Thursday, November 03, 2005

Details of '804: First Storyline Patent in History

It is as bad as we thought -- the claims for Andrew Knight's storyline patent (app #20050244804) are very broad. Here is claim #1:
1. A process of relaying a story having a timeline and a unique plot involving characters, comprising: indicating a character's desire at a first time in said timeline for at least one of the following: a) to remain asleep or unconscious until a particular event occurs; and b) to forget or be substantially unable to recall substantially all events during the time period from said first time until a particular event occurs; indicating said character's substantial inability at a time after said occurrence of said particular event to recall substantially all events during the time period from said first time to said occurrence of said particular event; and indicating that during said time period said character was an active participant in a plurality of events.
two-seventy-one patent blog points out that some of the claims look a lot like things done in the movie Memento. Prior art is important (since these claims haven't yet been examined on merit), but that is somewhat beside the point. The real issue is whether such ideas should be patentable at all. It will be interesting to see how the patent office ends up deciding on this, as well as what the courts decide in ensuing litigation over the next few years.

Update: some information about the enforceability of this patent for you.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Shaviv said...

As an artist, I think this is really, really stupid. No qualifiers there.

Copyright law is too restrictive as it is now, in my view. I have to fear publishing before my intended audience because of its zealous love of copyright. My only solace is that most of that audience is just as unable to pay for a lawyer as I am.

2:46 PM  

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