
Every day it becomes clearer that this patents road will lead to a nation
bankrupt - paying for the lawyers and no-one being allowed to actually make
anything any more - except for the overpriced non-competitive monopoly rip-off
merchants who are the patent holders.

Software Patents in Europe at one point came so very close to being a reality.

I'd wager that the Europeans now are immensely grateful that they did not allow
Software Patents.

At least now the Europeans have some hope of keeping astride with China.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS's secret sauce
Authored by: rao on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 06:53 AM EDT

How long before MS gets a patent for their "secret sauce" method of hiring people in China. Google will probably have to leave the country to find employees.

[ Reply to This | # ]

TRIPS and Business Method
Authored by: cinly on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 07:21 AM EDT
Funny. I just completed the module on Patent for DL101 WIPO course which says
specifically that Business Methods are excluded from patentability in TRIPS.

I know all these problems with business method patent in US and they are trying
to introduce it to EU. While everyone know that if TRIPS says
"included" it really mean included, but if it says
"excluded" what does it actually means? As I see it, it means
"may be", at least from US standpoint.

All views expressed here are my own and do not reflect that of any institution I
am affiliated to

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 07:39 AM EDT
Looks like the US just took another turn in the
"blue swirl" as it steadly heads down the drain.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts "requirement"?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 08:19 AM EDT
A little anti-FUD:

The U.S. Constitution gives the basis for patent and copyright law in Article I
Section 8:

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for
limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective
Writings and Discoveries;"

The Founding Fathers said "Useful Arts" (Useful
Arts->Inventors->Discoveries), not "technological arts" (yes,
they understood the word "technological" even if they didn't have
digital computers). Scientific principles (e.g. 2+2=4) and naturally occurring
phenomena are not and never have been (under the U.S. Constitution) patentable,
since they are not "invented" even if they are "discovered".
The relevant laws are now 35 USC 101 and 35 USC 100.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removal of Technological Arts Requirement on Business Method Patents - Dennis Crouch Explains
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 08:20 AM EDT
I am now convinced patents are nothing more than for lazy, non-innovative people
who want to do nothing more than sit on their behinds and collect money.

this is nothing more than legal extortion.

Hello Mr. President - are you there - Mr. supreme court justice are you there -
your country is going to hell and you are sitting on your hands doing nothing.
Do something for the people for once.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Security Flaws
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 10:02 AM EDT
Someone at MS should rush right out an try to patent the idea of introducing
security flaws into an operating system. Most of the prior art on this one is
already owned/done by MS.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Funniest Thing I've Read All Week!
Authored by: Matt C on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 10:37 AM EDT
"2) Congress is currently considering patent reform."

omg stop you're killing me.

BT et C and many others discuss the level of seriousness Congress is bringing to this issue.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'm gonna corner this market.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 04:03 PM EDT
Everything I do is patentable.

From now on, I will have a constant video journal, that captures everything I
say and do and think.

Weekly, my attorney will file a patent for every idea I have mentioned.

The way I read my newspaper, sports, comics, news, then back to front, to my
4-digit typing mehod. And I am going to hire an army of patent enforcers.

One of my goons will come to your cube one of these days, and demand $40 for the
way you sip your coffee.

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