Saturday, November 10, 2007

The lawyers are taking over the asylum.

A patent application covering the business process method of a -

"concept of a marketing company devoted to selling/marketing products produced by other companies in return for a share of their profits"

- was rejected by the PTO on the grounds that a claim must either have a “useful, concrete, and tangible result” or “transform” something into a new physical state. This is good, as the application does neither of these things.

Unfortunately the decision is being appealed on the grounds that the test is too strict. The full story can be followed on Patently-O.

The application should really have been rejected on the grounds that there is no innovation involved whatsoever. The applicants and their lawyers should really have been carted off to an asylum for the bleeding obvious for their own good and ours. Provision of service in return for a percentage of worth or rewards? We've been doing this for hundreds if not thousands of years - booty of war, no win no fee and many others.

Given the enormous amounts of waste and the negative impact on innovation that the current patent system has, it is about time that business process method patents were discarded for the pointless sham that they are.