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 @ 7:56pm

    Why should they deserve monopoly protection rights? -they don't deserve it. They earned it (risk vs. reward). In a more philosophical sense, those example provide more incentive to the marketplace. Hell, if Ron Popeil can build an empire from an 8-inch fishing rod, then maybe this gadget idea I've had in my head for 2 years may not be so insignificant after all.

    Compare technologicial innovation between, say, N. Korea and S. Korea.... I actually have zero clue about S. Korea's IP laws, just that they're better than N. Korea's...

    Why isn't selling the product incentive enough? -what are you selling again? That product that was never invented because there was no incentive to in the first place. Lets assume Super-philanthropist invents gadget X with no interest in patenting it, but only to profit from unit-sales. Except, with no patent protections, Gadget X is copied by 3 or 4 others with the same goal of unit-sales. I.E. you are now responsible for creating your own competition, drastically lowering the potential profit for the inventor, who also happens to be the only party with an actual investment spent prior to the first prototype. What market failure is there? none, since no products except those made by gov't would be available for sale in this market. Everyone else with an idea saw that last guy screw himself, and headed for a friendlier climate to produce their innovation....

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