22 thoughts on “Life of a Patent Attorney

  1. True story! Some stories are meant to be funny, but in a real sense it would be hurting for some. It’s not about criticizing them, it’s just about correcting them.

  2. A more realistic reply is: “That is teh kewlest thing evar and I think you’re entitled to broad protection and probably a Nobel Prize. Claim 1 will be something like ‘Object comprising: a first material; and a second material in proximity to said first material.’ Did you use a computer or think about using a computer to make this? We should have a software claim in there somewhere too. But we can worry about specifics later. Let’s get a provisional filed right away. Then we can file a PCT application claiming priority to your provisional, because the world clearly needs your invention. Of course we’ll have the search done in Korea because they never find anything. Not that it matters, because your invention is simply unheard of. When we get to the 371 stage, we’re going to need to dump some prior art to make your application look beefy and bore the U.S. examiner into compliance. Do you have any old fishing magazines in your attic?”

  3. A few Calvin and Hobbes strips relate to Calvin’s father being a patent attorney, just like Bill Watterson’s father was.

    One was quite spot on for a talk I was about to give and I enquired with the publishers for permission to use it. In this line of business I guess most are rather careful to respect the intellectual rights of others so I said I would prefer permission rather than claim fair use. That got them going. They sent a double extra urgent email back stating no fair use here, we want money. Lots of money. I was pointed to a web based cost calculator where I had to enter number of attendees, conference fee and more. And it turned out quite expensive. In fact it would have been one of the most expensive slides ever.

  4. “Claims aren’t important anyway except in court; the basic notion in writing up claims on an application for patent is to claim the whole wide world in the broadest possible terms, then let the patent examiners chew you down—this is why patent attorneys are born.”

    Doorway Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein

    Written over 50 years ago & still sums the process in one sentence pretty well.

    MVS

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    I prefer the one after it, where he thinks he invented the concept of a medal

  6. “http://wondermark.com/835/”

    Hold on, hold on, back up this story like 50 steps.

    And I loved the part about the sky god father of myth.

  7. Lulz.

    I’ve been considering make a comic lineup of patent related comics but it turns out that I’m going to need some equipment to do it worth a dang.

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