> The Supreme Court has said that patents should only be granted for “those inventions which would not be disclosed or devised but for the inducement of a patent.” In other words, if the inventor isn’t trading information of real value for the patent, then it’s not a good patent. Unfortunately, many software patents do just the opposite. They offer no real information about how to implement a feature, only a vaguely worded description of the feature itself. In court, vagueness is often rewarded over specificity, as plaintiffs stretch the boundaries of their inventions to cover the defendants’ products.
However it does appear to be anticipated by prior art mentioned elsewhere on the comments here. Given that, I'm surprised the patent wasn't challenged: that suggests it either wasn't useful to others or that the USA court system prevents lawful challenges to anticipated patents somehow (eg by burdening appellants - appealing against the grant - with costs).
I haven't read the patent yet, but how specific is it? Because while it is one thing for the description to convey the general idea so that a skilled practitioner can make something similar, there's a big fat question of ambiguity - did I actually make the thing this patent describes or not? What exactly is the thing that's covered?
See, for example:
Jefferson was clearly dead set against the situation you are describing -- granting patents with only incidental modifications to the system. But then again he would be rolling in his grave if he saw (and had the modern knowledge to understand) the completely inane, obvious (to practitioners of the art) shit we've been granting patents on since about the late 1980s.
Using a simplistic example based on your child comment, a sentence in the specification might state "The phone may be black, or gold, or any other suitable color." (In reality, the specific color is not likely to be addressed at all unless it plays a role in the claimed invention.)
My point is that too specific can also be a drawback.
If you concede that patents in general are good, then you should also agree that sometimes, it's better for a patent to be general.
It mostly appeared in games sold in the United Kingdom, as, by the time it was written, the Commodore market in the United States had mostly switched to floppy disk media.
Loading games on the C64 was a nightmare.... At least with the 3 cassette loaders I owned. The first 1 broke, the second one was returned due to not loading some games and with the 3rd I experimented with adjusting the tape head alignment. Most games would load, but sometimes they would randomly fail. When loading took a up 30 mins (max capacity, most games much less), it would become infuriating! Much finger crossing was done during loading.
This was the tape loader...
No game company I know of was wiling to challenge Namco's patent. It's not worth the money even if you win. Just remove the feature :(
Other game related patents include
zooming a camera from Virtua Racing, patented.
Ghost cars from Midway's Hard Drivin', patented.
Patent to have a arrow point the way to go from Crazy Taxi
Patent on plus shaped controllers. That to me sounds about as crazy as a patent on round knobs but IANAL
Patent on making a wireless controller go to sleep after a certain amount of time.
Abstracts are notoriously broad definitions that people often read and get confused by as they think this applicant written section defines the patent, it does not (file wrapper estoppels aside).
Perhaps the patent office just needs more specialized staff that is both highly technical and legally trained. I'm not sure, but what I am sure is that I can't think of a single, properly patentable piece of software in existence today.
Good thing ancient humans didn't not have IP laws, otherwise some wiseguy would have patented the fire and taken down civilization with him.
And I'm not kidding about Muslim math and science achievements when Europe was busy fucking itself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_in_medieval_Islam
Don't forget food surplus is what enables people do something other than just farm food, so farming efficency has dramatic long term benifits.
Worth noting that Galileo also lived hundreds of years after basically any definition of the "Dark Ages".
Wikipedia has a nice turn of phrase calling the term a caricature of the period. There are aspects to it that were true, but overall misleading to inaccurate (the Islamic world certainly was in a Golden Age at the time, however).
For example: Star Wars Battlefront. When you put the disc in and start the game, you get to play as Darth Vader on a small map, while the game is installing. You cannot get out of this level until the game is fully installed. One could argue that you are playing a game while on an invisible loading screen. It's probably the fact that you don't have a loading bar that stops the game from infringing on the patent.
Didn't know it was a reusable library.
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Sat Dec 5 04:27:56 2015