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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Araemo, 1 Sep 2006 @ 5:40am

    Re: Bleeding Obvious

    The biggest problem with 'obviousness' databases is this:
    What is obvious isn't necessarily obvious in a vacuum.

    However: In the course of developing a new technology, or manufacturing process, or whatever..

    The first person to work on said system will encounter a number of problems with obvious fixes to anyone trying to do the same end result. They will likely also have one or two interesting, novel approaches to getting things done.

    Since they are the first person to encounter several problems, noone else would have thought of the solution - yet. But if anyone in their field hit the same problem, they'd find the same solution rather quicikly. This is what I take the 'obvious to an average practitioner' clause to mean. It should be something that those in the field wouldn't come up with in a reasonable amount of time if they were facing the same problem. Patents should be given for REAL innovations, things that change the general belief from "it can't be done" to "it can be done".

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.