Strange Brouhaha

Friday, November 04, 2005

This is WRONG!

Slashdot this morning linked to a story about a guy--I "forget" his name, so let's just call him Idiot Asshole--who is attempting to patent PLOTS. If the Patent Office grants this one, be prepared for the death of all creativity.

No, I'm not making this up. He's trying to get the Patent Office to issue him a patent for a plot. This is not the same as copyright. He wants to own plots, not just a specific instance of a plot--in other words, he wants to own any and all applications of "the son and daughter of two warring factions fall in love and meet with tragedy," not just "West Side Story". You can kiss movies, plays, books and short stories goodbye if this goes through, as the USPTO is flooded with patent applications and authors start needing to do patent searches before they start the next Great American Whatever.

It will fail, or at least I hope so. Not just because it's utterly, utterly stupid of Idiot Asshole to even conceive of this idea, but because there has to be prior art out there that's close enough.


  • Hmm. Although I don't practice in that realm, I did take a patent class, and this seems pretty clearly like b.s. to me. Or more likely a publicity stunt. I think the reasonably favorable assessment of his chances at obtaining a patent are tempered by the fact that this is a press release and not a news article. I wouldn't worry too much about this.

    By Anonymous Josh, at 1:01 PM  

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