The Fight To Patent A 'Paradigm' For Marketing

from the fantastic dept

Slashdot points us to a story about Scott Harris' ongoing attempt to get a patent on a way to market software. Harris is effectively trying to claim a patent on a "paradigm" of marketing software for other companies. For a variety of reasons this should be unpatentable, and so far (thankfully), the USPTO and the courts have agreed -- but Harris keeps trying to appeal, claiming that a company is no different than a machine -- and if a machine can be patented, so can the "paradigm" of the company.

Whenever we discuss patents around here, and say anything about patenting an "idea" or a "concept" the patent system supporters in the crowd are quick to yell and scream about how you can only patent "inventions" or the "reduction to practice" rather than the idea or the concept. But as anyone who's been watching the patent system over the past couple of decades knows, the definitions are being pushed, tweaked and stretched beyond recognition -- and Harris's attempts here are representative of that fact. It's great that they haven't succeed yet -- but plenty of other such twists on patent law have been happening for years.
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Filed Under: marketing, paradigm, patents, scott harris

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  1. identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, 13 Mar 2009 @ 7:59pm

    Patenting concepts

    Good article. Unfortunately, some of the more malicious folks in our country have succeeded in patenting (or otherwise "protecting") concepts.
    It needs to stop, but that is not the real problem. The real problem(s) are:
    1. Lack of campaign finance reform, allowing the wealthy to "buy" legislators, and
    2. Forcing the USPTO to be self-supporting.
    Until these are fixed, it will be the "rubber blanket" problem; push down a bulge here and it will reappear there.

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