Light BulbAnother patent just failed the Supreme Court's airy test for unpatentable "abstract ideas".

A whiter shade of pale

Patents that define ways to make money through commerce on the Internet never have gotten much respect.

In the last year, a series of rulings by the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court bled much of the remaining color out of the "business

Idea lightbulb

Abstract ideas

Section 101 of the Patent Act allows patents on "any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof". 35 U.S.C. 101. But, the Supreme Court has held, it does not make laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas patentable. Ass'n for Molecular Pathology

Shutterstock_127074176Broad patents

You could get really rich if you had a patent on something like "a device that can make and receive wireless phone calls". That would cover every wireless phone, dumb and smart, that ever existed. It would include the satchel phone that Blawgletter's friend Darrell Gest carried around in his ratty pickup back

Rube Goldberg Flyswatter
Flyswatter by Rube Goldberg.

You've heard about the genius whose incandescent idea for a new contraption wakes him in the hours before sunup.  You'll also recall Edison's cutesy statement that "[g]enius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration."

Both the burning thought that disturbs the inventor's slumber and the drudgery that produces the pre-dawn