What's the Story with Storyline Patents - an Argument Against the Allowance of Proposed Storyline Patents and for the Rejection of Currently Pending Storyline Patent Applications
21 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2006
Arguing against storyline patents. Storyline patents fail to constitute patentable material in general because storylines can not be the proper subject matter of patent because a storyline is not a "useful art" as that term is understood or was intended. Moreover, a storyline could never satisfy the constitutionally grounded utility requirement of the patent statute. Further, storyline patents should be disallowed as a matter of policy; first because allowing such patents would do violence to the patent/copyright "bargain" that is hard-wired into the Constitution, and second because of the enormous burden that would be placed on the courts and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in exchange for only the slimmest possible benefit. Finally, the paper argues that the few storyline patent applications filed should be rejected at least because they specifically fail to describe novel or non-obvious storylines. There is a brief digression concerning the printed-matter doctrine.
Keywords: storyline, patent, useful art, printed matter doctrine, patentable subject matter, storyline patent, utility
JEL Classification: K30, K19, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation