from the patent-limbo-stick dept.
ciaran_o_riordan writes "Anyone who feels that patent quality is just far too high nowadays
will be glad to hear that the USPTO has decided to ditch four of their
seven tests for obviousness. Whereas
guidelines said that an idea is considered obvious if it consisted of
'[predictable] variations [...] based on design incentives or other
market forces' or if there was 'Use of a known technique [prior art]
to improve similar devices (methods, or products) in the same way,'
guidelines do away with those tests. The classic
'teaching-suggestion-motivation' test is still there, with two others. For
software developers, silly patents
the main problem, but they certainly aggravate the matter. As
described in one patent
lawyer's summary, this change will 'give applicants greater
opportunities to obtain allowance of claims.'"
"I just want to be a good engineer."
-- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, concluding his keynote speech
at the 1988 AppleFest