No Joking Matter: Today's Bad Patents

from the sigh dept

Well, you might hope that on April Fool’s day any of the silly patents you read about would be fake, but it appears that’s not the case. We are seriously considering starting separate category here on Techdirt for all these ridiculous patents. The latest is a pair of patents from Network Associates for things that seem to be (a) pretty obvious and (b) in widespread use long before they filed for these patents. The first is for a “computer cleaning system, method and computer program product,” used to clean up junk data on your machine. There has to be a ton of prior art on that. The second is for a “method and apparatus for filtering that specifies the types of frames to be captured and to be displayed for an IEEE802.11 wireless Lan” which basically sounds like they took a concept that has been used on other networks for ages and tried to patent it on WiFi. Just because you take something used in one area and move it to another doesn’t make it patentable.

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Comments on “No Joking Matter: Today's Bad Patents”

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mhh5 says:

hmmm.. legally, though...

Just because you take something used in one area and move it to another doesn’t make it patentable.

IANAL, but I think with the current legal system, if you take an existing invention and use it in a novel application, it is patentable… I think some may argue that is a kind of innovation… and I might agree in some cases.

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