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
    ehrichweiss, 12 Mar 2009 @ 4:02pm

    Re:

    What I find crazy is that with all the patent lawsuits I've read about are about the goddamn ideas, not a process, method or machine. For example, back in the day they created the loom because it did what knitters did(well, kinda). Now if that happened today and someone created another machine that used a method different from the loom and anything your average knitter might do, the person who got the patent on the loom would be suing them senseless because it was their *idea* even if the method was different. 1-Click, "Buy It Now", etc = ideas. So WTF!?!?! Why are they even getting past the initial hearing? They should be settled with "I'm sorry your honor but this is a frivolous suit because this thing that was patented was nothing more than an idea, not an invention. The plaintiff has been lax in showing how my METHOD is related to theirs so they're trying to lay claim on an idea. Move to dismiss."

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