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Patents IBM

IBM Wants Patent On Finding Areas Lacking Patents 151

theodp writes "It sounds like a goof — especially coming from a company that pledged to raise the bar on patent quality — but the USPTO last week disclosed that IBM is seeking a patent for Methodologies and Analytics Tools for Identifying White Space Opportunities in a Given Industry, which Big Blue explains allows one 'to maximize the value of its IP by investigating and identifying areas of relevant patent 'white space' in an industry, where white space is a term generally used to designate one or more technical fields in which little or no IP may exist,' and filling those voids with the creation of additional IP."
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IBM Wants Patent On Finding Areas Lacking Patents

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  • !=Innovation (Score:2, Informative)

    by Xerolooper ( 1247258 ) on Monday September 29, 2008 @11:18AM (#25194091)
    After reading TFA it seems the patent application is about going back over things they have already made. Then if they don't hold alot of patents on it they try to find new ways of patenting it. In their mind trying to protect what they see as theirs. You see most new innovations have multiple patents. Take the case of item A, B, and C. A = 2 patents B = 24 patents C = 12 patents Under their suggested method they would identify A as an item that has greater potential to find new patentable features.
  • Re:patent patents! (Score:3, Informative)

    by ribuck ( 943217 ) on Monday September 29, 2008 @11:37AM (#25194315) Homepage
    Yep. And, as usual, xkcd said it best [].
  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Monday September 29, 2008 @12:36PM (#25194977)

    We already have programs that write themselves (within limits). They are rather useful in the field of AI.

  • Re:WRONG. (Score:2, Informative)

    by IPCanuck ( 1055714 ) on Monday September 29, 2008 @04:01PM (#25197199)
    Design patents are very different from utility patents. They don't last as long, and the unique design features don't need to have any particular utility. They also aren't nearly as valuable, and don't prove that anything was actually invented. That's why the Q-Ray bracelet proudly proclaims they have a US Design Patent - no-one else can copy their design, but they don't have to prove that it actually has any of the claimed benefits.

    As to your second point, you're correct that you don't need a working model or prototype of your product to obtain a patent. You do, however, have to have the invention 'reduced to practice' - i.e. someone with the right resources could implement your invention given what you've described in the application.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.