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Random Patent on Google

Posted: 28 Jul 2010, 15:32
by johnh
I was looking for a patent on Google today and on the front page this was one of the featured patents:

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=jIzIAAAAEBAJ

Re: Random Patent on Google

Posted: 30 Jul 2010, 09:30
by daniel_reetz
Ugh. I really hate the super-general way in which these patents are written. Look at that language... "An array of one or more cameras". An array implies more than one camera. The rest is just grabbing for all possible patent space.

Re: Random Patent on Google

Posted: 30 Jul 2010, 11:52
by rob
While I am firmly against all software patents, I have to point out that a patent doesn't patent its abstract or summary. It patents its claims. Typically you find that claim 1 is the most important, and all the other claims start off "The system of claim 1 where...". This means that a careful reading of claim 1 gives you the essence of what they're locking up.

In this particular case, claim 1 includes "logic... to determine whether the first camera's view of the document was obstructed". So if you don't have that logic, the patent does not apply. Claims 2 - 9 all depend on claim 1.

In this patent, claim 10 is also important, because it starts another chain. It also includes "processing the data to detect the presence of obstructions [or] other conditions that may adversely affect the quality of the image". Claims 11-16 depend on claim 10.

Claim 17 includes "making a determination regarding the quality of the image", which is pretty vague. The rest of the claims depend on this one.

I always get annoyed when I see Slashdot headlines that scream "Wizards of the Coast patents rolling dice!" A reading of the claims might show that claim 1 includes something like "... and one of the dice has pictures of cats, another die has pictures of cat toys, and the person rolling the dice must wear a cat suit and meow while rolling."

Re: Random Patent on Google

Posted: 30 Jul 2010, 14:31
by univurshul
daniel_reetz wrote:Ugh. I really hate the super-general way in which these patents are written. Look at that language... "An array of one or more cameras". An array implies more than one camera. The rest is just grabbing for all possible patent space.
I was going to say the same thing. What kind of cool-aid are these guys drinking while they troll around these websites to patent ideas from forthright efforts when they know little about 'em. My favorite was (and I'm paraphrasing): "if there is an obstruction, another strategically placed camera will take a picture of the image". --Awesome. I want that device! Maybe I need 8 cameras as opposed to 6. Maybe I need 10 cameras to reproduce the image, dunno. Does a middle finger qualify for an 'obstruction'?

Re: Random Patent on Google

Posted: 30 Jul 2010, 18:16
by univurshul
rob wrote:I always get annoyed when I see Slashdot headlines that scream "Wizards of the Coast patents rolling dice!" A reading of the claims might show that claim 1 includes something like "... and one of the dice has pictures of cats, another die has pictures of cat toys, and the person rolling the dice must wear a cat suit and meow while rolling."
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Random Patent on Google

Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 21:17
by rob
Well, personally I thought CatWars would have made a great dice game. Alas. >^..^<

Re: Random Patent on Google

Posted: 01 Aug 2010, 23:56
by univurshul
rob wrote:Well, personally I thought CatWars would have made a great dice game. Alas. >^..^<
:lol: ...agreed. Just the visual had me rolling. Like SNL's 'Laser Cats'. good times.