You either have read about "systems and methods" patents or run into or afoul of them: patents granted for "systems and methods" of carrying out obvious steps in simple processes. Something like a patent granted for filling in a Web form that places a person on a mailing list to receive coupons. <- THAT is a "system and method".
You should do a search for GPS based "systems and methods". EVERY OBVIOUS use of GPS coordinates is being subjected to a claim of intellectual property exclusvity.
Had enough of systems and methods patents? Don't want to wait until someone attempts to squeeze money out of your pocket by claiming that your elemental/obvious database queries resemble their patented "system and method" . . of database queries?
Due to a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is currently considering rewriting the rules for the granting of patents for "systems and methods" patents.
You have until September 27th, 2010, to foward an email expressing your views to the USPTO.
Msg#: 4207079 posted 5:28 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
Can anyone tell me the email address I need to send my letter to?
I have a horrible habit of contacting the wrong department and rather than forwarding my message places wait a few days to tell me I contacted the wrong department and expect me to find the right department myself.
Msg#: 4207079 posted 10:05 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
I see reasonable cases on both sites. It seems to me the issue is between real mathematic 'creativity' vs ordinary 'practicality' e.g. If Fred invents an algorithm to say compress video 100 times more than existing systems - thats a very cliever 'created' idea and Fred should be allowed to licence the idea (it might have been his lifes work). While, if George rather logically uses web forms to include a mailing list management tool - thats not 'creativity', thats practical use of functions. How can the Patent Office distinguish between 'a created idea' that should be patentable and a fairly obvious 'practicality' that should not be patentable?
Msg#: 4207079 posted 9:47 am on Oct 1, 2010 (gmt 0)
If Fred invents an algorithm to say compress video 100 times more than existing systems - thats a very cliever 'created' idea and Fred should be allowed to licence the idea (it might have been his lifes work)
1) Its fair to reward people who do good stuff, or, 2) Its in the public interest to do so (by giving Fred an incentive to do more).
Its pretty clear that 2) is wrong. As for 1): lots of people do good stuff without being rewarded, and no one forced Fred to spend his time inventing stuff.