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(Slashdot stories about specific silly patents: ==References== {{reflist}})
 
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'''Silly patents''' can be useful for explaining how difficult it is for examiners to evaluate patent applications on software ideas.  They can show how abstract software ideas are.
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'''Silly patents''' can be useful for explaining how difficult it is for examiners to evaluate patent applications on software ideas.  They can show how [[software is too abstract|abstract]] software ideas are.
  
 
They can also be a distraction.  They can make the listener think that the main problem is the examination process, letting silly patents through.  They could think that if there were more examiners, or if each one had more time, we could avoid silly patents and then the system would work.  If they think that, then you haven't correctly explained the real problem.
 
They can also be a distraction.  They can make the listener think that the main problem is the examination process, letting silly patents through.  They could think that if there were more examiners, or if each one had more time, we could avoid silly patents and then the system would work.  If they think that, then you haven't correctly explained the real problem.
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==Countries that grant certain patents without review==
 
==Countries that grant certain patents without review==
Some countries have special processes to approve patents without reviewing them.  The review only happens if the patent is contested or used in a court case.  So, when the Australian patent office grants a patent on the wheel, it's not because the examiners are stupid, it's because there was no examination.
 
  
For some countries, it's for all patents, for others it's just for "special" patents such as "innovation patents" in [[Australia]].
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Some countries have [[utility models and innovation patents]], which are a special, separate type of patent which gets approved with little or no review.  The review only happens if the patent is contested or used in a court case.  So, when the Australian patent office grants a patent on the wheel,<ref>http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn965-wheel-patented-in-australia.html</ref> it's not because the examiners are stupid, it's because there was no examination.
  
* [[Australia]]
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For a small number of countries, such as [[South Africa]], all patents are like this.
* [[South Africa]]
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* [[Netherlands]] - previously, but they've abolished those patents
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==Related pages on {{SITENAME}}==
 
==Related pages on {{SITENAME}}==
* [[Analogies]]
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* [[Raising standards is not our goal]]
 
* [[Example software patents]]
 
* [[Example software patents]]
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* [[Quality of software patents is particularly bad]]
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* [[Divine e-commerce patents‎]] - Divine inc. asked e-commerce companies to pay royalties on its "shopping cart" patent
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
===Slashdot stories===
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* [http://www.zdnet.com/blog/burnette/why-software-patents-are-a-joke-literally/2039 Why software patents are a joke, literally], 17 Aug 2010, former [[Sun]] employee James Gosling tells of the office competition to get the silliest patent
Slashdot publishes a lot of stories on this topic.
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** Also: [http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/08/17/0437242 Slashdot discussion]
* [http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/01/04/2321226/HP-Patents-Bignum-Implementation-From-1912 HP Patents Bignum Implementation From 1912]
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===Slashdot stories about specific silly patents===
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Slashdot publishes ''a lot'' of stories on this topic.  You may find more by looking at the [[news links]] page(s) and sorting the table by the Website column.
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* [http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/01/04/2321226/HP-Patents-Bignum-Implementation-From-1912 HP Patents Bignum Implementation From 1912] (See also: [[HP]])
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* [http://idle.slashdot.org/story/09/12/30/166220/USPTO-Awards-LOL-Patent-To-IBM USPTO Awards LOL Patent To IBM]
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* [http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/05/26/159249/IBM-Wants-Patent-For-Regex-SSN-Validation IBM Wants Patent For Regex SSN Validation]
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* [http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/05/16/1917253/IBM-Patents-Changing-Color-of-E-Mail-Text IBM Patents Changing Color of E-Mail Text]
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* [http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/05/08/2046215/IBM-Invents-40-Minute-Meetings IBM "Invents" 40-Minute Meetings]
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* [http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/02/16/1311236/Google-Patents-Country-Specific-Content-Blocking Google Patents Country-Specific Content Blocking] (See also: [[Google]])
  
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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{{footer}}
 
[[Category:Campaigning]]
 
[[Category:Campaigning]]

Latest revision as of 07:33, 13 February 2012

Silly patents can be useful for explaining how difficult it is for examiners to evaluate patent applications on software ideas. They can show how abstract software ideas are.

They can also be a distraction. They can make the listener think that the main problem is the examination process, letting silly patents through. They could think that if there were more examiners, or if each one had more time, we could avoid silly patents and then the system would work. If they think that, then you haven't correctly explained the real problem.

Also, many news stories about silly patents are about applications for silly patents. Anyone can apply for a patent on anything, so these stories are not very consequential. Stories of silly patents that have been granted are more useful.

Contents

[edit] Countries that grant certain patents without review

Some countries have utility models and innovation patents, which are a special, separate type of patent which gets approved with little or no review. The review only happens if the patent is contested or used in a court case. So, when the Australian patent office grants a patent on the wheel,[1] it's not because the examiners are stupid, it's because there was no examination.

For a small number of countries, such as South Africa, all patents are like this.

[edit] Related pages on en.swpat.org

[edit] External links

[edit] Slashdot stories about specific silly patents

Slashdot publishes a lot of stories on this topic. You may find more by looking at the news links page(s) and sorting the table by the Website column.

[edit] References

  1. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn965-wheel-patented-in-australia.html


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