The Alternate Reality of Prior Art

Thought pioneer Dan Abelow fits within an interesting designation.  So far in 2017, his U.S. Patent Publication No. 2012/0069131 – mysteriously titled “Reality Alternate” – is the Most-Oft examiner cited U.S. prior art reference.  The document – now patented as U.S. Patent No. 9,183,560 – covers a method of providing “a portal for a user … to be present simultaneously in two or more different non-fictional alternate realities that are distinct from a non-fictional physical reality of the user.”  [Here, I’m looking at Examiner citations rather than those submitted by Applicants]

The Abelow document reads something like science-fiction novel — defining a new Alternate Reality world both in terms of its incredible impact and technical specifications.  From the abstract:

Just as fiction authors have described alternate worlds in novels, this introduces an Alternate Reality—but provides it as technical innovation. This new Alternate Reality’s “world” is named the “Expandaverse” which is a conceptual alteration of the “Universe” name and a conceptual alteration of our current reality. Where our physical “Universe” is considered given and physically fixed, the Expandaverse provides a plurality of human created digital realities that includes a plurality of human created means that may be used simultaneously by individuals, groups, institutions and societies to expand the number and types of digital realities—and may be used to provide continuous expansions of a plurality of Alternate Realities. To create the Expandaverse current known technologies are reorganized and combined with new innovations to repurpose what they accomplish and deliver, collectively turning the Earth and near-space into the equivalent of one large, connected room (herein one or a plurality of “Shared Planetary Life Spaces” or SPLS) with a plurality of new possible human realities and living patterns that may be combined differently, directed differently and controlled differently than our current physical reality.

In addition to being written in a way that draws diverse connections (helpful for obviousness conclusions), the reference is also 750 pages long! (The patentee paid an extra $4,000+ in filing costs for the extra page length).  One of the best patent attorneys in the country – David Feigenbaum – filed this case and helped push it through to issuance.

Abelow

The second-most examiner cited reference thus-far in 2017 is a much more mundane “Control Channel Interference Management and Extended PDCCH for Heterogeneous Network” from Canadian-Based Research-in-Motion. 

 

89 thoughts on “The Alternate Reality of Prior Art

  1. Truth

    link to twitter.com

    Bill Cassidy = the s c um b@ g face of the modern Repu k k k e party.

    Just another total pile of shirt, trying to make the rich richer and everyone else can just e f f themselves.

  2. Federal gubmit spending half a million dollars to tell engineers/people in STEM how hom ophonebic/tra nsophonbic they are, and not to be, as well as how not to be. This being done since their professionalism was making it difficult for the (totally not leftist) researchers to find much of any ho mophonbicalism /tran sophonbicalism in the aforementioned people previously.

    Meanwhile the only departments in universities rumored to not be lef tist sh it holes happen to be the aforementioned fields.

    From yahoo to:

    link to freebeacon.com

    MM thinks we need more “research” to be sponsored by the federal gubmit. I wonder what kind of “research” he’s thinking about.

    Your taxpayer dollars at work slan dering and assaulting the very found ations of soc iety before your very eyes.

      1. Given how socially awkward so many engineering types are, the study funders could have saved a lot of money by thinking about whether anyone who isn’t like that (isn’t also socially awkward) finds engineering environments “chilly” and weird and not socially welcoming.

        1. Obviously. But nope, leftists gotta leftist slander. Get their virtue signal on.

    1. Federal gubmit spending half a million dollars

      The US government is spending $500,000? Oh my goodness.

      Meanwhile, 6’s party of l y in g r@cist s c u m b @ gs is working overtime to ensure that vast numbers of poor people lose their healthy insurance or can’t pay for it. So they will die. Oh well. At the same time, these s c u m b @ gs are going to toss a record number of billions (611 billion, to be exact) of dollars into the military welfare program and simultaneously complain that we can’t afford to educate people or provide them with basic healthcare.

      But, yes, let’s hear more ranting about this $500,000. So important! So very serious.

  3. Why is the long disclosure indicative of an enablement issue? Do you think the conditional probability of a claim being enabled given a long disclosure is lower than the conditional probability of a claim being enabled given a short disclosure?

    1. Whoops. That should’ve gone under 1.3.1.1.1.

    2. It is not “indicative of an enablement issue per se.

      I am not “aiming” at the application for a “fault,” but rather at the typical “Gee, my job is the metric” type of examiner.

      That’s the type of examiner who may look att he total number of pages, and go “Crp, it’s gotta be enabled”

      1. This empty anti-examiner speculation makes sense (for you) in response to NWPA’s comments suggesting bad faith on the applicant’s part, but it remains odd because your initial enablement comment preceeded those remarks.

        For what it’s worth, your “Crp, it’s gotta be enabled”-examiner largely doesn’t exist. The Boogey-Examiners never worry about enablement in the first place.

        1. Rather than largely don’t exist, it sounds like the opposite – they exist everywhere.

          (It just doesn’t take a 750 page tome to scare them)

    3. What aspects of this aren’t “enabled”? I’m using the term as it applies to the logic arts, of course.

      Are computers too slow nowadays to blend images? Maybe it takes too many look up tables.

  4. Paul, to be clear, the PTO reexamined and rejected the claims that appeared in the patent that was subject to reeissue. The patent owner did not either overcome the rejection, nor appeal. He simply abandoned the reissue application. No cancellations of anything actually occurred.

    The question for the Supreme Court was the effect of all this. The examiner by statute was required to reexamine everything about the patent in the reissue application. He did. He found the claims wanting.

    Ultimately, the Supreme Court determined that the patent owner was entitled to abandon the application without impairing the enforceability of the claims in the patent. The Supreme Court reasoned that since only a court could revoke a patent, that any attempt by the PTO to do so after reexamination without the consent of the patent owner would be inconsistent with this exclusive authority, and would also deny the patent owner of his exclusive property without due process.

    Somehow, the Federal Circuit ruled that the only problem with the examiner’s authority identified by the Supreme Court was lack of statutory authority. But there is no hint of that in the case itself. Rather the Supreme Court founded it holding on the exclusive authority of the courts to revoke patents.

  5. I’d like to be a fly on the wall for the CAFC’s conference on the matter of the claim construction of non-fictional alternate realities.

    fic·tion
    fikSH(ə)n/
    noun

    invention or fabrication as opposed to fact.
    plural noun: fictions
    “he dismissed the allegation as absolute fiction”
    synonyms: fabrication, invention, lies, fibs, untruth, falsehood, fantasy, nonsense.

    re·al·i·ty
    rēˈalədē/
    noun

    the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

    synonyms: the real world, real life, actuality; More
    2. the state or quality of having existence or substance.

    If it’s reality, it ain’t alternate.

    The USPTO should be sanctioned for this, but of course, they can do as they please, absent extraordinary intervention which never comes.

    1. An non-fiction alternate reality doesn’t exist?

      They create them all the time at CNN etc.

    2. Not to be too highbrow, but in cosmology, there is current series thought given to the notion of an”multiverse.”

      Sometimes facts are stranger than fiction…

      1. Yes, the Multiverse has a non-trivial chance of being real.

        However, without the slightest doubt, nothing of it can ever be accessible to us and our universe.

        IOW, zero patentable weight.

        1. without the slightest doubt, nothing of it can ever be accessible to us and our universe.

          Not at all true.

          1. I don’t even know where he would get that idea.

            The whole idea behind the multiverse is that the branes (membranes) making them up may well cross each other in areas (thus allowing us to detect them). And certain particles could very well be accessible to us that are affected by the coming and going of the branes.

            He needs more documentaries. I would point him to the good one on the subject but I forget which would be good.

            1. Please. I’m aware of hypothesis suggesting quantum vacuum effects etc.

              link to en.wikipedia.org

              For claim construction purposes, “reality” would still have to encompass such effects, and we can safely proceed with our patent system with the understanding that there is a singular reality.

              1. As I said, not to be too high brow, but reality may in fact be very different than what YOU want to “safely” proceed with.

                You can always choose to ignore the fact that reality may not be what you think it to be. People (many and varied) do that all the time.

                But do recognize that you may no longer be in tune with what “reality” really is.

    3. Perhaps a bill of pains and penalties directed at the acting director Matal?

  6. Dennis –

    This is incorrect: ” U.S. Patent Application No. 2012/0069131 –”

    That is a Publication No. i.e., a U.S. Patent Application Publication No.

    The Application No. is 13/068942

      1. You’re Welcome.

        However, your correction didn’t quite hit the mark. This is also incorrect: ” U.S. Patent Publication No. 2012/0069131 –”

        Its U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2012/0069131 –

          1. Well… on this point…. after all, it is “America’s leading patent law source.”

  7. I took a quick look at this. Some observations. The claims are heavily, heavily, amended over filed claims. The claims were allowed based on “blending”. See below. I would say that this is obvious over the video conferencing systems and other technology I have seen. The blendable part appears to me to be nothing more than a video conference with some other elements like a live feed of TV.

    This is a junk patent from what I’ve seen. The entire patent appears to be a game of words. Yes, this virtual reality stuff is big, but I don’t see anything that this patent adds other than a huge expression of what is already known with different words.

    Allowable portion of claim 1:
    presenting each of the dynamically constructed non-fictional alternate realities to the user on the electronic device as a blended scene of the blendable parts, the blended scene comprising any arbitrary selection and configuration of the blendable parts, the blended scene including at least two of the blendable parts, the blendable parts including blendable parts that comprise real-time live video of non-fictional people and digital elements that are drawn from blended scenes being presented to other users in their non-fictional realities,

    1. This is the type of application the USPTO should get a couple of good examiners on to make sure the application doesn’t muck up other people. Probably good that it put so much out there for examiners to use for prior art, but obviously the application was meant to try to claim a huge area of virtual reality by enabling many different claim sets to be written from the application (where have we seen that before.)

      I think the blending is well-known and has been shown at the CeBIT for many years.

    2. Actually, so a video conference with a shared spreadsheet seems to anticipate this “blending”.

    3. … but there’s booze in the blender, and soon it will render, that frozen concoction that helps me hang on…

    4. Thanks for this night. If I understand you correctly, the patent describes the present state of the virtual reality art with different words. Perhaps the inventor did not know of the industry standards words. Perhaps alternative words were chosen for disguise.

      If the latter, how is that different from withholding a material reference for gaining allowance of claims that are known not to be patentable?

      1. I don’t think it is different. But, maybe I wasn’t clear. I think this is like a Lemelson patent. Did you ever read those? The game was to put down all that was known and what could be performed by the various elements and then say all the elements could interact. In this way, you can support new claims with all combinations.

  8. real-time live video of non-fictional people

    As opposed to real-time live video of fictional people?

    1. What if the live video content includes a hologram of a non-fictional person?

      What if the live video content includes a person dressed up as a fictional person?

      No infringement? This is a question for the experts of course. You know: the “experts” in this “technology.”

      Yes, the US patent system is a joke.

  9. One of the best patent attorneys in the country – David Feigenbaum

    ROTFLMAO

    1. Malcolm is at it again. Now what’s your beef with this guy? Harvard law and Yale engineering, pretty impressive.

      1. what’s your beef with this guy

        I don’t have a beef with David. I’m just laughing at the superlatives. How many of these “best” guys are out there? Five? Or five thousand?

        1. The superlatives remind me of prior Chief Judge Rader….

  10. “Alternate realities” — aka role playing — “on a computer!”

    Nobody could have predicted any of this. On top of the obviousness problems, pure functional claiming. Unbelievable.

    Our patent system is a joke.

    1. ““Alternate realities” — aka role playing — “on a computer!””

      I thought he was describing creating leftist worldview (or still other “alternate worldviews”) for users with mass media. Because he says non-fictional realities I believe. Leftist worldview is arguably non-fictional, but it is an alternate reality from the physical reality which we inhabit.

      “a conceptual alteration of our current reality”

      ^Exactly what leftist worldview is. Not quite entirely fiction, but rather a conceptual alteration.

  11. On a more serious note: If a 102 rejection cites numerous sections of this document against you, is there an argument for a lack of teaching to combine different parts of the same document? What if someone took every patent and compiled them into one long patent application that published. Would it be OK to then reject an application under 102 based on different parts of this single omni-patent (omnipotent, get it?) application? Of course not. Is using the very long Abelow patent any different?

    Does the answer change for a 103 rejection utilizing different sections of Abelow?

    1. As a patent examiner, I try to avoid using “spaghetti references” with no clear delineation between different embodiments and that just hop around from one aspect of the invention to another. Every art area has these references. I also call them “omnibus references.” They are usually written by pro se inventors who try to think of every possible application of the invention without developing any of these applications in any real detail. When I have used these references in the past for 102 rejections, I have had applicants argue that it actually should have been a 103 because the passages I cited were from different sections of the specification and I should have used a 103 motivation to combine them, although the different passages arguably describe the same aspect of the invention. At this point I will usually have an interview and figure out a way to amend around the reference. Like I said, I try to avoid using “spaghetti references” because they make prosecution difficult, but sometimes the closest prior art is the closest prior art. A poorly written specification today will not only make the prosecution of that case difficult, it will make the prosecution of future cases difficult since today’s inventions are tomorrow’s prior art. A sloppily written reference makes things hard for examiners and applicants, but sometimes a sloppy reference is the closest prior art simply because of what it describes.

      1. Jack, thanks for your response, it’s great to have an examiner’s point of view on these boards. in my experience, it seems most examiners don’t understand the possibility of a 103 based on only one reference. There are a number of commonly cited “spaghetti” references in some of the arts I practice in, and they are a nightmare whenever they get cited against me. Funny thing is, as you state, most of these long spaghetti references don’t really contribute much (if any) new technology.

      2. Jack, thanks for your response, it’s great to have an examiner’s point of view on these boards. in my experience, it seems most examiners don’t understand the possibility of a 103 based on only one reference. There are a number of commonly cited “spaghetti” references in some of the arts I practice in, and they are a nightmare whenever they get cited against me. Funny thing is, as you state, most of these long spaghetti references don’t really contribute much (if any) new technology.

      3. I can hear the corps now: “Back home, we get a patent lawyer man, he’s gonna have a heart attack when he sees what I cite against him!”

    2. If a 102 rejection cites numerous sections of this document against you, is there an argument for a lack of teaching to combine different parts of the same document?

      Anticipation requires that the subject matter of the claim be taught as claimed. Either the combination as claimed is taught in the anticipating reference (expressly or inherently), or it isn’t. It’s definitely not sufficient for anticipation for the Examiner to simply find the limitations in the claim scattered throughout and say “Same doc, therefore motivation to combine.”

      Short answer: yes, your argument against anticipation may exist (your hypothetical is a bit vague) but I wouldn’t phrase it the way that you did.

    3. It depends upon the particular language of course. If the reference says do X then Y then Z and gives 50 ways to do X, 50 to do Y and 50 to do Z, it’s just a Markush invention with 125000 embodiments. If it posits X and Y and X and Z, it’s probably obvious to make XYZ because its likely simple combination or substitution, but it’s not necessarily obvious.

  12. So this “One of the best patent attorneys in the country” is really on the ball. The last thing in the file history is a letter that states, “The Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) calculation included in the Issue Notification dated October 21, 2015 indicates that the PTA is 709 days. This PTA may be longer than appropriate. The Patentee notes that a response to a Notice to File Missing Parts was filed in October 2011 for which no Applicant delay was assessed.”

    Is this really necessary? Inequitable conduct for failure to correct a slightly longer PTA? I’m not criticizing the attorney, but LOL.

    1. “Is this really necessary? Inequitable conduct for failure to correct a slightly longer PTA? I’m not criticizing the attorney, but LOL.”

      Read MPEP 2733. And the worry is not “inequitable conduct” per se, it is Walker Process. But LOL away until someone raises that sort of claim against a patent where the client asked you to check the USPTO’s PTA.

      1. Wouldn’t simply abstaining from making claims as to infringement occurring during the possibly overly extended portion of the PTA period avoid WP type allegations?

  13. I also can’t tell if this guy is really a visionary or just a quack.

    1. The vision here is staler than the gum on Billy’s bedpost.

  14. For years there there have for-profit companies that sold patent analysis services that among other things claimed to be able to ID important, valuable or pioneer patents by how many times those patents were cited in later patents. [Apparently confusing patent examination with technical literature citations?]
    Apparently they never bothered to check that correlation assumption with long time PTO practitioners or PTO examiners. Because it is patents with large specifications with references to many possible applications and alternatives, as here, that usually makes them useful as prior art, and claim breadth and product coverage is essentially irrelevant for that purpose.

    1. Also, with the AIA* it makes no difference to its prior art effect if a patent cited for prior art was published ten years or ten days before the effective filing date of the application being examined.

      *[Even before the AIA, in almost all cases Junior parties without a prior actual reduction to practice rarely won interferences, and patents obtained by uncontested “swearing behind” declarations almost never survived assertions in litigation.]

    2. Because it is patents with large specifications with references to many possible applications and alternatives, as here, that usually makes them useful as prior art, and claim breadth and product coverage is essentially irrelevant for that purpose.

      They’re only useful prior art because the Office de facto ignores the law that the number of references is not relevant for patentability.

  15. I’d like to know how much that attorney charged for this application (although clearly some of it was written by the inventor and pasted in). My firm might charge something like $15,000 for an app with 250 paragraphs (which would be long by our standards). Did the inventor really pay $150,000+ for a patent application?

    1. He might have been able to.

      Dan Abelow is the Inventor of Expandiverse Technology, Architect of Digital Earth 2025, and Principal Consultant of Breakthrough UX.

      These three vehicles help build a Digital Earth by delivering its Technology, Roadmaps and Services.

      Dan is an American inventor, speaker, author and consultant. He holds degrees from the Wharton School and Harvard.

      link to expandiverse.com

  16. This isn’t the only patent like this (just search Reality Alternate as a title, theyre all named similarly), and I’ve cited to these applications more than once. The “expandaverse” is just the internet. It reads like science fiction because the applicant is his own lexicographer. But if you get confused because the language is intentionally misleading, don’t be surprised, that’s what patent attorneys/applicants do.

    This reference gets cited to a lot because it simply compiles what a bunch of other references say in one place – you might have a reference of a business method done over the internet or sensor data over the internet, but these specs have it all.

    There’s nothing unique here at all other than funny language.

  17. Here’s claim 1 of the issued patent. I’d be grateful if someone can explain to me what is being claimed.

    1. A computer-implemented method comprising
    on an electronic device providing standalone functions to a user at a location,
    on the electronic device, running a process, the process providing functions of a portal for a user of the electronic device to be present simultaneously in two or more different non-fictional alternate realities that are distinct from a non-fictional physical reality of the user, each of the alternate realities being shared by the user with at least one other user of another electronic device, the user being present in the two or more alternate realities persistently on one or more electronic devices, in one or more locations, and at one or more times, the process providing the portal functions by at least:
    recognizing that the user is present at the electronic device,
    in response to determining that the user is present at the electronic device, automatically using pre-stored access information to connect the electronic device to digital elements that include a set of real-time non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements, together constituting interactive versions through which the user can be present in each of the alternate realities,
    automatically configuring each set of real-time non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements in accordance with stored information to present a makeup of each interactive version at an earlier time so that the user can resume a presence in the alternate reality as it existed at the earlier time,
    the non-fictional alternate realities being dynamically constructed by real-time blending of blendable parts that include real-time live video of non-fictional people and digital elements that comprise places and other content, the blendable parts not being limited by a theme or concept of a game or of a third-party,
    presenting each of the dynamically constructed non-fictional alternate realities to the user on the electronic device as a blended scene of the blendable parts, the blended scene comprising any arbitrary selection and configuration of the blendable parts, the blended scene including at least two of the blendable parts, the blendable parts including blendable parts that comprise real-time live video of non-fictional people and digital elements that are drawn from blended scenes being presented to other users in their non-fictional realities,
    the elements that are blended to construct the non-fictional alternate realities being received at the location of the electronic device and from locations other than the location of the electronic device, including from capture devices operating at the location or other locations,
    the real-time blending including segmenting real-time video and other digital elements to obtain at least some of the blendable parts, obtaining information about size and other characteristics of at least some of the blendable parts that have been segmented from the real-time video and other digital elements, and combining the blendable parts in a presentable composite of a scene, including background and foreground parts, based at least in part on the sizes and other characteristics of the blendable parts,
    in response to a user’s indications, adding to the set of real-time non-fictional representations, one or more real-time non-fictional representations of other people and other digital elements from another of one of the non-fictional alternate realities, or one or more non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements from other available non-fictional representations of other people and other digital elements,
    receiving the indications of the user selecting the non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements, and configurations of the non-fictional representations of one or more other people and digital elements, for the alternate realities, without constraining the representations and configurations based on a theme or concept imposed by a third party or a game,
    providing to the user of the electronic device a presence in each of the alternate realities that is either (a) an active presence in which the user is actively interacting with the alternate reality or (b) an inactive presence in which the user is not actively interacting with the alternate reality,
    in response to the user, switching manually or automatically between active presence and inactive presence in each of the alternate realities,
    causing the active or inactive presence of the user in each of the alternate realities to be made known to another user who shares that alternate reality,
    displaying to the user an indication of the active presence or inactive presence of each other user and the states of connections to digital elements in each of the alternate realities,
    storing information that identifies whether the user has an active presence or an inactive presence in each of the alternate realities,
    changing the makeup of the interactive version of each of the alternate realities dynamically in response to real-time interaction of the user or stored instructions of the user as the user interacts with the real-time non-fictional representations of one or more of the other people and digital elements,
    updating the stored information that identifies the makeup of the interactive version of the alternate reality and whether each user and each digital element has an active presence or an inactive presence in each of the alternate realities at least when the electronic device disconnects from the set of real-time non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements, and
    assuring that the user can run a portal process on one or more devices, at one or more locations, and at one or more times to continue a persistent active presence or inactive presence in each of the alternate realities.

    1. Reasons for allowance:

      The following is an Examiner’s statement of reasons for allowance:

      The closest prior art of record Weston (US Patent Application 2001/0034257) teaches a virtual reality mixed media meeting room that functions to provide the user with a visually familiar conference format and conference controls that are intuitive to operate.

      As per claim 1 none of the art of record, taken individually or combination disclose at least the steps/components of:

      presenting each of the dynamically constructed non-fictional alternate realities to the user on the electronic device as a blended scene of the blendable parts, the blended scene comprising any arbitrary selection and configuration of the blendable parts, the blended scene including at least two of the blendable parts, the blendable parts including blendable parts that comprise real-time live video of non-fictional people and digital elements that are drawn from blended scenes being presented to other users in their non-fictional realities, the elements that are blended to construct the non-fictional alternate realities being received at the location of the electronic device and from locations other than the location of the electronic device, including from capture devices operating at the location or other locations,

      1. Oh nice, pretty much what I thought in my post at 5.3.

        In other words, allowable because it has live camera feed + stock digital photo in the same picture.

        Nah, this one was missed.

      2. The ESA immediately reminded me of that major old movie in which Gene Kelley “dances with” Micky Mouse and a varying background – beautifully merged in color.
        Which also reminds me that we had a discussion earlier on this blog site about movies as prior art. At least prior art for broad claims to functions or results rather than specific enablements.

      3. Dennis

        This is all just integrated, multiuser virtual reality world gaming/living. I can’t figure out which is more amusing, his resume, or MM’s reaction to it.

        1. integrated, multiuser virtual reality world gaming/living/

          Other than the “virtual reality” part (which is conceptually ancient and which, conceptually, inherently includes as “content” all depictable reality and all depictable fantasy) we’ve got gaming and living, which are also ancient and also part of the real world.

          You can play games within games, of course. And you can play games with games. And you can play games with the law which is a pasttime for some people.

    2. This extends the examiner hand-span test for allowance to a hand-to-elbow test. It expands the picture claim test to a virtual wallpaper test.

    3. 1. A computer-implemented method comprising
      on an electronic device providing standalone functions to a user at a location,
      on the electronic device, running a process, the process providing functions of a portal for a user of the electronic device to be present simultaneously in two or more different non-fictional alternate realities that are distinct from a non-fictional physical reality of the user, each of the alternate realities being shared by the user with at least one other user of another electronic device, the user being present in the two or more alternate realities persistently on one or more electronic devices, in one or more locations, and at one or more times, the process providing the portal functions by at least:

      On a computer that runs web browser software where a website is visited by the user.

      in response to determining that the user is present at the electronic device, automatically using pre-stored access information to connect the electronic device to digital elements that include a set of real-time non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements, together constituting interactive versions through which the user can be present in each of the alternate realities,
      automatically configuring each set of real-time non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements in accordance with stored information to present a makeup of each interactive version at an earlier time so that the user can resume a presence in the alternate reality as it existed at the earlier time,

      I’d have to check the spec but it seems to be “upon local user input (i.e. pressing a button or tapping your screen) logging onto a communicator (facebook messenger, facetime, skype kind of thing)”

      automatically configuring each set of real-time non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements in accordance with stored information to present a makeup of each interactive version at an earlier time so that the user can resume a presence in the alternate reality as it existed at the earlier time,
      the non-fictional alternate realities being dynamically constructed by real-time blending of blendable parts that include real-time live video of non-fictional people and digital elements that comprise places and other content, the blendable parts not being limited by a theme or concept of a game or of a third-party, presenting each of the dynamically constructed non-fictional alternate realities to the user on the electronic device as a blended scene of the blendable parts, the blended scene comprising any arbitrary selection and configuration of the blendable parts, the blended scene including at least two of the blendable parts, the blendable parts including blendable parts that comprise real-time live video of non-fictional people and digital elements that are drawn from blended scenes being presented to other users in their non-fictional realities, the elements that are blended to construct the non-fictional alternate realities being received at the location of the electronic device and from locations other than the location of the electronic device, including from capture devices operating at the location or other locations,
      the real-time blending including segmenting real-time video and other digital elements to obtain at least some of the blendable parts, obtaining information about size and other characteristics of at least some of the blendable parts that have been segmented from the real-time video and other digital elements, and combining the blendable parts in a presentable composite of a scene, including background and foreground parts, based at least in part on the sizes and other characteristics of the blendable parts,

      Not sure here – maybe you can add digital art to your video like instagram video or snapchat can. In either case it blends the actual video with digital representations.

      in response to a user’s indications, adding to the set of real-time non-fictional representations, one or more real-time non-fictional representations of other people and other digital elements from another of one of the non-fictional alternate realities, or one or more non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements from other available non-fictional representations of other people and other digital elements,
      receiving the indications of the user selecting the non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements, and configurations of the non-fictional representations of one or more other people and digital elements, for the alternate realities, without constraining the representations and configurations based on a theme or concept imposed by a third party or a game,

      You can add a second person to the scene.

      providing to the user of the electronic device a presence in each of the alternate realities that is either (a) an active presence in which the user is actively interacting with the alternate reality or (b) an inactive presence in which the user is not actively interacting with the alternate reality,
      in response to the user, switching manually or automatically between active presence and inactive presence in each of the alternate realities,
      causing the active or inactive presence of the user in each of the alternate realities to be made known to another user who shares that alternate reality,
      displaying to the user an indication of the active presence or inactive presence of each other user and the states of connections to digital elements in each of the alternate realities,

      System has presence information (i.e. “away” “busy” etc)

      storing information that identifies whether the user has an active presence or an inactive presence in each of the alternate realities,
      changing the makeup of the interactive version of each of the alternate realities dynamically in response to real-time interaction of the user or stored instructions of the user as the user interacts with the real-time non-fictional representations of one or more of the other people and digital elements,
      updating the stored information that identifies the makeup of the interactive version of the alternate reality and whether each user and each digital element has an active presence or an inactive presence in each of the alternate realities at least when the electronic device disconnects from the set of real-time non-fictional representations of one or more other people and other digital elements, and

      Presence information affects the representation of a person.

      assuring that the user can run a portal process on one or more devices, at one or more locations, and at one or more times to continue a persistent active presence or inactive presence in each of the alternate realities.

      Cross platform.

      Two broad embodiments that come to my mind immediately – This is a video conference tool where the room is persistent and blended with live images. In other words, you might have a picture of a conference table, where the people sitting at it actually have the live heads of people talking (via a computer camera). It has presence information and when someone is afk for a long time it greys out the person’s camera feed.

      Or – this is snapchat/instagram + skype where you can call someone and use traditional presence information in association with digital icons.

      It’s likely obvious but the Examiner didn’t have the time to reject all that verbiage and do so with only 2-3 references. This is what I would call an acceptable bad allowance.

      1. Thanks for the explanation.

        My next question is, why does this pass muster under today’s 101 standards?

  18. One person’s “thought pioneer” is another person’s crank. There is, surely, no prospect that the examiner actually read and understood this monstrosity?!

    1. That does not bother those opposed to any PTO patent reexamination system.

  19. Most-Oft examiner cited U.S. prior art reference

    Any breakdowns on that?

    Most cited by a single examiner? what if a single examiner (perhaps as an outlier) is removed, no citings at all? citing frequency no longer on the list?

    This seems like another incident of bad academia statistics….

    1. Here are a bunch of the patents where the examiner cites back to the Abelow prior art (either the published application or the eventually issued patent). I have not gone through these references, but the four I chose at random each had a different patent examiner.

      Note-I only included situations where the face of the patent indicates that the examiner cited the prior art rather than the applicant or third party. The Kuhn article that I wrote about last week reported that the “Examiner Cited” statistic is slightly off because some examiners apparently identify some of the most-relevant applicant-cited prior art as ‘examiner cited.’

      PatNum
      9756242
      9756138
      9749710
      9747654
      9747609
      9745062
      9745062
      9742753
      9740382
      9737806
      9736515
      9736121
      9730112
      9727300
      9716743
      9710217
      9705997
      9704477
      9704171
      9697545
      9691358
      9691130
      9686520
      9679071
      9679032
      9656164
      9654457
      9652787
      9652473
      9651944
      9646268
      9641981
      9639743
      9634882
      9626441
      9625592
      9614899
      9600606
      9599988
      9599985
      9593959
      9590837
      9589149
      9582808
      9568973
      9559916
      9559860
      9558460

    2. We’re not talking large numbers here – 46 examiner-cites to the Abelow application in patents issued thus far in 2017. The #2 reference has 36 examiner citations.

    3. Maybe the volume of the reference, and the several lists of known technologies, makes it a great target for keyword search engines and provides reasons to combine. Another great reference for the USPTO to find reasons to combine would be the Library of Babel, which contains the books made from all the letter permutations.

      1. 😉

        Exactly.

        (or how about the Big Box of Protons, Neutrons and Electrons? In the best Star Trek replicator fashion, ANYTHING you ask for is “already in there”)

    1. Come on, Anon, since when has lack of enablement ever stopped an examiner from citing a publication?

    2. I.PRIOR ART IS PRESUMED TO BE OPERABLE/ENABLING

      When the reference relied on expressly anticipates or makes obvious all of the elements of the claimed invention, the reference is presumed to be operable. Once such a reference is found, the burden is on applicant to provide facts rebutting the presumption of operability. In re Sasse, 629 F.2d 675, 207 USPQ 107 (CCPA 1980). See also MPEP § 716.07.

      1. You might want to check out the facts of the case that you cite:

        References Guillot et al. 3,551,442 Dec. 29, 1970 Guillot et al. I Reissue 27,506 Oct. 10, 1972 Bachman 3,444,178 May 13, 1969

        References – BEING granted patents – were taken as enabled. Such is NOT the case for any ‘ol publication. Science fiction is published and enjoys NO such standing.

    3. What about it? Please be specific.

      1. At 750 pages, I was wondering if the typical key word search “examination” was employed and if enablement was merely presumed (because of that length).

        I wonder how much time was spent in actual examination of reading and comprehending the breadth of those 750 pages.

        Up above Night Writer employs a Malcolm-like “sniff” and concludes that mere “different words” were used, when perhaps, after a careful read of those 750 pages, different words are necessary for a particular nuance.

        I have not bothered with reading myself, so I ask.

        1. The claims appear to be enabled under the plain and ordinary meanings of the terms used in the claim. Of course you’re right that the claim scope could be different due to definitions, and that there could be an enablement issue. But that could be said of any application with a specification that one hasn’t read. It must be tiresome typing out “Enablement…?” 99.999% of the time someone references a patent or PGPub.

          1. You kind of overlook the peculiarity of this case and the 750 pages…

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