Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Microsoft Wants A Patent For Conjugating Verbs

from the I-Am-You-Are-He-She-It-Is dept

theodp writes "Microsoft's just goofing on us, right? Its latest batch of published patent applications includes one for Conjugating a Verb." Sort of reminds me of the Onion's satirical piece on Microsoft patenting 1s and 0s -- but this one is for real. It's just an application, so it hasn't been granted -- but it says something about how easy it is to get a patent these days that Microsoft and its lawyers would even think this is worth applying for. When so many bogus patents get approved, and the awards for enforcing them are so high, it only encourages more ridiculous patents to be filed -- which probably contributes a lot more to the supposed staffing problem at the patent office than anything else. If the USPTO followed the original purpose of the patent system, to only grant patents in the rarest of circumstances, then the issue of hiring more patent examiners wouldn't even be up for discussion at all.

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  1. identicon
    Brian, 31 Aug 2006 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Which is right

    Love the site, but we'll go round and round on this one...

    "any new and useful art, machine, manufacture or composition of matter and any new and useful improvement on any art, machine, manufacture or composition of matter." Jeffersons own language in the 1783 Act...

    How does that possibly compute to "rarest of circumstances"??? The word ANY is used 3 flippin' times in that one sentence...

    However, if you need to conjugate any verbs in order to debate this, I guess you're off the hook. Can't risk that C&D letter from MSFT...

    P.S. Only the first paragraph of my first post is original. Everything below the link is taken from the link, which is one of the more definitive web sources on Patent History.

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