Sunday, January 24, 2010

"The God Patent"

The book "The God Patent" relates to intellectual property at several levels.

Evan Karp writes of the manner of publication of the book by the author (Ransom Stephens):

Last month, when his first novel, "The God Patent," was released, it marked a milestone not only for Ransom but for the book industry as well, as the first debut novel to emerge from the new paradigm of online publishing.

"The God Patent" is the fourth book that new boutique publisher Numina Press of San Rafael has put out as a result of, the so-called YouTube for documents that allows authors to pretest the selling power of their books. With its epic themes grounded in authentic science, "The God Patent" is not something one of the so-called Big Sisters of publishing would necessarily pursue from a first-time author.

Of the book and the protagonist Ryan McNear:

But Ryan has made some costly mistakes that result in his losing both his job and the custody of his daughter. He ends up in Petaluma, where ex-lawyer and con man/landlord Dodge Nutter claims a percentage of all royalties from the patents Ryan and his pal Foster Reed were awarded for proposals they wrote years before.

One of the patents disguises a theory of the soul as a software algorithm, and the other combines the biblical story of creation with the Big Bang as the basis for a power generator. Foster builds a power generator that he believes will link science and spirituality and finally prove the existence of God.

There is no Ransom Stephens on the USPTO roster of attorneys/agents although Karp writes of "Stephens' experience as a particle physicist, director of patents (...)" However, one recalls that Mallun Yen is not a registered patent attorney either.
Cisco's chief patent counsel is not a registered patent attorney?!?
]. Nor is Mark Lemley.

See also a homepage.


Blogger Ransom said...

Dr. Ebert,
I'm not a patent attorney by any stretch. The premise for the novel is based on a game that engineers play (mostly at large companies where bonuses are granted for submitting patents and, yes, in the article "proposal" should have been "submissions") to see how many ridiculous patents they can get past legal. Some are even granted. In the novel, the protagonist patents the soul by dressing it up as a software algorithm: "Now every time anyone exercises free will they owe me a royalty."
My experience in patent areas was as Director of Advanced Tech for a startup where I worked with the company's patent attorney and as an engineer with a big company where I submitted several and had a couple granted - none of my were totally bogus, though.
If you get a chance to read the book, I'd love to hear your take on the idea.

9:59 AM  

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