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1st Story Line Patent Published
Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 06:32 PM EST

It reads like an Onion parody, but it is real. Here's the USPTO published application:
Process of relaying a story having a unique plot


A process of relaying a story having a timeline and a unique plot involving characters comprises: indicating a character's desire at a first time in the timeline for at least one of the following: a) to remain asleep or unconscious until a particular event occurs; and b) to forget or be substantially unable to recall substantially all events during the time period from the first time until a particular event occurs; indicating the character's substantial inability at a time after the occurrence of the particular event to recall substantially all events during the time period from the first time to the occurrence of the particular event; and indicating that during the time period the character was an active participant in a plurality of events.

I have to say. They have at last invented a way to destroy all cultural development forevermore. That's an achievement of a sort.

Remember, a published patent means it hasn't issued yet. But if you wish to throw up, read about the dreams being dreamed. They are willing to destroy the world's culture for $67,200. Here's Knight and Associates' legal analysis, which they are probably proud of. To me, it's like figuring out how to destroy the planet and all human life on it. What is your responsibility? To implement it, to even tell anyone what you cleverly invented? I know. Knight and Associates would advise patenting it first.

Andrew Knight's bio tells us that Knight is "the inventor of Storyline Patents." Please, Mr. Knight, patent that invention right away, so no one else can do it. And will you please think more deeply about what you say in your Acknowledgements section on that page?

New innovations are not created in a vacuum. Many people, through their friendship, encouragement, and instruction, have made possible Mr. Knight’s conception of Storyline Patents and his ability to draft and prosecute patent applications to their fruition . . .

Deep thoughts, please, Andrew. Extrapolate. What do we do when there are no more plots to invent? Hmm. I should write a movie plot about it. A world with no more culture. A vacuum. The world in a Dark Age, where culture is not allowed to the common people, and those who dare to write plots based on earlier writers' works or who read illegal books are burned at the stake. Wait a sec. Didn't mankind do something that already? Uh oh.

Andrew's thought patterns go like this, from the application:

[0011] The fact that each particular expression (e.g., a movie) of a broad artistic invention (e.g., an original plot) is subject to copyright protection is not unique to artistic inventions. For example, the software code on a patented software-containing disk may be copyrighted. The defining criterion separating the subject matter of patents from copyrights is not whether the subject matter is related to art--see the amusing counterexample of U.S. Pat. No. 6,213,778 to Cohen. Rather, the defining criterion is whether the subject matter is a broad concept practically applied or used (patent), or a particular instance, embodiment, expression, or performance of the broad concept (copyright).

[0012] There is little fear that artistic creation will be halted due to the enforcement of patent protection newly applied to artistic inventions. A love song composer may indefinitely continue writing love songs without worry of infringing any patent, because the concept of writing songs about love is old and not patentable. Statute clearly requires an invention to be new and nonobvious to receive patent coverage. Thus, even if the broad concept or invention of singing about love were statutory subject matter under .sctn.101, it is as old as civilization, and would not survive an attack under .sctn..sctn.102-103. In fact, most artistic concepts today are very old--which is precisely the problem that must be remedied by patent protection for artistic inventions. Unless patents on artistic inventions are upheld and enforceable, the great artistic minds of the day will be compelled to continue composing predictable love songs for pop stars and slightly altered dialogues for carbon copied movie plots.

[0013] There is currently little motivation for artistic inventors to innovate new plots, themes, and methods of expression. The value of an innovator's copyright, if he in fact embodies his invention in a particular expression (such as a novel or movie) is far less than the value of the invention itself, because the invention umbrellas every possible embodiment. Further, and perhaps more importantly, the value of his copyright depends on his ability as a performer, not as an inventor. An artistic inventor who invents a fantastically original and compelling plot may not be a particularly skilled writer. He may, for example, have a very limited vocabulary and a poor understanding of grammar. Any book he creates will be avoided by any potential buyer who reads the first paragraph, such that the copyright value of his extremely valuable invention is nil. Any Hollywood producer who sees through the book's garbled sentence structure to the excellent and creative plot beneath the surface may steal the only value the book contained: its inventive plot. The producer may then moderately alter the expression of the plot in a subsequent movie--while keeping the plot's essence fully intact--and obtain unearned financial benefit from the inventor's unrewarded hard work and innovation. If there is any evil that the United States patent system ought to prevent, it is this.

[0014] Said another way: the value of a singer's performance or a dancer's performance or a writer's performance or an artist's performance is in the performance, while the value of an inventor's invention is in the invention, not a single instance, embodiment, expression, or performance of the invention. The value of a performance is protected by copyright; the value of an invention is not. An artistic innovator is given but two choices absent patent protection: to sacrificially innovate for the unearned benefit of thieves, or to not innovate. Both options are morally and practically repulsive.

[0015] A patent system that sanctions and defends patents on artistic inventions, such as new and nonobvious plots, will spur an array of never-seen-before, never-experienced-before, intellectually inspiring forms of entertainment. A patent system that lethargically clings to an as-of-yet unarticulated rule that artistic inventions are not patentable subject matter because they are not closely enough related to a mechanical gear or an electronic integrated circuit will guarantee our nation the same repertoire of mind numbing movies and dime-a-dozen boy bands.

I hope he's trying to prove that software patents should never be issued, and that the US patent system needs to be reformed, but I don't think so. I have written to ask him pointblank, and I'll let you know his response.

Update: Mr. Knight says he is absolutely serious and that my "analysis" sounds like a whiny soap opera actress. He suggests reading the legal analysis. I have. I didn't say it wasn't clever. I say in my view it's morally and culturally wrong.

Here's the press release:


U.S. Patent Office Publishes the First Patent Application to Claim a Fictional Storyline; Inventor Asserts Provisional Rights Against Hollywood

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will publish history’s first “storyline patent” application today from an application filed in November, 2003. Inventor Andrew Knight will assert publication-based provisional patent rights against the entertainment industry.

Falls Church, Virginia (PRWEB) November 3, 2005 -- Further to a policy of publishing patent applications eighteen months after filing, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is scheduled to publish history’s first “storyline patent” application today. The publication will be based on a utility patent application filed by Andrew Knight in November, 2003, the first such application to claim a fictional storyline.

Knight, a rocket engine inventor, registered patent agent, and graduate of MIT and Georgetown Law, will assert publication-based provisional patent rights against anyone whose activities may fall within the scope of his published claims, including all major motion picture manufacturers and distributors, book publishers and distributors, television studios and broadcasters, and movie theaters. According to the official Patent Office website, provisional rights “provide a patentee with the opportunity to obtain a reasonable royalty from a third party that infringes a published application claim provided actual notice is given to the third party by [the] applicant, and a patent issues from the application with a substantially identical claim.”

Before a patent will issue, however, the application must overcome the hurdles of utility, novelty, and nonobviousness found in U.S. patent laws. According to Knight, the utility requirement addresses whether an invention falls within statutory subject matter, while novelty and nonobviousness address whether the invention is identical to or impermissibly similar to previous inventions. That fictional storylines may be patentable was first suggested in a November, 2004 article in the Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, “A Potentially New IP: Storyline Patents.” The article argues that binding case law strongly suggests that methods of performing and displaying fictional plots, whether found in motion pictures, novels, television shows, or commercials, are statutory subject matter, like computer software and business methods.

Regarding the utility requirement, “The case law of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has established that virtually any subject matter is potentially patentable,” explained Jay Thomas, Professor of Law at Georgetown University. Further, “Due to the broad scope of patentable subject matter, novel storylines may fall within the [utility requirement],” said Charles Berman, Co-Chair of the Patent Prosecution Practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP.

The real issue? According to Berman, “Non-obviousness probably presents the biggest challenge to patentability” because minor variations on a central theme may generate so many different storylines. Nevertheless, Knight asserts that his claimed storyline meets all statutory requirements, including nonobviousness.

The fictitious story, which Knight dubs “The Zombie Stare,” tells of an ambitious high school senior, consumed by anticipation of college admission, who prays one night to remain unconscious until receiving his MIT admissions letter. He consciously awakes 30 years later when he finally receives the letter, lost in the mail for so many years, and discovers that, to all external observers, he has lived an apparently normal life. He desperately seeks to regain 30 years’ worth of memories lost as an unconscious philosophical zombie.

Will Knight’s claimed storyline pass the rigors of nonobviousness and issue as a U.S. Patent? If so, the stakes are high. According to Thomas, “Given the robust scope of patent protection provided by the Patent Act… storyline patents potentially provide their owners with a significant proprietary interest.”

The U.S. Patent Office will publish subsequent storyline patent applications, also invented by Knight, on November 17 and December 8 and 22.

For an information packet, including a copy of the JPTOS article, contact Andrew Knight or visit


1st Story Line Patent Published | 428 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Correction Hear Plese
Authored by: mondo on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:21 PM EST
Apart from the glaring one inherent in the article, of course :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-Topicy Goodness Here
Authored by: mondo on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:24 PM EST
Posting links:
Change "Post Mode" to "HTML Formatted"
Clickable links look like this: <a
href="">Like this</a> when you type
them in.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: mondo on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:27 PM EST
Won't he have to get around "prior art" for this? Bearing in mind
that it is said that there are only 3 stories (?) surely the Bible and other
early religious writings beat this heavily into the ground.

And, since this is being done in the US and there is an upswell in religiousness
reported, wouldn't this threaten a large number of vociferous voters?

[ Reply to This | # ]

This will probably be accepted...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:27 PM EST
And will stand until Hollywood decides that they want to use a storyline, and
it's cheaper to litigate than to pay the leaches demanded price. Then this will
go all the way to the Supreme Court. And (I hope) the Supreme Court will rule
that the Patent Office dramatically exceeded the authority given to it by the


[ Reply to This | # ]

Very Obvious
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:34 PM EST

It was done in a movie a couple of years ago - person wakes up one morning and
20 years have passed - does anyone remember the name of the movie - we need to
let the Patent Office know, and wipe this sucker out.

As for the wish part, there's enough stories that revolve around wishes to
invalidate that.



[ Reply to This | # ]

Wake up and smell reality
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:34 PM EST
Atta Boy, you go..

Sound like the joke about the two farmers and their mule teams. THe first
farmer has a well behaved team, the second takes all day to plow on row.

Farmer two asks farmer one how he does it. Come here early tomorrow morning and
I'll show you, says framer one.

early the next morning, farmer two shows up, farmer one walks out with an
unrully team of mules. Farmer one proceeds to produce a 2x4 and walks the team
of mules giving everyone an solid bash on the head. He then walks over to
farmer two and says, "First you have to get their attention."

Nice 2x4 Mr. Knight has.


[ Reply to This | # ]

America's decline is turning into a landslide
Authored by: kawabago on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:34 PM EST
This is too outrageous! Particularly because the applicant makes clear he is
not creating a new work but instead is setting up the legal framework to sue
everyone who is creating new art. If this patent is granted, the whole world
will start laughing at America. Americans will be unable to react because
someone will have patented reacting.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior art? (eom).
Authored by: Latesigner on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:40 PM EST

The only way to have an "ownership" society is to make slaves of the rest of us.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: lifewish on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:41 PM EST
I'm going to bed now. Hopefully I will wake up in the morning and this story
will turn out to have been a side-effect of eating too much cheese before

My current state of visceral disgust corroborates the "bad dream brought on
by indigestion" hypothesis perfectly. Here's hoping.

The greed of the few trumps the need of the many

[ Reply to This | # ]

FOI and "How did this get thru?"
Authored by: stevem on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:51 PM EST
Is it possible to request all files/documents relating to the process of passing
this patent thru the USPTO under FOI rules? As a non-USA citizen, I doubt I'd
have the ability to do so.

I'd be mightily curious as to the thinking etc that allowed this to (possibly)


- SteveM

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 07:59 PM EST
The story's already been written on this: Spider Robinson's Melancholy Elephants.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior Art...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 08:27 PM EST
While reading the Abstract, I couldn't help but think that it sounded like
Reagan's defense during his Iran/Contra caper.

"to forget or be substantially unable to recall substantially all events
during the time period"

I think whoever filed for this patent is guilty of plagerism.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: rm6990 on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 08:33 PM EST
This is absolutely ridiculous. This is even more stupid than software patents.

The whole point of patents was for people to file for them and then provide the
world with inventions they may not have otherwise made public. How can this be
the case with a MOVIE? Who on this earth directs a movie, locks it up in a
locker and never lets the world see it? This is defying the very reasons patents
were made. They weren't made to hurt people's creativity!

My Blog :

[ Reply to This | # ]

If this is accepted...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 08:57 PM EST
...and it will, it will be complete and irrefutable proof that our patent system
is completely broken.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I may have the answer!
Authored by: rsi on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 09:07 PM EST
I'll file a patent on filing a patent! Then I could prevent anyone else from filing any future patents! Problem solved! ;^)

Time to abandon the whole system, and start over, without software patents of course.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Short Story was done by Spider Robinson
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 09:58 PM EST
He won an award for it. It has been about a decade since I read it, so I can't
remember the title.

It really stinks getting forgetful...

-- Alma

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'm not sure which I hope for...
Authored by: OmniGeek on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 09:59 PM EST
That this howler gets the kicking-out it so richly deserves (massive prior art,
fails the usefulness test, has no "technical effect" -- oh, I forgot,
they've eliminated that one),

OR that it is granted, a deep-pockets movie studio sues, and it goes to the
Supreme Court for a final, wide-ranging smackdown and (as another poster stated)
a ruling that the USPTO has seriously exceeded its mandate.

Of course, given that this is the same Supreme Court that validated the 2000
Presidential election, they might decide that the USPTO is doing just fine and
patenting EVERYTHING makes for a wonderful "ownership society." Now
THERE'S a frightening thought. PJ's right, litigation is a scary thing.

My strength is as the strength of ten men, for I am wired to the eyeballs on

[ Reply to This | # ]

Letter to my Senators
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 10:00 PM EST
I sent the following letter to both of the US Senators for Virginia. I would
encourage that others do the same (send letters, not what I wrote hehe). If
nothing else, it will raise some awareness.
Senator <name of Senator>,

I am hoping that I selected the correct general topic for this message, but I am
unsure. In short, my email is about the US Patent System and the major reforms
that it requires.

I thought it was bad when business methods were allowed to be patented, and even
worse when human genes were allowed to be patented, and still worse yet when
software was allowed to be patented, but this latest patent attempt, that I just
learned about this evening, has got to take the cake for sheer gall.

I am referring to Patent Application # 20050244804 - a patent application for
" Process of relaying a story having a unique plot".

Yes, you are understanding that correctly, the guy wants to patent storylines
and plots. In fact, he even has a website -
- set up and while I am not positive, it appears that he wishes to charge others
for use of these "storyline patents" as he calls them.

Here is the link to his patent application. It is an extremely long link, and I
do not know how it will wrap in your email reader, and/or if that wrapping will
break the link. If it does, then please refer to the patent application number I
listed above.

I am not sure what you can do about this, but this is a major indication that
our current patent system is severely broken.

If you are not part of a committee that is looking into the USPTO, then I would
very much appreciate it if you could forward my email along to somebody who is
on such a committee.

I am sorry, but this is getting rediculous. The whole patent system needs to be
scrapped, along with any patent that is not for a physical invention, and
restructured from the ground up with solid, non ambiguous definitions about what
may or may not be patented.

Too many people and companies are filing patents for the sole purpose of using
those patents to suppress inovation and invention.

The way things are now, a person could file a patent on "How to File a
Patent". I am sure that it is not long in coming.

Thank you for your time.

Tim Dugger

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ - Patent the SCO Story!
Authored by: om1er on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 10:19 PM EST
No one would believe it - so you can say it's fiction!

You'll be rich!

You could license the plot for about $699 each person in the world!


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Yeah... - Authored by: Mecha on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 10:28 PM EST
An Obscure Suilver Lining....
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 10:33 PM EST
In one sense, I'm happy to see this patent issued. Patents expire. Once this
one expires, no one can patent it again. In the mean time, there will be a 20
year hiatus in stories with this plot line.

[ Reply to This | # ]

play along
Authored by: pyrite on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 10:55 PM EST
There comes a point where a "story line" becomes an instantiation. If
you go too broad, for instance, with this example, you're squarely in the
territory of something like the movie "Memento", but if you go too
specific, it's probably more copyrightable than it is patentable.

I suppose if you look at it like a template:

individual is worried about acceptance letter
individual wishes for reprieve from worry via memory loss
wish comes true
individual regrets wishing for memory loss

Then you could plug lots of characters into that storyline and have numerous
movies. But think about it - how many movies about individuals worried about
acceptance letters are people going to want to see? Not very many.

But Rip Van Winkle who fell asleep and the guy in Memento who is fairly
confused, or the Groundhog Day time loops; there's also an X-files episode like
that - OK - theoretically, you could sue probably numerous production companies
for numerous instances, if you take a broader path. In this case, you are going
to NEED Hollywood to play along. And probably Canadian cinema, and British
cinema, and Bollywood (I guess it's Mollywood now), Hong Kong cinema, Korean,
Vietnamese, Thai cinema, French, German, etc.. -- did I forget anyone?

I guess the question is where does it become copyright; where does it become an
instance - does that have to do with character names? Because that idea - the
whole acceptance letter thing - for all intents and purposes, it IS an
instance... unless you don't care how the movie does at the box office. We're
not going to have numerous movies featuring acceptance letter crises.

If the patents go too broad, the financial power of Hollywood and prior art is
likely going to put up roadblocks, because at that point it would just be a
game, and the path of least resistance is to not play it.

But if the patents go too narrow, too specific, they're going to be worthless,
or might only apply to a single copyrightable instance.

I think it's just a little too funky. Even if this particular patent does go
through, and others follow, there's way too much prior art for any such patents
that are too broad to be effective against the likes of Hollywood. That is, of
course unless Hollywood picks up on it and thinks its a good idea (which is
doubtful due to approximately 2,300 years of prior art). So again, the big
money-makers, the Paramounts and the Twentieth Century Foxes, hire lawyers and
don't worry, while the smaller, independent folks do worry.

If this is going to work, if these types of patents are going to take off,
someone is going to have to convince the big players in Hollywood to play along,
just like Microsoft and IBM and Apple etc, participate in the patent cold war.

The technical fact that there is so much prior art on a broad scale, and very
little opportunity for multiple instantiations on a more fine-grained approach
(how many movies about tornadoes have you seen in the past 10 years?) - that
regardless of what the Patent Office does, it won't fly on a broad scale in the
real world. That the Patent Office, and, apparently, the U.S. Government in
general don't appear to be living in the real world isn't going to make
Hollywood any easier to sue. But due to the nature of the way that the Patent
Office seems to be handing out patents, some of the smaller folks might stand a
chance of getting hurt.

The worst possibility of the best-case scenario I can see is that this is going
to be a temporary setback for some smaller companies who might become
trial-and-error victims for what will probably eventually turn out to be an
unsuccessful way of extracting money from people - unless Hollywood decides to
play along.

If Hollywood starts churning out patents like Microsoft churns out patents, then
that's going to be a different story. But I seriously doubt that Hollywood is
going to be willing to play make believe in the face of significant prior art.
Why build up mounds and mounds of patents if they aren't good for anything?

Maybe in the soap-opera world, something like this might be more applicable.
HBO, Cinemax, etc... But again, if Hollywood doesn't play along, you can forget
about it. It's about as simple as that.

I do like the idea of greater creativity though. If storyline patents could
improve the quality of movies, that would be a good thing, But if Hollywood
doesn't play along, you can still forget it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Stumbles on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST
Some one should request all information available on this guy
from the FOIA, hire a detective to plug any holes there might be
in the FOIA and research his family tree. Then patent it as a story
line and sue his pants off for *living* your patent.

You can tune a piano but you can't tune a fish.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST
There is one outcome of this that nobody's predicted yet:

If this is allowed to stand the Hollywood studios with their near infinitely
deep pockets will bombard the Patent Office with every film plot they can think
of - including all the plots they themselves have done over the years. Within a
couple of years the major studios will have cross-licencing deals in place to
cover any infringements they may make of each others patents.

The idiot that came up with the scheme will be left holding a couple of patents
while the only films able to be shown in America will be those made by the major
studios & if you though Hollywood blockbusters were derivative rubbish now
try waiting a few years if this happens.

It will be impossible for any independent filmmaker to break into the industry
without being sued from here to eternity (pun intended)

It will be the death of cinema as an artform in America. If America forces this
on other countries it'll be their doom too (pun intended)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hollywood and Disney?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 11:38 PM EST
Take a good look at recent films from hollywood and disney. Most of the
storylines are just remakes of old books and stories. There are infact not that
many storylines circulated today. It would be pretty hard to make a movie
without stepping on someones toes. I really hope this stays in the US so the
rest of the world can enjoy movies. China and Asia in general is making pretty
good ones as it is today.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: belzecue on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 12:18 AM EST
From his legal analysis page (no link for you!):

"... the assertion that such a novel could be, in a very real sense, a
patentable computer program embodied in a tangible medium—thus, a patentable
article of manufacture."

So it all flows from allowing software patents?

No problem. Stop software patents and that stops this story-patent stupidity.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: ine on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 01:13 AM EST
Perhaps it is time to patent greed.

Then at least people will have to get a licence to be greedy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior Art
Authored by: davcefai on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 01:14 AM EST
Early in the morning, still having my 2nd coffee, not even bothering to fire up
the database:

The Sleeper awakes. HG Wells
Max Headroom.
A world out of time. Larry Niven
The door into summer. Robert Heinlein

Who is this idiot??

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Prior Art - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 02:01 AM EST
  • Prior Art - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 02:02 AM EST
"Intellectual Property" problem
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 01:32 AM EST
Thus we see the problem with the boundary removing term "intellectual

Intellectual property is all the same so a patent can be applied to something
that should only be copyrighted. A trademark can be applied to something that
should only be patented. Etc. Etc. The author/creator/inventor/whatever I can
pick an choose the "protection" that will bring me the most money!

Software patents blurred the line nicely. Now we have plot patents. Great.

Each form of creative work protection was designed and intented for specific
purposes. Each is supposed to have just enough strength for economic
encouragement for the type of work it protects without overpowering the public
good. Now with mix and match the incorrect protection of a work provides too
much power to the work creator. It's wrong.

How do we make the lawmakers understand when they get monetary benefit as
politicos or lawyers from the situation? How do we make the public understand
this is bad and force change when all they think is "It's intellectual
property, right? So what's the problem?" AAUUuuggghh!

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: ikocher on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 02:44 AM EST
I think this is just the begining... think about music, books, themes, etc.
Everything can have a "storyline" a plot.

The big guys will cross-license, the little ones will get sued out of existence.

This should be the easiest way to destroy all that "small" competition
out there, in every kind of bussiness. Movie studios might like it, but music
studios... those guys must be thinking about how to get rid of every small band
the wants to have independence.

US the land of the freedom, bla bla bla... great! Although, a kind of freedom
for a few, very few ones.

I hope that there is hope some where... China anyone?
I know Tiamen and all that, but compared to this... one wonders which one is

Welcome the new overlords, the Dark Ages II overlords... by the way... Should I
patent this plot?


[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: PolR on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 03:04 AM EST
There is currently little motivation for artistic inventors to innovate new plots, themes, and methods of expression.
Is this guy dumb or does he just pretend?

The quoted statement is hilarious. Just open any book on the history of art for a refutation. Artists have innovated for centuries because this is what art is about. The love of art is plenty of motivation.

The more this patent nonsense expands in scope, the more people will get the point about software patents.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 03:32 AM EST
Mr Knight, I have a story for you:

"Once upon a time (ooh, setting my story in a non-determined time in the
past. Gotta patent that.), there was an insignificant writer called Mr, Smith (must also patent vile, comtemptable main characters too). One
day, Mr Smith patented (must definitely patent writing a story about patenting
something) a storyline as he needed to satify his greed and writing a good book
was way beyond his ability (patent for telling an honest truth in a story). Mr
Smith then sued everyone who was writing a novel as it infringed his patent. He
was happy, as his books were the only ones being published. One day, he was
beaten senseless by all the people in the world who were fed up with stupid
patents (Patent for happy endings also being applied for). The end (patent for
explicitly closing a story? Why not!)".

Excuse me, I have to run to the patent office....

(Sorry, PJ, if this violates your posting rules! It just felt good to write.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: J.F. on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 03:44 AM EST

An artistic inventor who invents a fantastically original and compelling plot may not be a particularly skilled writer. He may, for example, have a very limited vocabulary and a poor understanding of grammar.

This part is incredibly insulting. Any idiot can string a series of random events together to create a plot. It takes real skill and talent to make something people are willing to read/watch/listen to. This is nothing more than an attempt to leech off the real producers of content. Once more, we see lawyers inventing work for themselves. This is why lawyers have such a bad reputation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mr Knight is an amateur
Authored by: muswell100 on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 03:45 AM EST
Sorry, but I think he's missed an opportunity here (and I've got prior art now,
so you can't touch this one, Andrew!). I'm going to apply for a patent for 'The
process of converting a Nitrogen/Oxygen mix into Carbon Dioxide with the added
byproduct of producing Energy and sustenance for unspecified Internal Proceses'.
Once I've got this in place, I can charge everyone in the world for breathing
(only 25 cents per breath, folks - I'm not greedy!) and retire in my nice big
house overlooking Bill Gates' place.

Incidentally, relating a story involves having to breathe to do so, so I'll be
expecting a percentage of the proceeds from your own silly patent, Mr Knight.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Now I really, really know the patent system is broken :(
Authored by: RPN on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 03:57 AM EST
I mean I knew the system was veering towards the absurd anyway but this is
just... words escape me. I happen to believe there is some place for patents in
the world alongside copyright but absolutely not in what copyright very
adequately covers eg software, books, songs etc. To me the difference is/should
be (trying to encapsulate it in one sentence) that patents are about invention
of physical/tangible products and copyright is about creative/inventive thought.
A storeyline emphatically belongs to the latter.

I despair sometimes...


[ Reply to This | # ]

Go ahead, let him have his patent...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 04:22 AM EST
...but only if all previously published literature can be considered prior art.
And of course the applicant has to be the one to show that his idea is original.
Just be sure that there are substantial penalties for failing due diligence in
prior art searches.

Let's see how many people apply for patents under such a requirement. :-)
The poster formerly known as m(_ _)m

[ Reply to This | # ]

A philosophical point.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 04:34 AM EST
From section 0012 of the legal analysis

“....Unless patents on artistic inventions are upheld and enforceable, the great
artistic minds of the day will be compelled to continue composing predictable
love songs for pop stars and slightly altered dialogues for carbon copied movie

Changing the first word to 'if' instead of 'Unless' turns the argument on it's
head and makes far more sense (to me).


[ Reply to This | # ]

I've got prior art for this one
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 04:37 AM EST
I got to thinking about how hard writing woudl be if more than a few of these
were issued. How long before writing a 50's style dective novel would be
illegal. Allong that train of thought I started trying to think of prior art
for this one. It took me about 45 seconds. Its a bit of a spoiler for the book
so I will include a bunch of space here so if you want to know scroll down.

The book "Altered Carbon" by Richard K. Morgan features a sci-fi
future where people can change bodies, make cpies of their conciouness etc. In
it someone who wants to forget several days of his life takes actions to see to
it that he his conciouness backed up a few days before is downloaded into his
body. Essentally erasing two days worth of time during which he was doing
interacting with the world. It is I think close enough that if this patent had
existed a few years ago a lawsuit coudl be filed. Then again in this day and
age it seems you can file a lawsuit anyway.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I have a story to patent....
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 04:39 AM EST
A patent farmer is dragged into the streets by a screaming mob of authors and
beaten to a bloody pulp. (TM and Pat. Pending)

- Lee Brimmicombe-Wood

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to argue against Story Line Patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 04:59 AM EST
When arguing against this, I think there are three lines of attack, where the first one is the most important:
  1. There's an underlying belief that a patent system makes it easier for artists and "content producers" to produce better "content" for consumers. If you're a talented film maker but a poor story writer, just license a good story from a professional story inventor and you'll make a great movie.

    I don't think it works this way at all in the real creative artistic world. We will get better movies if film makers can spend their time and energy on developing plot and characters that make sense and work well together, rather than shopping for characters and plots that can be licensed for a reasonable price, and at the same time try to avoid infringing hostile companies' patents.

    This is probably self-evident to most of us here, but to argue convincingly, we need evidence. (The studies cited at the GNU MOTIVATION file may be useful, but quite old. Is there anything more recent?)

    And for terminology, I don't quite like referring to an artist's audience as "consumers" either. The parallels to industrial production of consumer items has gone too far. I suspect many artists don't think of their audience as "consumers" either.

  2. What about smaller independent artists? Will you have to ask Hollywood for permission when setting up an new play at school? Will independent film makers be sued by Hollywood? In the software patents debate, the analogous argument is one of the most important ones.

  3. Is patents on this non-technical subject matter really compatible with international treaties, US constitution, and other relevant regulations? (I'm not a US citizen, so I'm not sure exactly if and how the USPTO has been granted the power to issue the monopoly rights known as patents).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Nick_UK on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 05:23 AM EST
Nobody has mentioned this yet.

I wonder what/how the real authors (the Stephen King's of
this world) will take this? I would think if this patent
is upheld, then it is time for them to throw the towel in.


[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: jmc on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 05:42 AM EST
Isn't the plot of "Total Recall" similar enough to the ideas in the
proposed patent for starters?

[ Reply to This | # ]

On the bright side,
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 06:14 AM EST
I had allways had a hard time explaining software patents.
Comparing it to a story-line didn't work "don't be silly you cant patent

Now i can compare it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

He's trying to avoid WRITING the novel!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 06:50 AM EST
Lots of writers can spit out a fast story concept, but they don't have the
stamina or skill to finish the work in a salable form.

He's trying to skip the writing part - which is what produces copyrightable
material - and lock down a pitch for a plot by patenting it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent *Application* Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 07:15 AM EST
Well, just remember that Hollywood's lobby in Congress is much stronger than
Open Source's, and perhaps much more self-interested... remember the "The
Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998" (a.k.a. Mickey Mouse Protection Act).
I have no doubt that, if necessary (it probably won't be), they will fight for
the freedom to make a dollar with lobbyists and donations and whatnot, even if
it means leaving what you all may consider "the high road". Are you
telling me that the Story Line patent application (it isn't a "published
patent" in any sense of the words) will make strange bedfellows out of
Hollywood and the Open Source community? I hope not, because I know that
Hollywood is much smarter than that.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 07:36 AM EST
this is so stupid I am not even going to comment on it.

oh wait

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior art
Authored by: rand on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:01 AM EST
He's trying to patent the old worn-out "[insert character's name] gets hit on the head and gets amnesia and hilarity ensues" story line?

That's been around at least since the Epic of Gilgamesh (which probably contains the basic elements of every plot that followed).

The wise man is not embarrassed or angered by lies, only disappointed. (IANAL and so forth and so on)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: DebianUser on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:04 AM EST
If this were to go through all progress will halt, mired in a flood of

Once stories are patented, the deconstructionists will point out that
mathematical proofs, scientific research methods, technical paper structure,
.... are all really the same. Hence they are all patentable, and first to file
can stop whole industries in their tracks.

Sco will rejoice, since methods and structure of computer programs, identifiable
as mathematical proof, are patentable.

[ Reply to This | # ]

In a Backhanded way this might be a good thing.
Authored by: waltish on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:25 AM EST
If he starts asserting agaings the "Movie Houses", It could well bring
the patent farce to a head.

Considering how much pull the said "Movie Houses" and
"Entertainment Movers and Shakers" seem to have with the current
administration, preasure may well be brought to bear on the absurdity of the
current system.


" You can fool some of the people all of the Time
And all of the people some of the time
But you cant fool All of the people All of the Time."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Please, can I too?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:31 AM EST
Newly Invented Interpersonal Relationsship Techinques

The prior art is neglible. A study of patents issued reveals that no patents
cover this area.

1) The technique of presenting X with an Y when Z in order to S;
where X is any one or more of:
Spouse, live-in, parent, sibling, co-worker;
and Y is any object (of intrinsic value or not) or act which is presentable;
and Z is any occasion initiating, prolonging or continuing co-existance in a
location, virtual or real;
and S is an objective desirable to the user.

2) ... on to gogolplex

[ Reply to This | # ]

Well, I'll mostly refrain
Authored by: inode_buddha on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:35 AM EST
Well, I'll mostly refrain from comment on this. Mainly because it would be unprintable even in conventional media.

I will say this, however: I was already planning to TM (trademark) my own birth-name and family names. Now, perhaps, I can also patent the story-lines in my journal(s) and diaries, and encourage the rest of my family to do likewise.

I can tell them to tell all their friends also, and in many cases I'll even pay the filing fees myself. I would encourage everyone else to do likewise.

Way I see it, it's one thing to have your cake and eat it -- but its another thing to have your IP Utopia and eat that also. Eventually the so-called "IP" will dry up and all of a sudden they won't want to have their cake and eat it so much. Gee, go figure.

When I get ticked off like that, it is very much like The Count of Monte Cristo [] and not even my own family is dumb enough to do things like that. Mainly because it's gonna last until they die of old age, and I'll make sure of that. Those who know me already know this.

*Now* how bad does anyone want to "do business"?

Copyright info in bio

"When we speak of free software,
we are referring to freedom, not price"
-- Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

Greg Aharonian!
Authored by: Simon G Best on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:49 AM EST

I am not surprised to see Greg Aharonian making an appearance in the Links section of the Knight and Associates website. And guess what? His Patenting Art and Entertainment site is top of the list!

Oh, and what a splendidly appropriate month it is. I know what I'm going to be doing for the next few weeks.


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

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Good News
Authored by: perpetual_newbie on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:52 AM EST
The only upshot of this is that we have now moved from dumb to ludicrous to
absolutely unbelievable - and now the money is shifting from those who favor the
patents to those who oppose them.

Perhaps (I hope I'm not being to naive here) some patent reform will actually
start moving forward.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sounds like something I wrote 30 years ago
Authored by: Prototrm on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:56 AM EST
It was called the Lanski Source, and was a sci-fi story about a scientist who
deliberately booby-traps his memory so that any clones the government made of
him would remember nothing past their 16th birthday. A clone is woken
generations later to fix life-threatening sabotage left behind by the original,
but the clone doesn't even remember graduating from high school, never mind have
the knowledge needed to save the planet.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: AMc on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:57 AM EST
The inevitable result of software patents starts to emerge. Now every medium
that formly relied on copyright protection will begin angling for patent
protection. If the storyline patent goes through, look for patents on musical
note sequences, poetic intonation, brush technique, and more.

[ Reply to This | # ]

So, what happens why my kids take creative writing in school?
Authored by: cab15625 on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:57 AM EST
So, in a few years, when I have kids and they start going to school what is
going to happen in english class? Will I have to worry about a lawsuit because
junior infringed this or some similar patent for his assignment? Will the
school end up spending more on patent liability insurance than it does on
textbooks? I don't see this going anywhere good. Can a school-board sue the
USPTO for negligence in issuing this patent?

Slackin' since 4.0

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior Art search starting-points
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:02 AM EST
"Sassinak" (and the other books in that series), by Anne McCaffrey has
this as a central theme, if memory serves (though it's been years since I read
them, and I'm not sure if I still have my copies). Any sci-fi story(ies)
involving "realistic" interstellar travel, generation/hibernation
ships (Larry Niven's Known Universe in it's pre-hyperspace period, and maybe
Robert Heinlein jump immediately to mind, though I'm hard-pressed to remember
specific story-names).

inimicus - from work

[ Reply to This | # ]

I just had a thought...
Authored by: Nick_UK on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:10 AM EST
What is needed is a top notch short story writer to
quickly knock up a short story using the same (old) ideas
as what is trying to be patented.

Then, if it is accepted as a patent, it would be
practically worthless.


[ Reply to This | # ]

This is (just) a SCAM
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:12 AM EST
I do not believe that these people sincerely belive that it will be possible to patent storylines. The business they've set up at shows that they want to create the impression that patenting storylines might be possible, so that people will pay them to use their services to patent storylines.

The scam will last as long as they can maintain that lie. Note the disclaimer on the bottom of the page of where they pretty much admit that they are out to make money from suckers who believe plot patents are possible, but beware that might not be the case.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What do we do when there are no more plots to invent?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:20 AM EST
Sorry, you're too late to patent that story line - Larry Niven's short story
"Melancholy Elephant" is exactly about running out of "new"
creative works (although his was about music rather than words).

John Macdonald

[ Reply to This | # ]

Justice Pending (a little story line of my own)
Authored by: Prototrm on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:20 AM EST
Smith stood trembling, a large, beefy man to either side of him, each holding an
arm in a crushing grip.

"You won't get away with this," he said, laimly. He never thought it
would go this far, and now he couldn't think clearly. All his clever words were
failing him, and he had no idea what to do.

The Man in Black grinned, like a shark closing on on his dinner. Slowly, he
reached into his jacket, and removed a folded sheet of paper.

"Sorry to inform you," he said softly, his voice oily polite,"but
I have here an injunction. Your actions, as well as your only viable defence,
duplicate Patented Story 4276. You are in violation of a State Patent, and will
be held incommunicado until such time as a Judge decides the punnishment."

"But I didn't do anything wrong!" Smith protested.

"You upset the wrong people, Mr. Smith. I believe a lesson is needed to
prevent others like yourself from expressing their opinions in public. That's
why we have Story Patents, after all."

"But, no, I..."

"Besides, you have just violated the patent on Story 7642. I suggest you
quit while you're ahead."

"I'm ahead?"

"Quite. Trust me, you don't want to know about Story 1407."

They carried Smith to the Van without a struggle, and without further comment.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Emperor's Clothes
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:20 AM EST
Is this like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, where through the device of
claiming, "Only a fool cannot see this fine new garment" was
sufficient to pursuade people to "agree" by "seeing"
something that wasn't there?

How patents have slipped effortlessly past this ludicrous point!

In order for the USPTO to grant this application, they would have to ignore more
than 100 years of prior art [literally art in the case of this patent]. In so
doing - in the act of granting a patent on a process that has already been
performed elsewhere, the USPTO perform two absurd actions.

Firstly, they open up the possibility for anyone to patent anything, whether
that person invented or discovered the patent or not. For example, I could
patent the method and concept of solving a crime, by interviewing witnesses,
performing crime scene analysis, investigating suspects and application of
deductive reasoning. I could then require every law enforcement agency in the
country to pay me in order to be able to solve crime.

[Which gives me a daft idea. If "we, the people" were to patent
methods and concepts in use by the US government today, such that the government
had to license the patent in order to perform whatever action we consider, then
the US government would be forced to become licencees. It would be interesting
to see how long this situation persisted when it cost the Federal Government
billions of dollars each year, just to keep functioning].

So we're all agreed that this is just nonsense.

Now let's think about it from the other side [of a national boundary]. What
happens whe the US starts to file vast numbers of restrictive patents designed
to be protectionist measures to support US business interests at the expense of
the rest of the world. Sure, they might get one or two countries to go along in
the first weeks or months. But for how long? It would become the biggest trade
war the planet has ever seen. Other nation states would begin to proactively
block US influence for fear of patent infringement. It would cripple US exports
overnight. It would spark retaliation and counterstrikes.

It would result in the complete alienation of the United States from the world

Trouble is, I suspect there are enough people in the world today who think that
would be a good idea. C'mon people, governments are put in place, by the people,
for the people. Government exists to serve the people. Government has no other

In allowing this stupidity to even reach the point of discussion, government is
failing the people terribly, on a point of critical importance.

No government, however powerful, no dictator, no matter how absolute, can stand
against the will of an entire people for ever. IIRC, recent history just taught
us that.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Emperor's Clothes - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 01:31 PM EST
    • Emperor's Clothes - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 04:58 PM EST
  • Emperor's Clothes - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 01:32 PM EST
I have one thing to say, Shakespeare...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:27 AM EST
Shakespeare’s works have been copied, repeated and redone so many times in
books, TV, movies and other media. There are untold renditions of his work.
Would you think he would patent his plot for fun and profit? Who knows?

Plot lines are only a part of a story. Many if not most are direct life
experiences. What's next; patent real life experiences? Does he think that
something like this *never* occurred in real life sometime in the past? Does he
plan to sue someone in this situation in the future? Why would he have exclusive
access to this "plot line" when it is likely in the past someone
experienced this exact situation?

Shakespeare's stories have been retold with many twists, in many different
languages around the world. It would be a shame that great stories cannot be
retold with the imagination and story telling of clever wordsmiths using the
various media available. It is one thing to say this and that happened (like the
reading of the patent application, boring). It is quite another telling the
story in a way that invokes feelings and imagination. That is what makes a story

I say grant the application as long as he can prove the plot never actually
existed in the history of humans; either through actual life or in the
imagination of someone.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is a good example of what's wrong with patents
Authored by: Jude on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:54 AM EST
This clown is trying to patent a story plot that can be adequately expressed in
about three sentences. It is obvious that not much inspiration, and essentially
no work, has been expended in the creation of this "invention", but
the filer obviously expects to be paid handsomely if anyone ever does the real
work of making a complete story that uses some variation of the plot.

This patent application is the work of a non-contributing parasite.

I think the United States goes beyond being tolerant of parasites: It actually
invites and encourages them. What's worse, it tries to extend its parasitism to
other countries by constantly pushing for strong global intellectual property
law. I hope the world wakes up and realizes what's going on before it's too

[ Reply to This | # ]

MIT Rocket Scientist
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 09:56 AM EST
"Knight, a rocket engine inventor, registered patent agent, and graduate of MIT ..."
Hmm. Could he be one of SCO's MIT Rocket Scientists looking for a new revenue source?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Rocket Science - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 11:42 AM EST
Hooray, I say! Grant it right away!
Authored by: Parity on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 10:18 AM EST
I love this patent, it makes me -so- happy to see this beautiful, beautiful
patent. I wanted to file a patent like this, but of course, I have a day job.
Why, you ask? Because, if granted - and it -should- be, based on what else is
currently granted - if granted, it highlights the absurdity of what USPTO policy
calls patentable, and will -finally- get some legislative action to draw a

OTOH, the USPTO executives may figure that out, and deny it for just that
reason, but if they do, I think it's a strategic decision to keep congress away.
Based on their own policies as they've explained them, it's a perfectly valid
patent, so denial on any basis other than prior art will be the very worst sort
of hypocritical politicking; which, of course, I wouldn't put past the USPTO,
but I'm hoping they believe their own sermons and won't see the absurdity.



[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: belzecue on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 10:46 AM EST
The USPTO annual report for 2004 states:

The USPTO also pledged to make patent processing fully electronic by 2004, to protect the United States’ intellectual property system internationally, and to reaffirm the agency’s credibility with Congress and the executive branch. I am pleased to report that we have delivered on all of those commitments.

They had a target of handling 70% of patent applications electronically and they achieved 88%.

So the solution is simple: study the USPTO's electronic lodgement system, identify what patents they are trespassing, and sue the pants off them. Poetic justice.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 11:39 AM EST
Richard Stallman warned of this in Patent absurdity

He gave an example of patents that would have prevented Victor Hugo from writing "Les Miserables." Now life has imitated parody.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sounds like they just patented Snow White and Sleeping Beauty .
Authored by: wvhillbilly on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 11:52 AM EST

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

[ Reply to This | # ]

Richard Stallman got there first (again)
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 11:58 AM EST
Richard Stallman wrote a piece which appeared in the Guardian a couple of months ago, imagining what would have happen if the plot lines of a french novel, Hugo's "Les miserables" (IIRC) had been patented. The USPTO is going to help us find out.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Clearly done in the wrong order
Authored by: Trollsfire on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 12:21 PM EST

Since the idea of patenting a story line has often been presented as an analogy which shows why software patents are absurd, I got to thinking about other analogies that have been made. The one that struck me was patenting legal theories, which made me realize that the truly diabolical approach to this was missed.

What could have been done was come up with the legal theory which says why story lines should be patented (and I am not convinced that this will be rejected since what can be pantented keeps expanding), patent that legal theory, then patent story lines. Then not only does that person control that story line, but also controls the ability to get a patent on story lines and thus effectively all story lines.

As I type this, I realize that I might even be able to do one better (worse?). Somehow patent the legal theory of patenting legal theories. Then you sew up all the possible legal theories, including theories that allow for new types of patents.

But of course, that would be absurd.

If anyone does this, do not credit me with the idea. I do not want to be associated with anything that destructive.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Finding prior art should be no "Big" deal...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 12:23 PM EST

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tell Andrew Knight what you think:
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 01:05 PM EST
He's more than willing to answer comments, so give him a piece of your mind.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 01:24 PM EST
OMG... like something straight out of Atlas Shrugged.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I've got all you suckers beat for prior art
Authored by: syskill on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 02:13 PM EST

The Babylonian Talmud, published c. 550 C.E.:

Once he [R. Johanan] was travelling on the road, and he noticed a man planting a carob-tree. He asked him how many years it would take before the tree would bear fruit, and the man answered: "Seventy years." Honi then asked: "Art thou, then, sure that thou wilt live seventy years?" And the man replied: "I found carob-trees in existence when I came into the world, consequently my ancestors must have planted them. Why should I not also plant them for my children?" About that time Honi became hungry, and sat down to eat near the newly planted tree. After the meal he fell asleep, and a bay formed about him so that he could not be noticed, and thus he slept for seventy years. When he awoke, he observed a man gathering the fruit from the carob-tree; and he asked the man: "Didst thou plant this tree?" The man replied: "Nay; I am the grandson of the man that planted it." Honi then realized that he must have slept for seventy years, and when he looked around for his ass, he noticed that there were many smaller asses. He then went to his home, and inquired whether the son of Honi Hama'gel was still alive. He was told that the son was no longer living, but that a son of the son was alive. He then said: "I am Honi Hama'gel"; but they would not believe him.

(online at http://www.sacred-t

[ Reply to This | # ]

1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 02:27 PM EST
HOPE this goes through, because the backlash will be SO extreme that it may
finally force the collapse and fix of our extremely broken patent system.

This could be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back.

So do not be so quick to slam this... it could be the BEST thing that can

[ Reply to This | # ]

Quote from PJ's article.........
Authored by: morven24 on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 03:15 PM EST
"The fictitious story, which Knight dubs “The Zombie Stare,” tells of an ambitious high school senior, consumed by anticipation of college admission, who prays one night to remain unconscious until receiving his MIT admissions letter. He consciously awakes 30 years later when he finally receives the letter, lost in the mail for so many years, and discovers that, to all external observers, he has lived an apparently normal life. He desperately seeks to regain 30 years’ worth of memories lost as an unconscious philosophical zombie."

Was the name of the student...........Rip Van Winkle? The "patent" does seem to have similarities to the old old story.

Consider "Jason and the Argonauts" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom".Basically the same story line. I'll bet there is a folk tale which has the same plot as his patent,would that be prior art. But then what do I know.......Notalot

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Constitutionality question
Authored by: dmitrysj on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 03:16 PM EST
This is a very interesting development. Richard Stallman has been talking about freedom of software being freedom of speech from day one. However, not many people have agreed to look at software this way. If they have, perhaps software patents would be less acceptable in the eyes of many.

However, now we have a much more spectacular infringement of the right to free speech - ability to restrict someone else's artistic expression via a patent.

Here's the text of the first amendment with relevant parts in bold:

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Suppose someone patents a storyline where a president of the United States, motivated by greed of those who brought him to power, convinces the country to go to war with another nation.

Now suppose that there are others who happen to think that this is exactly what is going on in the real life and wish to create a book or a movie with such plot in order to expose this corruption they perceive and thus to engage in political criticism.

From the point of view of the first amendment, the government cannot make a law that would abridge this form of criticism. Yet, a patent issued by the US PTO under authority granted to it by laws of the US Congress, is able to abridge or restrict it. From this example, it seems that somewhere the Constitution is being violated, but by whom and how?

When the Patent Office issues the above patent, it is undoubtedly placing a restriction on expression of these particular ideas on all others except the patent holder.

Is the above not a violation of the first amendment?

Does this not mean that:
- US PTO is violating the Constitution by taking the power not given to it by Congress?
- US PTO is violating the Constitution by incorrectly interpreting the laws giving it its power?
- US Congress is violating the Constitution by giving this power to US PTO?

After thinking about this, it seems that the core problem is that an implementation of a storyline patent is speech itself. Thus it would seem that no law of US Congress could be so interpreted as to allow storyline patents without also violating the first amendment. And since the power of all branches of US Government derives from the laws of the US Congress, no branch of the government can do so either.

As far as the software patents are concerned, the question is less clear. It all depends on whether software is speech or not. But it seems that in the debate over the storyline patents, some boundaries will finally have to be set on what can and cannot be patented. Question is, do we really have to wait for a first attempt to enforce a storyline patent before this debate can be had?

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One of the Basic Tenets of Literature
Authored by: Rodrin on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 03:52 PM EST
As has been touched upon in many posts already, there are no genuinely original
plots. This is one of the basic tenets of literary studies. Anyone who has taken
any kind of college course in literature will recognize this as one of the
things they were taught unless it was already assumed to be known by the
students. For that matter, even many high school literature curriculums teach
this concept. This in itself makes plot line patents ridiculous, and it is the
general recognition of the ridiculousness of them that has kept them from being
considered in the past.

It is truly frightening that legal and political posturing and double talk has
gotten to the point where this doesn't just get dismissed by anyone who bothers
to comment as "silly." People are so afraid of being accused of not
giving something a fair shake or not listening that they are chained up and made
to listen to the ridiculous for hours and are asked to suppose for a moment that
it is not ridiculous and make judgements based on this supposition. This is
reminiscent of the famous lawsuits where a burglar was injured during the
commission of a crime and sued the homeowner. It is obvious that the commission
of a crime should be at the perpetrator's own risk, but somehow these lawsuits
were made to receive a hearing and apparently sometimes even won by the

And this is all ignoring the fact that it is clear that the original intent of
copyrights, patents, and trademarks was that they would cover different things
and be mutually exclusive.

The fact that this is even taken half-seriously for a second is a sure sign that
so-called "intellectual property" is way out of control at the present

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Highly unlikely that it will stand
Authored by: Billosaur on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 04:04 PM EST
This is of course the equivalent of patenting the molecular structure of water;
you cannot patent something that is plainly a function of the public domain and
more importanly, the processes that operate therein. It doesn't stop people from
trying. Just because a patent has been filed does not mean it has force of law.
It will be reviewed and ultimately, unless the particular inspector reviewing is
severely addled, defeated as being impractical. I wouldn't get too worked up. If
by some chance it did receive approval, the legal system of the US would deal it
a harsh blow. And if it were to make it past the Supreme Court, then it would be
time for the people to call a constitutional convention and alter the government
to prevent such idiocy from happening in the future. Of course if that doesn't
work, I vote for insurrection.

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1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: raindog on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 04:36 PM EST
I bet the Ramones never imagined they could be cited as prior art in a patent

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They got one word wrong in the patent justification.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 05:09 PM EST
In the justification they wrote:
Unless If patents on artistic inventions are upheld and enforceable, the great artistic minds of the day will be compelled to continue composing predictable love songs for pop stars and slightly altered dialogues for carbon copied movie plots.
'Nuff said

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Cookery next
Authored by: Amotz Anner on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 05:26 PM EST
Well, the next logical step is patenting recipes. And I really do not see how
the USPTO can refuse such applications now.
Now, the beautiful thing about patents is that the USERS are liable as well. So,
any 6-year old child sitting down for dinner will have to first make sure that
his Mom's patent search prior to cooking dinner was thorogh enough, or face all
sorts of liabilities as well as being forced to vomit up the infringing dinner.

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1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 05:57 PM EST
This has nothing to do with software patentss. This is the reasonable
extrapolation of "business model" patents.

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This is GOOD - Just need to be creative
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 06:55 PM EST
1st - PJ you are going to have to purge all these comments as no doubt they
violate this man's rights - see it is not just movies , books, and songs covered
- but any from of communication that you can dream up that uses this idea - this
list has just used it and derivitives of it hundreds of times - tisk , tisk

2nd - seems everyone is missing a great opprotunity here. The PO will need a
monster data base with a specilized search engine in order to do the prior art
seraches. Sounds like both a software patient and a business method. Who ever
holds the rights to this will get to set the terms of use for researching each
of these - unless they would like to do it by hand.

3rd - Everyone seems to miss the real opprotunites here. So how about a patient
on a story about how "Linux Zelots - make the world unsafe for small
children" and many other story lines you can think up. Then the next time
that Mr. Lyons practices his craft of creative writting he will be violating
your patient unless he can prove in a court of law that he was not telling a
story. Along the same lines you should be able to cover many of the possbile SCO
stories. Once they have been slaped down in court as having made up the whole
thing , you can sue them for volatiing your patient on " Small company
tries to bluff large company into a buy out and instead goes bankrupt."

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What the heck?
Authored by: penfold on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 07:14 PM EST
Well, this is just silly.

First, How many movies have you seen credited as "based on the
novel/life/etc of"? The entertainment industry has been around for a VERY
long time and there is plenty of copyright protection for "inventing"
a plot.

One problem is, as someone mentioned earlier in this article, you actually have
to WRITE the plot, which this seems like an attempt to side-step the real
creative work and just get checks rolling in. But then again, you have to write
the stupid plot down in the application, AND get lawyers involved to "get
paid" for your ideas. (Sounds to me like the last hope for a horrible

One example I can offer to illustrate how much protection already exists is the
movie called "The Terminal". It is my understanding that there
actually is a man living in a French Airport due to no fault of his own. As was
said in the movie, "He fell through a crack in the system."

After living there for about 15 years, Speilburg heard of his situation, and
flew out to meet him, and get the rights to his story to make a movie out of.
Very little of his story, other than living in an airport, actually made it into
the script.

Another VERY big issue is just what are the limits of patenting a storyline? You
have your basic catagories, (Drama, action, comdey, scifi, and so forth) as well
as your hybrids (Action comedies, scifi drama, etc.). Then there are the genres,
(e.g. Resident Evil, Night of the Living Dead, attack of the Zombie could all be
classified as "Zombie Flicks")

Obviously, those are just too broad to be patentable (not that would stop some
people from trying), but it does cause one to wonder how the lines could be
drawn? Personally, I think the legal system has more important things do rather
than deal with than exploring that quagmire which would only help individuals
and their lawyers and do nothing for the public good.

Another odd sticking point would be the term of protection. If I understand
correctly, patents are good for 17 years, and copyright protects for over a
hundred? That is kind of lopsided, and of course would be something that would
have to be worked out in contracts, which basically serves to add more legal
overhead to making a film, play, or book and doesn't really provide any public

Finally, just where would the boundries end? If someone writes a review of the
movie, are they infringing on the patent? Afterall, they are essentally talking
about the patented idea.

Not to mention any third pary references to "pop culture". How many
movies, TV shows and so on have you heard reference Sixth Sense? (off the top of
my head, I can think of an episode of Scrubs, "50 First Dates", and a
couple of parady movies.

Speaking of Paradies, a patent on storylines could concievably kill them. How
many movies has Leslie Neilson been in that are essentually plot elements of ten
different movies?

And let's get down to the whole point of patents, which is to improve the public
good by stimilating invention. Solving problems is in the public good,
preventing someone from making a movie or writing a book with your
"idea" is not.

All in all, patenting plots to stories is beyond ridiculous. It's a cynical
search to "get your money for nothing".

The worth of man is determined by the battle between good and evil in the mans
subconcious.The Evil within is so strong that the way to win is to deny it

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1st Story Line Patent Sickness
Authored by: rp$eeley on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 07:15 PM EST
Excuse me while I go barf.

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Class Action Suit
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 07:35 PM EST
What if we got together and sued this guy for frivilous use of U. S. taxpayer
dollars? As a taxpayer I am insulted that the USPO has to pay salaried employees

to process this stuff!

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1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 04 2005 @ 11:47 PM EST
has anyone ever considered bringing a lawsuit against the USPTO for extortion
under the RICO act? after all, they release a piece of paper that could
potentially cost a given person many thousands if not millions of dollars to
defend against and force you to pay yet more money to have them actually examine
it. that sounds an aweful lot like extortion to me. not to mention the fact that
they are not even issueing patents within the given law (isn't it unlawful to do
what the law does not allow one to do to begin with?)

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Phillip K. Dick violates this patent
Authored by: Wesley_Parish on Saturday, November 05 2005 @ 03:52 AM EST

And Rip van Winkle skirts it, as do the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, and King Barbarossa, and King Arthur's rest in Avallon, etc ...

A good part of the film called "Total Recall" happens to derive from a Phillip K. Dick short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", c. 1966, a good story much butchered by the Hollywood Horrors, is covered by

A process of relaying a story having a timeline and a unique plot involving characters comprises: indicating a character's desire at a first time in the timeline for at least one of the following: a) to remain asleep or unconscious until a particular event occurs; and b) to forget or be substantially unable to recall substantially all events during the time period from the first time until a particular event occurs; indicating the character's substantial inability at a time after the occurrence of the particular event to recall substantially all events during the time period from the first time to the occurrence of the particular event; and indicating that during the time period the character was an active participant in a plurality of events.

To quote:

When you can't trust your memory, how do you know what is real? The year is 2084, and a happily married man (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is confronted with the stunning realization that his life is a manufactured fantasy world, complete with a gorgeous but deadly wife (Sharon Stone) who suddenly wants to kill him. In an effort to discover his true identity, he flees into the mind-bending nightmarish reality of a Martian mining colony filled with rebellious mutants, an alluring and mysterious woman (Rachel Ticotin) - and ruled over by a terrorizing dictator (Ronny Cox), who can alter reality to suit his whims.

Not to forget, Clive Barker's outright brilliant fantasy/horror novel "Imajica", c. 1999, to quote:

'Then I'm not a true Maestro,' he returned. 'I don't have the courage for that. Make me forget, mystif. Divide me from what I've done and what I am forever. Make a feit that'll be a river between me and this moment, so that I'm never tempted to cross it.'


'It's what I did for the woman I made for Godolphin. Every ten years she'll start to undo her life, and disappear. Then she'll invent another one, and live it never knowing what she left behind.'pg 745

And Alan Garner's "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen", c.1960,
The Legend of Alderley
Beyond the rock stood a pair of iron gates. These the wizard opened, and took the farmer and his horse down a narrow tunnel deep into the hill. A light, subdued but beautiful, marked their way. The passage ended, and they stepped into a cave, and there a wonderous sight met the farmer's eyes--a hundred and forty knights in silver armour, and by the side of all but one a milk-white mare.

'Here they lie in enchanted sleep,' said the wizard, 'until a day will come - and come it will - when England shall be in direst peril, and England's mothers weep. Then out from the hill these must ride and, in a battle thrice lost, thrice won, upon the plain, drive the enemy into the sea.'pp10-11

Angharad Goldenhand
'Ay, but you must know this: Angharad Goldenhand is wife to one who sleeps in Fundindelve; a great captain. A week they had been married when the king summoned his knights to go under the earth. Seven days of happiness to last her down the years. Do you now see how generous she has been? We are rescued, fed, and clothed, and are going on our way the better equipped for our task, yet if we succeed, Angharad Goldenhand may not greet her lord for many a hundred years to come.'pg 190

And there's Ursula K. Le Guin, and "City of Illusions", c. 1967:

Falk felt a little cold creep over him, and he said carefully, "Do you mean that, in order to remember what I was, I must ... forget what I am?", pg 108

And lest I forget, there's Gene Wolfe's "Soldier of the Mist", 1986, and "Soldier of Arete", 1989, where the forgetfulness is organic, related to a traumatic brain injury Latro suffers from a lead slingshot in battle - if my own memory isn't lacking. ;)

In short, this Storyline Patent is one of the oldest in the book. And in the hands of certain who shall not be named, it is also the corniest. Not all manage the sheer cowardice and self-centerdness of Gentle, or the utter self-sacrifice of Angharad Goldenhand.

finagement: The Vampire's veins and Pacific torturers stretching back through his own season. Well, cutting like a child on one of these states of view, I duck

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Patents as Asymmetric Warfare Against Big Players
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 05 2005 @ 07:21 AM EST
When the big industry players will have realized that they are the most likely
ones to be on the receiving end of patent lawsuits because they have the highest
revenues and visibility, maybe things will change...

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figuring out how to destroy the planet and all human life on it
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 05 2005 @ 07:28 AM EST
To me, it's like ...

That may be overstating it a tad. See Sam's Archive for a more detailed analysis. From the preamble:

"Destroying the Earth is harder than you may have been led to believe.

You've seen the action movies where the bad guy threatens to destroy the Earth. You've heard people on the news claiming that the next nuclear war or cutting down rainforests or persisting in releasing hideous quantities of pollution into the atmosphere threatens to end the world.


The Earth was built to last. It is a 4,550,000,000-year-old, 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000-tonne ball of iron. It has taken more devastating asteroid hits in its lifetime than you've had hot dinners, and lo, it still orbits merrily. So my first piece of advice to you, dear would-be Earth-destroyer, is: do NOT think this will be easy.

This is not a guide for wusses whose aim is merely to wipe out humanity. I (Sam Hughes) can in no way guarantee the complete extinction of the human race via any of these methods, real or imaginary. Humanity is wily and resourceful, and many of the methods outlined below will take many years to even become available, let alone implement, by which time mankind may well have spread to other planets; indeed, other star systems. If total human genocide is your ultimate goal, you are reading the wrong document. There are far more efficient ways of doing this, many which are available and feasible RIGHT NOW. Nor is this a guide for those wanting to annihilate everything from single-celled life upwards, render Earth uninhabitable or simply conquer it. These are trivial goals in comparison.

This is a guide for those who do not want the Earth to be there anymore."

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Government laws etc ..
Authored by: oldgreybeard on Saturday, November 05 2005 @ 08:46 AM EST
One might might wish to analyse that story line patent from a 1st admendment

Patent law just might fall or need a rework on that basis alone.

IANAL and all other standard disclaimers apply.

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1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 05 2005 @ 09:07 AM EST
I am going to patent my automobile license plate number. It is much more useful
than Mr. Knight's story plot, and considerably more unique.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Art in general
Authored by: phrostie on Saturday, November 05 2005 @ 09:04 PM EST
i can see this being expanded to art as well.

patent for a woman sitting on a rock, in oils.
patent for a man looking out over the ocean, pencils.
patent for a child playing with a pet, in watercolors.
patent for a christmas tree, in crayons.

you can fool some of the people all of the time.
you can fool all of the people some of the time.
it's setting them straight that is %&#$@

[ Reply to This | # ]

Created Wikipedia article, requesting review.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 06:08 AM EST
Well, I've added I've him and his to the free encyclopedia. It's still a very short entry, but it's something. Since I'm not familiar with the US patent system, I'd like to ask those who are to look the article over for any errors and omissions. Additionally, I'm working on adding a list of prior works that would fit the patent application, using the ones mentioned here, and verifying that they do would be important too.

You're welcome to add to this, but please remain neutral. A non-point-of-view policy is the cornerstone of Wikipedia and deviating from it, especially in a flame, is counterproductive.

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Self defeated argument (and prior actual art)
Authored by: BitOBear on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 07:35 AM EST
By his argument, his own patented story line is unpatentable. If "love
song" is a broad enough "obvious" category to not be endangered
by plot patents, then the threshold for obvious is sufficiently high.

His story is "be careful what you wish for" or more specifically
"be careful what you _pray_ for". The latter is _at_ _least_ biblical
and the former is universal.

True, he has come up with a particular wish and a category of outcomes. But
then again, "the law of unexpected consequences" dictates a particular
relationship between intent and consequence.

For instance "I wish to forget", where forgetting has unintended
consequences, is pretty primal. Let's see... something as recent as
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". The grantor is technology,
and the plot kind of ends with immediate regret.

After that it is "the mistaken identity farce". The character is
being "mistaken" for the life he has lived, but by forgetting that
life over the given interval, he is a different person. q.v. people are
mistaking him for his older self, but he has been reset to his younger self.

Most specifically his is "the amnesia story" where a person loses a
block of time. This may have actually happened to a woman who was on the
talk-show circuit for a while. After a kitchen accident she had no memory from
a point in her teens to the current day. Her story encompasses re-learning her
past and pretending to know things that were no longer in her mind. See the
1997 TV Movie "Married to a stranger".

He has taken that woman's real-life story and changed "blow to the
head" to "ill-conceived prayer with attached terminal

If this guy thinks that his idea is super-new and "inventive" then he
doesn't have much of a literary education.

In short he is what is known in the literary circles as "a talentless hack
who couldn't come up with a unique story idea, let alone a competent expression
of that idea", so he is turning to the law in order to extort competent

The fact that Richard Stallman already thought of the "patented plot"
kind of proves that for all that his legal writing may be inspired, it too is
stolen from a better author.

(If you take my inference.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • P.S. "Paycheck" - Authored by: BitOBear on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 07:41 AM EST
  • US only - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 04:19 PM EST
1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 08:28 AM EST
Since this is a USPTO patent for now, it is primarily a US problem. They are
killing Hollywood and US writers to begin with.

Thankfully (and sorry to say), the world isn't just the USA. Time to move on.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • US only - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 04:23 PM EST
The *real* reason for this patent
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 06:22 PM EST
From the "background":
[0007] It is clear that copyrights protect those who are good performers: those who sing well, dance well, write well, act well, and so forth. Copyrights are based on a system of recognition in which society rewards performers because they express an old concept in an original (and hopefully desirable) way, not because they express a new concept. Of course, many artists do invent original concepts, but it is their expression of those concepts, not their creation or invention of those concepts, that copyright protection rewards.
In other words, he can't write well.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 06 2005 @ 09:38 PM EST
See what greed does to people? Makes them want unthinkable, immoral and
completely wrong things. Whichever person (used loosely here) allowed patents on
pure thoughts (e.g. software, business methods, mathematical algorithms etc.)
did humanity the biggest disfavour - something that will be remembered as
"dark ages" at some point in the future.

I sincerely hope Mr. Knight does not succeed in his greed-driven attack of this
blatant anti-social behaviour.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Read "Melancholy Elephants"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 07 2005 @ 04:46 PM EST Spider Robinson. He says it all.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is truly disheartening
Authored by: tanstaafl on Tuesday, November 08 2005 @ 04:11 PM EST
If this patent is issued, I foresee one of two results. Either innovation in
most fields will pretty much cease, or we will become a nation of scofflaws who
ignore idiot laws. Either scenario results in a bleak outcome; the former,
because of the stifling of creativity, and the latter because a nation in which
laws are widely ignored will soon fall prey to those who have no qualms about
ignoring all laws.

I pray this foolishness ends soon.

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1st Story Line Patent Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 04:31 PM EST
Is not the thought process of the human mind "a natural phenomemon"?
In which case anything thought of is in itself not patentable. Which means the
embodiment of the thought has to be the patentable issue. Duh, that is what an
"invention" is. The embodiment of thought. So the thinking of a
unique storyline is itself probably not patentable, but the ebodiment of the
storyline may be. However, this now encrouches on the copyright issues of book,
plays, movies etc, which are the embodiments of thought expressed in a media. I
see alot more problems with this application, but enough for now.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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