Posted by Jim Andrews | Thu Jan 17th 2008 5:11 p.m.

> > patents are only a threat to dullards.
> That is untrue. Patent trolls are a threat to genuine innovators. And
> the patentability of mathematics and concepts in software patents and
> business method patents are a threat. This is true for both economic
> and social implementation of both novel and established ideas.

the patent systems, like any other system of ownership, is going to be
abused. that doesn't mean we should throw out the baby with the bath water.

the abuses it will suffer will involve patenting things that shouldn't be

i would think it's very hard to determine, in some cases, whether a
particular invention should be patentable.

there should be recourse to overturn patents when the "invention" should not
be patentable.

> > because they are quite particular. they're not general enough
> to be much of
> > a concern to inquiring, original minds.
> Patents are not particular, they are written in impenetrable legalese.
> If you saw your own original creation represented as a patent you
> wouldn't recognize it. I know, because I once had to help prepare a
> patent for something I had created.

i recognized the corel corporation's patent as concerning a particular
feature they named the 'image sprayer' in corelPaint, though that was
nowhere stated in the patent.

actually the language of *this* patent, at least, is by no means
impenetrable. it is totally understandable. readable. searchable. nothing
mysterious or frightening about it whatsoever.

as an aside, go to and
search "poetry". it's very amusing. ray kurzweil has several poetry patents.
and i see that, for some reason, there is "poetry" in caskets. not sure if
this is an exquisite corpse or what.

i too have helped with patents. not of mine, but for the company i worked
for in seattle, a software company. the lawyers were specialists and very
bright. i was impressed.

  • Rob Myers | Fri Jan 18th 2008 5:44 a.m.
    Quoting Jim Andrews <>:

    > there should be recourse to overturn patents when the "invention" should not
    > be patentable.

    There are entire classes of "inventions" that are patentable that
    simply should not be patentable. This means that every single
    "invention" of this class should not be patentable. To make such
    "inventions" patentable then allow some to be overturned is a category
    error. Software and Business Methods should not be patentable, the
    public harm this does outweighs any private benefit.

    - Rob.
Your Reply