My patent story

Seeing this reminds me of the time some years ago when a customer wanted to patent something we developed for him. I had to sign away my patent rights for $1.00, which must have been included in my standard pay, because I never saw it.

In any case, while there were a few things about the project that perhaps could have been worthy of patent protection, the lawyers involved basically copied the engineering design documents as the patent application. If the patent had made it through the process and been granted (and I’ve never checked to see if it was granted), then our customer would have had a patent that included as a claim Euclid’s algorithm for calculating GCD.

We had to go through the application and comment on it for the lawyers. I don’t think I made any friends there when I described the application as ignoring the big picture and concentrating on irrelevant details, similar to trying to patent a spoon using detailed descriptions primarily about the exact curvature of the bowl and the filigree on the handle.

I’ll have to go through my old website now, so I can find and re-post the poem I wrote in honor of the patent for playing with a cat using a laser pointer.

UPDATE: Ah, here it is!

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