Comments on: U.S. patent law mission creep needs to be reversed Mon, 26 Sep 2016 03:26:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: jcrowne Mon, 21 Nov 2011 17:45:21 +0000 I’m afraid this column misunderstands the Prometheus case before the Supreme Court. The issue is not whether the invention is too simple, but whether it should have been considered at all as proper subject matter for patent protection.

That threshold question is important because it carries a risk of excluding technologies that we cannot yet imagine. It does exclude abstract ideas, but there is nothing abstract about this patent: it spells out concrete steps for a doctor to follow. That is sufficient for the invention to be considered, no matter what the verdict may be on the simplicity of the invention.

Prometheus is about the threshold question of subject matter, which is a “course filter” that is followed by a detailed inquiry of novelty, nonobviousness and adequate disclosure of the invention. This patent may be rejectable based on the latter, but not based on the former.

William Barber
American Intellectual Property Law Association

By: Fatesrider Sun, 20 Nov 2011 04:29:23 +0000 I object to concept patents.

If someone creates code for something that’s patentable, but not the concept itself.

The reason for this is often times, the implementation of a concept is poor, even if it’s the first time it’s done. All well and good and the people who worked to make that concept happen should be rewarded for making it happen – not necessarily for the idea itself.

Others can come along and implement the same concept in different ways – more efficient code, more efficient implementation, unique uses of that implementation, etc. THEIR code can be patented, but not the idea itself.

Using a certain code for a certain process or implementation is patentable. But not the process or the implementation because someone can come up with a better use, process or implementation and write code for that on their own, or buy a license to use what was already developed.

The way it is today, if software were mousetraps, we’d not be able to make any others without paying a royalty because the IDEA of trapping mice would have been patented.