Friday, February 16, 2007

Me Am Rite Good! So Gimme Patent!

I wanted to shamelessly promote my recent publication:

Manevitz, Ben D., What's the Story with Storyline Patents - An Argument Against the Allowance of Proposed Storyline Patents and for the Rejection of Currently Pending Storyline Patent Applications, 24 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L. J. 717 (2006).

SSRN Link:

Consider this post (and the comments thereto) space for feedback on the paper and its subject.

I understand if you don't want to read the whole paper. (The last section is a lot of fun, though the most narrow legally.)

Essentially, this guy has come up with a Brand! New! Idea! where he wants to patent storylines. Yeah, you read that right. Just to be clear, the website is As in patenting plots. He builds his argument on the foundation of software and method patents, and what he claims is the demise of the printed matter doctrine. Knight's gone so far as to apply for a number of patents under the theory.

My paper proceeds in three parts. First, I argue that plots are not (and can not be) proper subject matter - a storyline is not a "useful art" as required by the Constitution and a storyline can not satisfy the constitutionally grounded utility requirement of the patent statute. Second, I argue that storyline patents should be disallowed as a matter of policy; allowing such patents would do violence to the patent/copyright bargain, and allowing such patents would place an enormous burden on the courts and the PTO in exchange for only the slimmest possible benefit. Finally, I argue against the particular storyline patents that Knight has filed, looking at specific novelty/obviousness issues.

I also spend a little time talking about the printed matter doctrine, and the reports of its death.

I do have some ideas that didn't make it into the paper, and I've got some other thoughts on the subject that I'd like to poke at some more, but I'll do that some other time.

For now I just wanted recommend the article to you. Read it, know it, love it, cite it often, laminate it and put it under your pillow at night or otherwise fetishize it... whatever.

Have a good weekend.

--Ben D. Manevitz

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home