IBM patented out of office emails





  • Today IBM told Ars Technica that it "has decided to dedicate the patent to the public" and it filed a formal disclaimer at the Patent Office making this dedication.

    Does this actually improve their chances of patenting it? If so, US patent system is even more fucked than I thought.


  • sockdevs

    @Maciejasjmj It's already been granted:

    On January 17, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted IBM a patent on an out-of-office email system.



  • patents

    lol



  • At some point, someone needs to make some form of "common law" => "public domain" for patents.

    If it's on the market already, then you shouldn't be able to patent it.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @xaade said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    If it's on the market already, then you shouldn't be able to patent it.

    That rule already exists (Prior Art). The problem is that the patent office consists of lawyers (not experts) who are paid by the number of patients they grant.* There is absolutely no incentive to actually check the applications.

    *Let that :wtf: sink in for a minute.



  • @asdf said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    Prior Art

    Remarkably easy to game. All you have to do is put rounded corners on it (or sharp corners if it already has rounded ones). Bada boom bada bing, INNOVATION! Patent granted!


  • sockdevs

    @flabdablet How do you put rounded corners on out-of-office responses? :confused:


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @flabdablet said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    Bada […] INNOVATION

    You just triggered bad memories. BRB, calling my Post-SAMSUNG stress disorder therapist.



  • @asdf said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    There is absolutely no incentive to actually check the applications.

    And there is absolutely no incentive to fix the system. At least not by the government, WTO and large corporations running the game. They WANT to stifle innovation.

    And besides, prior art is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that the "threshold of inventiveness" required to patent something should be big, and it's ridiculously small.

    Comparing three dates and sending a message if one is between the other two should not be patentable. The act of applying some other algorithm not covered by the patent to decide something should not be patentable. Automatically enabling plugins in a page should not be patentable.

    A ridiculously low requirement for patenting stuff would be that it requires at least one hour of work for a smart person to come up with it. That would already slash most of the absurd patents we see here every day.



  • @anonymous234 said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    @asdf said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    There is absolutely no incentive to actually check the applications.

    And there is absolutely no incentive to fix the system. At least not by the government, WTO and large corporations running the game. They WANT to stifle innovation.

    And besides, prior art is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that the "threshold of inventiveness" required to patent something should be big, and it's ridiculously small.

    Comparing three dates and sending a message if one is between the other two should not be patentable. The act of applying some other algorithm not covered by the patent to decide something should not be patentable. Automatically enabling plugins in a page should not be patentable.

    A ridiculously low requirement for patenting stuff would be that it requires at least one hour of work for a smart person to come up with it. That would already slash most of the absurd patents we see here every day.

    I really struggled with which direction make the slide to unlock swipe.



  • @RaceProUK said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    @flabdablet How do you put rounded corners on out-of-office responses? :confused:

    Rounded :whoosh: detected.



  • @anonymous234 said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    And there is absolutely no incentive to fix the system. At least not by the government, WTO and large corporations running the game.

    In fact, there's negative incentive; I don't know if this is true, but someone at the PTO told me it's one of the only agencies that actually generates a profit for the government.



  • @asdf said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    The problem is that the patent office consists of lawyers (not experts)

    This part isn't true. Patent examiners must have a degree in the appropriate field. As I was once told by someone who works (or worked at the time) at the USPTO, the biggest problem with software patents is that the examiners for stuff like biotech have a PhD and 10+ years of industry experience, while the examiners for software patents are 24-year-olds with a bachelor's degree.

    who are paid by the number of patients they grant.

    This part isn't quite true. Examiners get paid by the number of patents they look at, not necessarily that they grant. The typical routine is for the examiner to spend a few hours finding some stupid reason to reject the patent, the applicant makes some minor change to fix that stupid reason, then the examiner grants it.



  • @heterodox said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    In fact, there's negative incentive; I don't know if this is true, but someone at the PTO told me it's one of the only agencies that actually generates a profit for the government.

    Yup, it's true (well, I don't know about other agencies, but the USPTO is net profitable). One of the things from the last round of patent legislation (in 2011) that was supposed to help fix a lot of the issues was letting the USPTO keep all of the money that it brings in, instead of moving it the government's general fund. That should change the USPTO from being profitable to neutral, ideally by hiring more examiners to help get rid of the three-year backlog of applications.



  • @heterodox said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    I don't know if this is true, but someone at the PTO told me it's one of the only agencies that actually generates a profit for the government.

    It would be nice to see if there were data to that effect. While I don't have any reason not to believe that claim, I'd just want to ensure that it's not patently false.



  • @Groaner said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    @heterodox said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    I don't know if this is true, but someone at the PTO told me it's one of the only agencies that actually generates a profit for the government.

    It would be nice to see if there were data to that effect. While I don't have any reason not to believe that claim, I'd just want to ensure that it's not patently false.

    According to the 2016 USPTO Performance and Accountability Report, they generated $13.7 million net income from operations in the last FY (down 77.5% -- that's quite a drop).



  • @RaceProUK said in IBM patented out of office emails:

    How do you put rounded corners on out-of-office responses?

    If I knew that I'd be patenting them, duh.


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