A Patently Offensive Threat

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2003-03-05 Print this article Print

The US Patent Office doesn't seem to care about things like prior art, originality or innovation

I missed out on the big tech stock bubble, probably because Im not allowed to own tech stocks, which kept me from potential riches but also saved me when the bubble burst. But Im ready now to take advantage of the next big easy-money proposition. I am, of course, talking about broad, obvious patents that the U.S. Patent Office seems to hand out to anyone with a pulse (actually, I think a corpse could probably get a patent, too). Since the Patent Office doesnt seem to care about things like prior art or originality, never mind innovation, I figure Im all set to get a few patents, then squeeze companies that want to avoid court challenges—until the inevitable time when a court overturns the patent, which will pretty much have no negative repercussions for me, even though I stagnated a key market for a while.
Patent No. 1 is what I call a system for receiving data transmitted through a gaseous medium (hereafter referred to as air) which is delivered to optical devices (eyes) and then processed by a chemical/electrical computing device. This system can be used to deliver a variety of data, from images to text to spatial/relational data. So all you companies out there that are making money from people looking at things would be best off sending me a check.
I can see my mailbox filling with checks as we speak. But thats not my best patent idea. Heres my killer patent: A technique for filing obvious, well-known ideas, technologies and business processes, which are then accepted as legally protected "patents" by a turn-key automatic acceptance agency (hereafter referred to as the US Patent Office). Said "patents" are then used as a legal billy club to extort businesses, remove choice and stifle legitimate innovation. Once I get this patent, Ill really be raking it in, and I intend to enforce this one vigorously. After all, real innovations and ideas might finally have a chance then. Whats your take on patents for obvious business processes and technologies? Let me know at jim_rapoza@ziffdavis.com.
Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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