Monday Fun: Warp-Drive and Branding-Energy

In Feb-06, we discussed the Worsley-Twist warp drive patent application. The Worsley-Twist warp drive does not depend upon traditional emissions of matter to create thrust.  Rather, the warp-drive creates a change in the curvature of the space-time continuum — thus allowing travel by warping space-time.  At that time, we noted that the Worsley & Twist patent application recently suffered a major setback — with the Examiner requesting a model of the invention. Although rarely implemented, 35 U.S.C. 114 allows the PTO to “require the applicant to furnish a model of convenient size to exhibit advantageously the several parts of his invention.” Among other rejections, the Examiner has asserted a rejection under 35 U.S.C. 101 for lack of utility — finding that the invention is inoperable.  In this case, it looks like the cost of building the model and proving utility were too much as the application appears to have been abandoned.

Volkswagen Branding-Energy

Since we have been focusing on pendency, I also looked back to the still-pending Branding-Energy patent application to see whether any action has been taken on this application that was filed in August 2003 — still no substantive action.  Since this application has been classified in TC 705, an initial office action is expected within the next nine months.

The abstract reads:

A branding-energy amplifier for amplifying the branding-energy of the Volkswagen Beetle. Branding-Energy Amplifier established upon the principle of Node Plurality.

As explained in the specification:

If you were to see a singular Marilyn Monroe walking down the street, you probably would notice.  If, however, you were to see 88 Identical Marilyn Monroes’s single filing fashionably in parade-dress parade, you would likely stop whatever you were doing and stare in exasperated amazement wondering all the while what in the world was going on. . . . By extension then, a Volkswagen beetle limousine with 88 humps, does not look the same, does not function the same, and is, in fact, not the same, as a Volkswagen beetle with 1 hump because they do not share identical Automotive DNA.

View the Volkswagen Beetle Branding Energy patent at Pat2PDF.  

6 thoughts on “Monday Fun: Warp-Drive and Branding-Energy

  1. 6

    I disagree and think we need a serious discussion about these kinds of applications. It all goes back to the “bad patent” issue.

    When the PTO issues the swing patent and it gets in the news, “inventors” come out of the woodwork thinking “if that’s patentable so is my …”

    I agree that there are the true crazy applications like those illustrated on this blog this week, but for every one of these there are many “religious soap” applications (I used to examine in Class 428 where many of these cases wind up).

    Examiners know that these applications are unpatentable, but because many are pro se they are handled with kid gloves, for fear some constituent is going to call his Congressman about how the PTO is screwing him out of his patent. No examiner would ever write an Office Action: “Claim 1 is rejected under 35 USC 101 as inoperable. Get a life, you nutjob.”

    Remember, every hour an examiner takes on one of these applications is an hour not spent on the application for an improved method for making a semiconductor wafer. It may be a small part of the increased backlog, but it is a part.

  2. 5

    Further to “whatever political points the applicants were trying to make…” These patent applications like Godly Powers and Rev. Izzo are all foolish and unworthy of serious discussion.

    Back in the old days, however, patent lawyers used to file applications in order to make serious test cases. (I exclude the fur lined keyhole patent.) _Benson_ was such a case, for example. It was a project of Bell Labs’s then chief patent lawyer, Bill Keefauver, to test whether algortihms could be patented. That was a serious project. _Beauregard_ was another deliberate test case — by Victor Siber of IBM to test the patentability of floppy disk claims. There are very few serious test case applications for business methods at present.

    Instead of bloviating about these foolish applications, all too badly written to stand a chance of getting appellate review and testing the law (ala _Benson_), why don’t you guys who know how to write decent patent applications try writing some applications to test your legal theories in the CAFC and maybe the Supreme Court — the way Keefauver and Siber did. (I don’t mean necessarily pro-business method patents for test cases. I mean reductio ad absurdum business method patents, too, as test cases if you think that the CAFC has it wrong and its precedents lead to ridiculous conclusions. Either way, you’d give the rest of us something worth thinking about.)

  3. 4

    Don’t forget Knight’s “Process of Relaying a Story having a Unique Plot,” US2005/0255437 A1, still awaiting examination as of a few weeks ago.

    It seems likely that both of these so-called patent applications will be given cursory and firm rejections by their respective Examiners, so that whatever political points the applicants were trying to make will never be known.

  4. 3

    Correction to an error- The bug limo case is in class 705, which is in TC 3600, specifically the 3620’s workgroup, which actually has the longest delay at the PTO.

  5. 2

    I think the warp drive concept is unpatentable due to the description of the operation of the “Event Horizon”, in the movie of the same name.

Comments are closed.