In this case, the paper version of the book presumably still exists. How will the patent office ever handle "here today gone tomorrow" electronic references?
Meanwhile, in an odd role reversal of the Chinese/Google problem, Chinese writers are complaining about Google Books:
"I sent text messages, e-mails and called Google Books' negotiator several times during the Spring Festival, but I haven't received a reply," he said.
Zhang said whether or not Google leaves China, the association would not stop fighting for the rights of writers.
"Google Books has not only got troubles in China. My organization is in touch with copyright societies in Australia and Europe to exchange ideas," Zhang said. [from China Daily: Google silent on copyright dispute]
**Quoted on Criminal Minds on 24 March 2010: “Better to write for oneself and have no public than write for the public and have no self.” [Cyril Connolly ]