Patentlyo Bits and Bytes by Anthony McCain

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80 thoughts on “Patentlyo Bits and Bytes by Anthony McCain

  1. At 2141122 below, you can see discussion between Night and me, whether there is any non-obvious invention that is ineligible. I copy the relevant bit:

    Night Writer

    January 13, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I never said that non-obvious work should be eligible for protection. It should be.

    And, you as part of the anti-patent crowd should give examples of non-obvious work that should not be eligible. I have put out a challenge on this blog many times to show me claims that need the judicial exceptions rather than 103.

    Reply

    MaxDrei
    January 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    A software update for a driverless car that under US law is ineligible but nevertheless not obvious?

    Off the top of my head, I think of an update that gives an instruction to the in car entertainment system to play a particular melody (say, Handel’s Air on a G String), whenever the car is parking itself.
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Readers, the only reply so far is from anon, who seems to think that i) a switch is not within the Useful Arts and ii) for assessing eligibility dissection of the claim is OK.

    It’s of course not about the G String as such. We can discard that, can’t we? Any more thoughts. Useful ones preferred, of course.

    1. MaxDrei,

      BOTH of your “takeaways” from my post are simply and utterly wrong.

      You really have to try really hard to be that off.

    2. >A software update for a driverless car that under US law is ineligible but >nevertheless not obvious?

      An improvement to an information processing machine coupled to a car is not eligible for patentability? I think it is. I think the courts would too, if the claims are drafted properly and SCOTUS have taken their psychotropic medicine for the day.

      >>Off the top of my head, I think
      OK. So, assume the playing of Handel in G is non-obvious under KSR, so then what is your argument that it should be ineligible? I know there are ego manic justices that are part of the cult of the scientific illiterate that believe that controlling human behavior should not be eligible, but any person that knows science and has bother to keep up knows that is ridiculous. That controlling human behavior is a radical new area of innovation and one that should be encouraged. How wonderful if your car can provide an interface to the human that is informative via oral clues.

      So, again, a claim that is non-obvious that shouldn’t be eligible and needs the exceptions please? J. Ginsburg is an ignorant creature that should not venture into speculating on what should and shouldn’t be eligible. This is the same “person” that has a mental model of computers as creating virtual worlds that are unrelated to reality and appear on her screen via a spirit world connection. J. Ginsburg should do us all a favor and retire. (Or alternatively, take 10 years off and educate herself.)

      Anyway, what bizarre nonsense again from the anti-patent judicial activist. Reality: a machine that processes information that takes time, energy, and space, and has objective structure (unless you are paid to say otherwise); and, these wonderful machines transform information where the conservation of information is the most important law of in the universe.

      1. We differ as to what is novel. You envisage the invention to consist in an audible report, any audible report, from the car that the car computer is engaged in a parking manouevre. What I was thinking of (and what I wrote) was the use of a particular melody. Why the G-String as my example? Because it is very famous in the UK as the melody once used, extremely successfully, in TV ads to sell cigars. Subjectively, I thought it suitable for the occupants to listen to, while they wait for their vehicle to park itself. Perhaps the auto maker can sell more cars, when they are fitted with this software update. Now that’s ueful isn’t it?

        As to my claim, you can define the contribution to the art clearly enough. We have auditory registerd trademarks, don’t we? It is new, not obvious.

        Is it useful though? The way I read anon, he says it isn’t but you assert that it is.

        Is it “abstract”. I don’t know but I would say not. If it is “abstract” though, is there “significantly more”? Hard to say. Nexus with improved sales figures?

        Is it eligible though? I’m still curious.

        1. >>Now that’s ueful isn’t it?

          Well, Max and anon, it is useful as part of a user interface to the car to indicate a state of the car. So, I think it should be eligible as part of a user interface. The particular song may matter as it may be that different tones are less distracting or more informative so that they are more suited to a user interface.

          And, please, one can play this game of non-useful arts vs. useful arts in any art field. It is not illuminating.

          1. lets try again…

            Night Writer,

            There is an art (science) to sounds. It is called sonics.

            But that is not the “game” that MaxDrei is playing. Just take his own “blue racquetball” example, and then stretch that beyond meaning with a opening of any type of Non-Useful Arts painting on the ball. Perhaps a Van Gogh, or a Monet…

            His deliberate “gaming” here of pretending to not recognize that there IS a difference between Useful Arts and Non-Useful Arts is both insulting and blightful.

            1. I agree anon. And, the song is about like an icon for a user interface. I get the game he is playing. Not sure what the point of it was. He seems doggedly determined to play it, though.

            2. And Max, not really sure why you want to follow this point. I was willing to play along, but seems like the same old nonsense of trying to equate an information processing machine with a song.

              1. Why? Well, your challenge to me was to find a claim that is marginal in its fitness for patenting despite there being no argument on novelty, obviousness and enablement. One where the debate is best conducted under 101 eligibility. Your last shot was:

                “The particular song may matter as it may be that different tones are less distracting or more informative so that they are more suited to a user interface.”

                which is indeed reminiscent of my blue squash ball example, where comparative data establishes that selecting the colour blue delivers a faster and higher quality game of squash. Your rescue of your position, by plucking out of Fresh Air the notion that the G-String melody delivers higher quality driverless vehicle parking performance is an amusing thought on which to end this discussion. Thanks for indulging me, Night Writer.

                1. Max, you know the problem is that there is a blurred line in functional/useful for what is an innovation when it comes to interacting with people. And, there is a line where things like songs actually do have a functional relationship with people.

                  I agree that these areas of law between copyrights/patents is murky because we generally don’t recognize the functional value to people when it is psychological.

                  Anyway, it really is not the point of my 101 question. You dodged it and instead delved into the confusion between functional and non-functional.

                  1. The individual psychological effects – as the science of psychology – is just not the same as the Non-Useful Arts of music, theatre, dance, and such.

                    MaxDrei is indeed being purposefully obtuse and misleading on this difference, with a mind UNwilling to understand, playing the Malcolm game of AccusingOthersOfThatWhichMalcolmDoes (it is he that dodges by not being inte11ectually honest).

                  2. What was “the point” then, of your 101 question which I am supposed to have “dodged”?

                    But the psychology point is interesting though. Like playing classical music in shopping malls full of drunken football fans, as a “traffic calming” method. Or like patterning cattle barrier tapes with yellow and black stripes because cattle brains have evolved to veer away from snakes. Or using for the sport of squash a ball that’s blue.

                    That, by the way, is why I wrote “particular” in my G-String hypo

                  3. Max, the point was/is that the judicial exceptions are not needed and are there merely to aid in the disposition of claims that the SCOTUS doesn’t like.

    3. Night effectively argues that 103 is adequate to protect against “ineligible” inventions if ineligible is defined by the judicial exceptions.

      So we have the known computer system for calculating price and the improved software. It is the position of Night that the patentability of the claim should be determined exclusively on the basis of whether the claim as a whole is obvious, and that is also determined on the basis of whether the improvement to the software is nonobvious.

      The fallacy here is quite obvious in that there is an assumption that a computer system for calculating price is eligible in the first place.

      1. Ned,
        >The fallacy here is quite obvious in that there is an assumption that a >computer system for calculating price is eligible in the first place.

        Why shouldn’t calculating a price be eligible? A machine to calculate a price.

        1. Night, you raise a question of policy in asking why one should not be able to patent a computer system that is old and generic in terms of its hardware but which calculates a price depending upon, I presume, numbers input by human beings. In other words, the computer is being used to calculate numbers from numbers where the novelty is in the meaning of the numbers as determined by a human, and the utility is in enabling the human to make money.

          Well, Night, we might as well say that we should be able to patent any mathematical algorithm because it seems that the means for calculation are substantially irrelevant. The invention is not in new hardware, but in the new mathematical algorithm – and its utility is substantially financial.

          Essentially, this asks the question of whether mathematical algorithms are patentable as such. Clearly they are useful and are used to calculate things like price. People use these kind of algorithms all the time to play the stock market and make money. Without really good algorithms, banks cannot make money. But as a policy matter, are mathematical algorithms and financial methods truly within the useful arts even though they are useful?

          1. Ned, if it is a matter of policy as you say then you are the one that is taking a new and useful machine and excluding based on your policy.

            >be able to patent a computer system that is old and generic in terms of its hardware but which calculates a price depending upon,

            Ned, you are saying things that are scientifically incorrect. For one there is an equivalence between the software + CPU and a specialized chip to calculate the price. So, there is structure and it is a new and useful machine.

            Moreover, the basis of your arguments again are from 1910. Mathematics and physics and all that you spout come from your information processor–your brain. The reality is that methods and machines for information processing should all be eligible. There is no rational basis for this “mathematical” talk. The math may be applied math. Just such nonsense from you lot.

            What it comes down to is a claim and you lot saying, well, out of your A + B + C elements we believe that rather than going to the prior art and forming 103 arguments that elements A and B constitute a witch. Just bizarre. Particularly bizarre since 1) the US is by far the leader in software, and 2) AI is starting to revival people in a number of areas. And, yet we get these arguments from pre-cognitive science and pre-Turing that try to mix-up an actual machine from the representation of the machine, and that are so primitive as no to understand that I could claim many things as software is claimed. The chair by using equations. The rocket fuel by using equations. Just as a couple of examples.

            1. Night, give a kid a hammer and a nail. He does a good job attaching one thing to another. Give him the improved nail. He does a better job.

              Now convince that kid that he has a improved hammer.

                  1. Anon, you make and sell generic computers. HoBo Baggins patents new software in combination with the generic computer. HoBo sends you a letter warning you not to sell generic computers to those who would install the new software. Regardless, you do, knowing the patented combination is an infringement. Can Mr. Baggins sue you for contributory infringement?

                  2. Ned,

                    Your hypo is flawed from the onset.

                    Once again – you do NOT just get to “use” a computer unless you first change that computer by configuring it with the new machine element and manufacture in its own right called software.

                    Your “version” ig nores this crucial first step and makes it seem like no change at all to [old box] is necessary.

                1. Ned, the hammer and nail is example is not applicable. The difference is that the software is functionally related to the generic computer. (The whole thing about modern computers was the revolution that you didn’t need to build a special purpose computer each time, but could simulate it at a high cost.)

                  The software is more like a new cog going into the machine.

                  Never ending nonsense that has nothing to do with reality from you. I suggest you go on a two week hiking trip and expunge everything you learned from your dark master from your mind. We both know who that is.

              1. And you Ned, like the medieval w1tch burners.

                Your “magic” already in there [old boxes] somehow change such that no actual manufacture known as software is necessary…

                Maybe you want to join at least the 20th century and recognize that you first have to change [old box] with the configuration change of adding the software component…

                Or, in patent legal doctrines, use the inherency doctrine to show that – in truth – NOT all future inventions are “already in there.”

                Or, we can again visit the easy to understand analogy of three resistors in parallel and compare them to a changed configuration of three resistors in series.

                Or, we can (again) try the Grand Hall experiment.

                Or, we can (again) try to get you to “get” the In re Nazomi case.

                Or, maybe we can have you just try to be inte11ectually honest and drop your Windmill Curse-ades.

          2. Ned,

            you are the one with the fallacy of wanting to use a coimputer without first CHANGING that computer by configuring it with the machine component called software.

            You have skipped over again that critical first step (as can be seen in any number of examples that I have provided to you, such as mental exercises (the Grand Hall experiment) or case law (In re Nazomi).

            You do NOT get to just “presume” that the software is “already in there.”

  2. NWPA: “Code is logic” – “That is just wrong”

    Of course code is logic.

    The fact that a tiny subset of patent attorneys are the only class of human beings on earth that will perform endless backflips to dispute the statement tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the “debate.”

    1. MM, that is backwards. The only people that will go to never ending lengths to claim that a machine is logic (how a physical thing with structure can be an abstraction in your head is beyond) are the anti-patent judicial activists who rely on mischaracterizing information processing for the legislation by court order.

      The SCOTUS can say the sun goes around the earth, but that doesn’t make it so.

      1. Night Writer,

        That “backwards” thing is just Malcolm being Malcolm and his rhetorical t001 of AccuseOthersOfThatWhichMalcolmDoes.

        New year – same old Malcolm.

    2. Malcolm,

      You use that word “is,” but that word does not mean what you think that it means.

      By your use, ALL engineering “is” logic.

  3. Supreme court was like “tldr”.

    “The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday not to review a Federal Circuit decision dismissing an appeal in which a patent owner used formatting tricks to hide the fact the appeal brief was too long, rejecting Pi-Net International Inc.’s attempt to revive patents asserted against JPMorgan Chase & Co.”

  4. Re: The patent system is not equipped for 3-d printing infringement [a Scientific American opinion piece]. This short article will leave miss-impressions with some scientists or engineers. First, this is not really a new problem. Actual but de minimus infringement, especially by individuals, has never been economically rational to sue for, since the legal costs normal greatly exceed any potential recovery. [For that matter, copyright infringement as well, in spite of the differences argued by the author, and he fails to note that copyright law has statutory damages provisions.] This is especially relevant due to to the fact that 3-D printing can be great for very small runs of complex or unique parts, but is is unlikely to be used for mass production of many products. For mass production of most products there are vastly faster, cheaper and existing manufacturing alternatives.

    Nor does this article seem to accurately describe induced or contributory infringement patent law. Once the seller of software for 3-D objects, especially specialized CAD-CAM software with no other use than for customer infringement with their 3-D printers, is notified of the patent thereon, why are they not liable for inducing infringement of all of their small direct-infringer customers? If the software has no other use, why are not all the sales not also contributory infringement?
    Furthermore, too many new 3-D printing patents are apparently being issued by examiners in some kind of 103 and KSR mental vacuum. There are patents issued years ago that teach both 2-D and 3-D printing in the same patent, and thus there is no excuse for issuing 3-D patents on printing techniques without looking to see if those same or very similar printing techniques were already done in 2-D printing. It cannot be argued to be non-analogous art.

    1. Paul,

      I would suggest that both you and Malcolm have quite missed the point here.

      Your comment on mass production is where you miss the boat.

      This is in fact NOT just another form of production, and why this is not hinges on that very “mass production” point.

      With this type of production, mass production is no longer needed to achieve an economy of scale and the (real-world) business decisions whether to produce or not are drastically and directly impacted.

      Sure, the “art” here is in its nascent stages (with limitations on materials used for example). But to here people attempt to “pooh-pooh” this very much reminds me of the early Computer manufacturers who (in all seriousness in their own minds) questioned why anyone would ever want a personal computer in their own home.

      There very much are some parallels (and some key differences – can you say LACK of criminal statutes in patents that the movie and song industry have been able to put in place for copyright) between the realms of protection for the different digital goods, but even in the copyright world, the “perfect reproduction” aspect is causing deep repercussions on the entire notion of “copyright.”

      1. “anon” This is in fact NOT just another form of production

        In fact it is just another form of production.

        the “art” here is in its nascent stages (with limitations on materials used for example)

        So we better hurry up and change patent law or some rich people might lose a little bit of their sooper precious money! And nobody will want to invent new retainers so all our teeth will be crooked. Oh nooooes!!!

        to here people attempt to “pooh-pooh” this very much reminds me of the early Computer manufacturers

        Nobody’s “pooh-poohing” the fact that when digital 3-D printers become cheap, small and capable of quickly and economically printing useful things that lots of people will want them. What’s being “pooh-poohed” is the idea that the average person is going to be 3-D printing his/her kitchen appliances, toothbrushes and drugs in ten or even twenty five years.

        1. Malcolm,

          It is “not,” for the reason stated (the impact to the go/no go decision).

          Maybe you want to add something to the conversation besides the grade school He Said/She Said thing….

          I am not sure what point you are trying to make with the ad hominem about rich people and changing patent law. The only thing there is that you want to use your class w@rfare type of whining (again).

          Your limited view of what will be 3-D printed is EXACTLY the type of thing that reminds of the computer executive questioning why the H would any person want a computer in their home.

          Thanks for making my point for me.

  5. Holbrook:

    [S]uppose a dentist develops a brilliant new form of plastic braces, and she patents it. Independently, another dentist with some computer savvy comes up with the same idea via a CAD file. He shares the file with his dentist friends with 3D printers, who then all begin printing the plastic braces. The dentist’s friends start sharing the file with their friends, or someone places it on a file-sharing network. And so on. Anyone printing the braces is technically an infringer, but how can the patent owner find them all?

    News flash to Tim Holbrook: this is not a new problem.

    3-D printing doesn’t change anything. It’s just another manufacturing technique.

    Changing the patent system so that the sale of information describing the structure of a patented object constitutes an infringing act is a far more radical and destructive change than “3-D printing”.

    Of course, if you spend too much time hanging out with “brilliant dentists” (who undoubtedly hang out with all those “brilliant golfers”, “brilliant Internet entrepeneurs”, and “brilliant patent apologists”) then it might be difficult to appreciate this basic fact.

    It is unclear if courts or Congress will act to address these issues.

    I know that a lot of people including myself will be doing everything they can to make sure that Holbrook and Osborn’s ridiculous proposal gets nowhere.

    1. MM, before the mid-1800s or even the late 1800s there were no major companies to sue for patent infringement especially when most of the infringing patents were of the “farm implement” type. Farmers copied from other farmers and enforcing a patent was strictly on an end-user basis.

      What patent owners did was to create a large team of “licensing agents/lawyers” that would enforce/licensee patent in local areas in the country. There is no other way of doing it.

      The emergence of large-scale manufacturing changed the way patents were enforced. But the emergence of 3-D printing and the like could may change things back the way they used to be so that patents to be are going to be very hard to enforce.

      But the direct enforcement of patents against small fry who have no wherewithal to defend themselves brought a huge negative reaction against the patent system. Going against the public with a patent is not popular especially if every patent claim is a Federal Case.

      Perhaps it is time that we consider something like a small claims court, sans lawyers, where the patent “agent” can meet the end user in court to hash out whether the end user is using the patent, and specify a RR for past damages and an ongoing royalty.

      Copyright has similar licensing agents that virtually go door-to-door.

      1. Ned: What patent owners did was to create a large team of “licensing agents/lawyers” that would enforce/licensee patent in local areas in the country. There is no other way of doing it.

        Right. Like Edison’s MPPC and the thugs hired to shoot “rogue” filmmakers. How did those tactics work out for the MPPC?

        the emergence of 3-D printing and the like could may change things back the way they used to be so that patents to be are going to be very hard to enforce.

        Again, there have always been technologies that are “very hard” to monopolize with patents. One solution to that problem is: don’t bother with a patent.

          1. you do not like the idea of a Patent Small Claims Court where venue would local to the defendant for this to work?

            I don’t see an actual need for this court, if that’s what your asking.

  6. Some bottom-of-the-basement “innovator” is sueing Apple with a bunch of junk patents? In 2016? I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

    8,923,941

    1. A method of generating data output containing physiological and motion-related information, the method comprising:

    sensing physical activity and physiological information from a subject via a single monitoring device attached to the subject, wherein the monitoring device comprises at least one motion sensor for sensing the physical activity and at least one photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor for sensing the physiological information; and

    processing signals from the at least one motion sensor and signals from the at least one PPG sensor via a processor of the monitoring device into a serial data output of physiological information and motion-related information, wherein the serial data output is configured such that a plurality of subject physiological parameters comprising subject heart rate and subject respiration rate can be extracted from the physiological information and such that a plurality of subject physical activity parameters can be extracted from the motion-related information.

    Serial data output! Comprising not just one but “multiple ” parameters”! Wowee zowee s00per d00per techno!

    Gotta love this from the Background:

    methods of collecting these statistics may be … laborious,

    Nobody could have predicted that computers could be used to collect, process and store physiological data which is, like, totally different from other kinds of data!

    1. I like this new article on Tesla’s SOFTWARE update to its cars that allows the cars to park themselves:

      link to chron.com

      That’s right, software that allows a car to park itself. And it’s a software update to the car — no “hardware” needs to be changed.

      I know you love to beat a dead horse, but the court system has to make judgements people can follow. If the SC believes software is not patentable (or a CPU/ECU programmed to perform those functions), they should come right out and say that. Instead, you get this “abstract idea + significantly more” gar bage, where no one really knows what is and is not patentable. That does everyone a disservice. Congress can’t overrule what they don’t understand (what exactly are the boundaries of the Alice rule?), and people drafting, getting, and analyzing patents can’t determine values of their patents or what can and cannot be patented. I had a client as me recently, “What if this was done by software and the claim covered that?” I had to say, “I don’t know what would happen; it could depend on what court we get and what the rules are when we go to court.”

      My personal belief is that Congress should step in and remove oversight of the patenting system from the court system. It’s apparent to me that courts literally have no idea of the technology they are expected to review, and therefore create rules that make no sense. If that’s the case, get rid of the courts. Set up a system that actually makes sense, because cases like Alice do not.

      1. software that allows a car to park itself

        Totally different from software that instructs computer-assisted devices to perform other mechanical tasks!

        But wait! This software is updatable, you say? And it’s in a car? Wowee zowee nobody could have predicted that. I wonder if anyone will overcome the problem of entering an operator password to permit the update in a car (because computers in cars are totally different from computers on a desk).

      2. PB: Set up a system that actually makes sense, because cases like Alice do not.

        Maybe you should consider getting out of the biz because the sensible rule in Alice is never, ever going away.

      3. PB: what exactly are the boundaries of the Alice rule?

        Well, for starters, if you have limitations reciting non-obvious objective physical structure in your claim, it’s difficult to imagine how Alice would trip you up.

        That’s not going to make all of your clients happy but guess what: Alice wasn’t about making all of your clients happy.

          1. What’s subjective physical structure?

            That’s the kind of “structure” that some paid mouthpiece will tell the jury is “inferred” by the functionality of the device, i.e., when someone other than the named inventor(s) figures out how to make an embodiment that actually works, the physical structure of that embodiment becomes the recited structure (and never mind the fact the inventor couldn’t be bothered to describe the structure of a single working embodiment in the specification, much less the claims).

            1. >That’s the kind of “structure” that some paid mouthpiece will >tell the jury is “inferred” by the functionality of the device

              1) you claim there is no difference between the structure of different processors.
              2) anon has on many occasions asked you if there is a difference in the structure of parallel resistors vs. serial resistors.
              3) How can a machine with perform radically different functions without a change to the structure?

              “objective” vs. “subjective” structure. Unbelievable. This nonsense is worse than the medieval witch trials. I would not doubt it in the least if the SCOTUS picked up on that and proclaimed that whether something has structure is based on whether the judge feels there is structure. They can come up with a two part test that can be used at summary judgment.

              Just wait until this type of jurisprudence works its way into criminal law.

              1. I don’t think I could ever express what a low opinion I have of the judicial activist who are willing to put this nonsense into our jurisprudence to get their legislative goals met. Just the lowest form of attorney possible.

              2. A fair test would be whether the claims recited processing that medieval theologians believed occurred in the spirit world. If so, then the claims are invalid for preempting spirit world processing and/or because the type of thinking was well-known in the spirit world. There is no structure in the spirit world, so any structure recited in claims or needed to build the invention is superfluous.

                A machine (with structure) that processes information that takes space, time, and energy to transform information. The conservation of information is the most important law in the universe.

                1. Night Writer,

                  Notice how he avoids the proper legal patent doctrine involved of inherency – his “version” makes it somehow “magical” that all improvements to the [old box] are somehow “already in there.”

                  See the Grand Hall experiment.

                  See In re Nazomi

              1. Are you serious with this word salad?

                Did I use a word that’s too big for you to understand? It seems perfectly clear to me. Where did you get lost?

                Who is paying your salary?

                Thank you for the compliment. I have to assume nobody is paying you.

      4. I am not in any doubt, that such a software update has taken thousands of hours of time to write. I am in no doubt that its authors, and the owner of the piece, will feel aggrieved if it is copied.

        But I am in doubt that a patentable invention was made at any time during those thousands of hours. It is a common misconception (even here, it seems) that if thousands of hours have been spent writing something, then it must be possible to protect it with a valid patent.

        1. Max, what nonsense. How about you apply patent law. Look for the elements in the claim and try to put together obviousness arguments. And, the argument is not that 1000’s of hours of work means the work can be protected. You fabricated that. The point is that these are new machines for processing information.

          This is patent law. Trying to say that a new machine or improvement of a machine is not eligible ’cause, ’cause is not patent law.

          Gee, I think elements A, B, and C of your claim constitute a witch or are an attempt to claim part of the spirit world. Seriously?

          1. Night, I don’t have to address the question whether installing the software update in the driverless car creates any “new” machine. And a software update that took thousands of hours to write might well contain any amount of code that wasn’t “obvious”. Where I baulk (and not just me) is at the notion that non-obviousness in code writing renders the code (or a machine in which it is installed)patentable. Code is logic and, for me, you ought not to be able to patent logic.

            My point was that some people think you should be able to patent anything, just as long as it is new and took much creative effort to build. That’s a dangerous delusion. It is more prudent to protect your non-obvious code by not telling anybody about it.

            Except when you’re VW, eh?

            1. >It is more prudent to protect your non-obvious code by not telling anybody about it.

              Wow. That is the exact opposite of what has created the greatest innovation engine in the world.

              > Code is logic and, for me, you ought not to be able to patent logic.

              That is just wrong. Information processing machines and anything else for that matter can be represented as logic. Should your chair not be patentable because you can express the relationships between the different parts mathematically? What about molecules? The machine and code running is not logic —it is a real physical machine that has structure and needs space, time, and energy to run.

              I admit the anti-patent judicial activist are winning, but that doesn’t mean what they say is right only that they can get others to buy into it. Just remember the US is the —by far–the leader in software and we got that way with patents.

              1. Code is logic” – “That is just wrong”

                Of course, that is just wrong.

                Code is no more “just logic” as would ANY engineering be “just logic.”

                This is nothing more than the Macolm and the Echoes C R P that is repeated ad infinitum – the L1E that is told over and over and over again.

                Note too here, that MaxDrei repeats the fallacy of “it took so much time” – NOBODY (except him) has advanced that as the critical aspect of earning patent protection. Note too that he will (politely?) ig nore the fact that an item may have multiple (different) aspects covered under multiple (different) IP laws, and attempt to portray infringement of the thing that patents protect (utility) as somehow (and only merely) as a “whine against somebody copying code.”

                Of course, this HAS been made clear to MaxDrei many times in the past, and of course, it is only through ig noring this that MaxDrei (and the sAmeones) can continue to post their propaganda on this forum.

            2. I do agree, though Max, that just nonobvious work should not be eligible. But, computers aren’t logic. They may be able to be represented using logic (but then everything can be).

              1. They may be able to be represented using logic (but then everything can be).

                Absolutely.

                Quite in fact, some would even go farther (see Tegmark). But even if one hold the views of Tegmark to be “real,” patent law and the aspects of things here in the real world that patent law is meant to protect would STILL apply to machines and manufactures of the hand of man (machine components).

              2. Night I’m fascinated. You “agree” with me that, at least sometimes, non-obvious “work” (to build a driverless car) “should not be eligible”. Really? Can you expand on that, so I know when the product of long hours of arduous human thinking, when reduced to material form, is non-obvious but nevertheless not eligible?

                1. when the product of long hours of arduous human thinking, when reduced to material form

                  Canard alert.

                  That “reduction” is rather important to properly recognize.

                  Much like (exactly like) any OTHER engineered product.

                2. I never said that non-obvious work should be eligible for protection. It should be.

                  And, you as part of the anti-patent crowd should give examples of non-obvious work that should not be eligible. I have put out a challenge on this blog many times to show me claims that need the judicial exceptions rather than 103.

                  1. A software update for a driverless car that under US law is ineligible but nevertheless not obvious?

                    Off the top of my head, I think of an update that gives an instruction to the in car entertainment system to play a particular melody (say, Handel’s Air on a G String), whenever the car is parking itself.

                    But perhaps you can convince me otherwise? As you know, I’m only EPC, and under the EPC the boundary on which problems are “technical” is where the arguments are played out. As you often complain, there is still much scope for creative argument as to what qualifies as “technical”.

                1. You meant “obvious”? where? Could that have been in your sentence as follows:

                  “I do agree, though Max, that just nonobvious work should not be eligible”

                  If so, I find it curious, that you elevate obviousness to a test of eligibility.

            3. It is just bizarre too, Max, that people like you don’t get it. These are machines that process information. They are over taking humans. They are performing the tasks we hold most dear. You are paid to do what they are getting better and better at doing.

              But, somehow, your lot thinks that they don’t deserve to be patentable. In the big picture, it is very weird. A machine that does what you are paid for and yet it doesn’t deserve to be eligible for patentability because you believe it is logic. Too bad you can’t get some perspective on this. You’d get a good belly laugh.

        2. The obvious attempt at straw manning by MaxDrei with the not-so-subtle “copy” reference is – and should be considered – insulting.

          There are different aspects of an item protected under different IP laws.

          In case you have forgotten Max,

          Copyright: expression
          Patent: utility

  7. >>Holbrook: How 3-D Printing Threatens Our Patent System

    OF a bit, but consider North Korea. What if soon there is no way to punish them with trade if all they have to do is steal IP? It would be interesting to see a study to see if IP theft from North Korea is helping them to weather all the sanctions. Weird.

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