Subject: FSB: bills on the hill
From: Jean Camp <jean_camp@harvard.edu>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 12:38:24 +0100

This is a discussion of a couple of bills now in play. Lee and Bill are 
practicing IP lawyers, both of them have undergrad degrees in EE.

BTW, despite the forward I still like Bill.

-Jean


Lee Hollaar wrote:
 >
 > The next meeting of the Intellectual Property Committee will be on Friday,
 > June 1st. ...
 > The proposed agenda for the meeting is:
 >
 > - Review of pending legislation and court cases
 > Rep. Coble has proposed two bills to remove limits on third-party
 > reexamination appeals (HR 1886) and allow prior art that was
 > previously cited by the examiner in a reexamination if there is
 > a substantial new question of patentability raised (HR 1866).
 > House Judiciary is also considering two bills by Rep. Berman.
 > HR 1332 would provide special rules for business methods patents,
 > ...
At
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c107:1:./temp/~c107K42gcg:e799:
This bill says,
 > Section 100 of title 35, United States Code, is amended by adding at the 
end the following:
 >
 > `(f) The term `business method' means--
 > `(1) a method--
 > `(A) of--
 > `(i) processing data; or
 > `(ii) performing calculation operations; and
 > `(B) which is uniquely designed for or utilized
 > in the practice, administration, or management of an enterprise;
Unless I am misreading it, a business method would include,
say, equations to estimate profits.
I thought math or methods of practicing computation were
excluded from patentability?
What if a student or scientist accidentally
blundered upon an equation (a least-squares estimation
algorithm, for example) already included in a "business
method patent"?
What is there about "business", anyway, that is invention?
Business is about making money (and not inventively printing it).
It should not be allowed to patent something that even
Bill Clinton could do, and this idea arose in his
administration.
A la secret rendezvous on helpless employees, the bill goes on,
 > "`(D) No information concerning patent applications published
 > under this subsection shall be made available to the
 > public, except as the Director determines."
"I did not have publication with that woman".
Am I misreading the intent of these passages?
Some of the subsequent paragraphs seem to be improvements,
on obviousness and prior art, but isn't this carrying the
FCC's sales of air to a little bit of an extreme?
If you think threats over copy protection were
surprising, wait until your kid has to pay a fee to
AOL or Wal-Mart to recite multiplication tables!

-- 
John
jwill@AstraGate.net John Michael Williams