The basic premise, that a creative individual ought to benefit from that creativity, but that society at large also has a countervailing interest of having ideas freely available for our use and for future invention, is defined in the Article 1, Section 8, of the U. S. Constitution
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
Note that the words patent, copyright, and trademark are not used; those terms were established by later legislation and affirmed by court cases.From simple and noble, honoring the garage tinkerer, we've reach point, as one Microsoft engineer and holder of eight patents, notes,
never search, view, or speculate about patents. I was confused by this guidance till I wrote and reviewed one of my own patents. The legal claims section—the only section that counts—was indecipherable by anyone but a patent attorney.Originally, patents were intended to reward physical inventions, such as the cotton gin, light bulb, or transistor. With the patenting of software, and the establishment of the U. S. Court of Appeals and its jurisdiction over patents, the number and type of patents has grown including business process patents that are now the subject of a U. S. Supreme Court case. (See The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's Impact on Patent Litigation.)
The Supreme Court, in Bilski v. Kappos, is now considering whether business processes that ideas and processes are patentable. Groklaw's transcript shows that the justices are skeptical of the claim. (The official transcript is available on the Supreme Court site.)
JUSTICE SCALIA: You know, you mention that there are all these -- these new areas that didn't exist in the past because of modern business and what-not, but there are also areas that existed in the past that don't exist today. Let's take training horses. Don't you think that -- that some people, horse whisperers or others, had some, you know, some insights into the best way to train horses? And that should have been patentable on your theory.While we await the Court's decision, we're left to ponder how such a noble idea wound up with such silly attempts and/or results:
MR. JAKES: They might have, yes.
JUSTICE SCALIA: Well, why didn't anybody patent those things?
MR. JAKES: I think our economy was based on industrial process.
JUSTICE SCALIA: It was based on horses, for Pete's sake. You -- I would really have thought somebody would have patented that.
- IBM's attempt to patent the 40-minute meeting; Slashdot | IBM "Invents" 40-Minute Meeting
- An application to patent spam email processes was tossed out of court because the solution was obvious - Slashdot Your Rights Online Story | Federal Appeals Court Tosses Spam Patent
- What's brown and sticky? A stick, US006360693B1 - An apparatus for use as a toy by an animal, for example a dog, to either fetch carry or chew includes a main section with at least one protrusion extending therefrom that resembles a branch in appearance.
- An international intellectual property war looms as is India moves to patent yoga poses in bid to protect traditional knowledge.
- Software patenting has been a scourge in the global technology industries, let loose by a misinterpretation of US patent law by lower court judges biased in favor of patentability.
via Software Freedom Law Center Files Brief with Supreme Court Arguing Software Cannot Be Patented
- Everyone hates patent trolls (except, perhaps, the patent trolls' mothers) - To troll or not to troll, is that the question? | The Open Road - CNET News
- Patent Trolls Erode the Foundation of the U.S. Patent System
- Channel Intelligence Sues Just About Everyone Who Offers Wishlists
- Intellectual Ventures, co-founded by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has moved into a new phase, by selling patent rights to companies who will sue and pay IV a portion of the bounty:
Intellectual Ventures has started selling some of its 27,000 patents to people who aren't afraid to sue -- and in some cases IV will get a share of the prize. It's a scary scenario for tech companies that may end up in the legal crosshairs, but industry observers say it was only a matter of time
- Leading to an effort to patent the process of patent trolling: Halliburton Tries To Patent Form Of Patent Trolling.
- To which the good guys respond by buying patents with a promise not to sue: Trolling for Patents to Fight Patent Trolls.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,805,607: Scented doll with the appearance of an aged person.via They Invented What? (No. 142) « Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog
U.S. Patent No. 7,574,752 Garment with Integral faux thong extension and associated method
via Fake Thong
The patent is for a process for creating patent leather which, in turn, is an old process for treating leather so that it has a high gloss finish. You can start your research here. I'm tired and the Simpson's are on.