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But the claim is not to the printed matter! | 179 comments | Create New Account
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But the claim is not to the printed matter!
Authored by: macliam on Tuesday, March 19 2013 @ 04:56 AM EDT

The claim is not to any form of printed matter! The claim is to the printing press. And I have certainly gone through life believing that a printing press is some sort of machine. It is surely a machine in the same way that a programmed computer, with all the programs and data in memory and in storage units at any particular point in time, is a machine. A machine that operates in accordance with the laws of physics, as taught in particular in courses on electrical engineering. Some software developers, blog posters with too much time on their hands etc. might kick up a load of irritating nonsense about what is a program, what is data, and why programs are just data, with all this stuff about universal machines, with discussion of Turing machines, lambda-calculus and the like. But such smoke and mirrors cannot obscure the fact that the patent claim covers what is claimed, and it is clear that the thing being claimed in this case is a particular type of machine, namely a printing press. And no amount of sophistry can disguise the fact that Section 101 of the statute explicitly states that machines are patent-eligible subject matter.

We explained all this in Alappat. Those people harping on about Benson, Flook etc. really are slow learners!

Moreover, the claim scope does not include all printing presses. The claim limitations do restrict the scope of the claim in a meaningful fashion. The printing press does not infringe the claim when first delivered. Nor does it infringe the claim when configured to print War and Peace. But the moment that it is configured to print a text containing sufficiently many of the listed words, the configured printing press becomes an infringing device. This might happen, even if the printing press is configured to print a commentary on The Lord of the Rings that might be exempt from copyright infringement under fair use provisions. And the inventor of the claimed device (the configured printing press) is entitled to royalties and/or an injunction.



“Know thine enemy.”

In this instance, I suggest that the referent of the claim is the printing press, which is surely a real-world object, with more than enough durability and solidity to satisfy anyone's requirements.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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