Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Online Testing? Patented!

from the and-so-it-goes dept

Someone submitted this story last week, but it was only available behind a subscription wall at the time. Politech has now published the important points of this story, talking about a company that claims to own patents covering online testing. It's yet another situation of a small company claiming patents on something completely obvious (with plenty of prior art) and claiming that somehow because something is "online", it's patentable. The universities being threatened seem likely to fight back, so hopefully this patent will be invalidated. However, in the meantime, it's a pain for those universities involved who are simply doing the most obvious thing: putting tests online. It's amazing that the patent holder can claim with a straight face that these universities are "profiting at our expense."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    slim, Mar 30th, 2004 @ 6:37am

    Dear Sir ...

    ... I have the patent on expressing onesself "on-line" as opposed to with pencil and paper or other forms of unpatentable expression.

    Please kindly send your check payable to me soonest.

    Some dumb lawyer

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    MilesArcher, Mar 30th, 2004 @ 7:04am

    Online Testing

    My father invented this in 1968-69 while working at IBM. They probably patented it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Beck, Mar 30th, 2004 @ 7:09am

    Carefully Worded Claim

    The guy says:

    "There are many organizations out there who have made a ton of money off of the technology that we've got a patent on," says James J. Posch, chief executive officer of Test Central

    He doesn't say that anyone stole his company's technology. He basically says that "many" organizations came up with the same idea, and he happens to have the patent on the idea. He's admitting that the idea is not "non-obvious" (since many other organizations had the same idea), and therefore blows his patent claim.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Dmitry, Mar 30th, 2004 @ 2:12pm

    Idea for techdirt

    Hey why not make a section that list every silly patent as it comes out? That would be a nice part of the site that can get it more attention.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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