|Authored by: PolR on Tuesday, March 19 2013 @ 10:41 PM EDT|
|We can write a claim to an article of manufacture comprising paper and ink|
structured in a certain manner. An article of manufacture is patentable subject
matter. Then we can argue that if the article of manufacture is patentable as an
article of manufacture, it cannot cease to be patentable because it is
configured in a certain fashion. This mimic you argument about a machine claim.
But this argument runs counter to the printed matter doctrine. It cannot be
correct. Configurations of the ink in a book are not patentable subject matter.
What makes the machine claim different? The machine produces the printed matter
because its function is to perform some printing process. If the process is not
patentable why allow an end-run around the doctrine by allowing the same method
in the form of the machine? They are either both patentable or both
unpatentable. Any other outcome is illogical.
By your interpretation a computer configured to read and display a document
containing certain words is patentable and the printed matter doctrine would not
apply. This is identical in effect to patenting the contents of electronic
documents. This outcome cannot be correct.
Here is another aspect of the issue. By your argument one may patent a machine
for displaying some certain type of information as long as it is new and
nonobvious. If one discover a new and nonobvious law of nature he can patent all
machines for stating that law of nature. It would not be possible for anyone to
print it or display it on a website without infringing on some patent claims.
The same could be true of any statement which is new and nonobvious. Do you
really think the courts will allow this outcome? This is undoing the separation
between copyrights and patents.
I think not even the most pro-patent judges like Rader or Newman will let this
happen. And if they are silly enough to prove me wrong the Supreme Court will
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