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November 06, 2005

First-Ever Patent Issued For... Screenplay Storyline??!!!

One of the requirements for a patent is the non-obviousness of the thing to be patented. I have to say, this storyline is not really non-obvious -- who hasn't fantasized about this?

Further to a policy of publishing patent applications eighteen months after filing, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is scheduled to publish history’s first “storyline patent” application today. The publication will be based on a utility patent application filed by Andrew Knight in November, 2003, the first such application to claim a fictional storyline.

Knight, a rocket engine inventor, registered patent agent, and graduate of MIT and Georgetown Law, will assert publication-based provisional patent rights against anyone whose activities may fall within the scope of his published claims, including all major motion picture manufacturers and distributors, book publishers and distributors, television studios and broadcasters, and movie theaters.

...

According to Berman, “Non-obviousness probably presents the biggest challenge to patentability” because minor variations on a central theme may generate so many different storylines. Nevertheless, Knight asserts that his claimed storyline meets all statutory requirements, including nonobviousness.

The fictitious story, which Knight dubs “The Zombie Stare,” tells of an ambitious high school senior, consumed by anticipation of college admission, who prays one night to remain unconscious until receiving his MIT admissions letter. He consciously awakes 30 years later when he finally receives the letter, lost in the mail for so many years, and discovers that, to all external observers, he has lived an apparently normal life. He desperately seeks to regain 30 years’ worth of memories lost as an unconscious philosophical zombie.

I'm going to patent my storyline idea, "A man has a dream and strives against a corrupt system to achieve it at great personal cost," as long as a related patent for "Starring Tom Hanks and the chick from that movie where she pretended to have a dick."


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posted by Ace at 02:41 PM

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