I have talked a lot about bad patents and how the patent system should be reformed to better prevent these patents from being granted. I decided that it would be a good idea to start a category called ‘Bad Patent’ and keep track of bad patent ideas as I come across them. Here are the first two entries.
The first is from Google. Their description of the patent:
“A user of a web service is prompted to endorse the web service to the user’s friends or other connections by submitting a status message to one or more status messaging services to which the user belongs.”
And from the article:
“You know when you sign up for a service and it lets you post a message to your friends on Twitter or Facebook inviting them to join? Yup, Aardark is somehow claiming that this was the company’s own invention.”
The second is from IBM. They consider it an invention to optimize a program by trial and error. Their description of the patent:
“A method for developing a computer program product, the method comprising: evaluating one or more refactoring actions to determine a performance attribute; associating the performance attribute with a refactoring action used in computer code; and undoing the refactoring action of the computer code based on the performance attribute. The method of claim 1 wherein the undoing refactoring is performed when the performance attribute indicates a negative performance effect of the computer code.”
I do look forward to being a lawyer, writing incredibly obvious, simple things in complicated ways. There is apparently good money in doing that. If a normal person had written that it would look something like this:
“Try something. If is slows down the program, undo it. If it speeds up the program keep it.”
I think law schools should offer a class in obfuscating language because I am not sure I have learned how to make things that obtuse and it seems to be a requirement for legal writing.
h/t thelittlekitchn from The Little Kitchen for the Google Article