Monday, August 13, 2007

Glaskowsky and Aharonian missing prior art?

Peter N. Glaskowsky, the chief system architect at Montalvo Systems, has a piece in CNET describing Greg Aharonian as a well-known patent expert AND suggesting the patentability of instructions for making a specific movie: a script. Glaskowsky made a comment below, and suggested a better link for his work.

IPBiz notes Aharonian is not a patent attorney, and one notes that there already has been a patent application AND an article in JPTOS on the patentability of a script.

Andrew Knight will send one a copy of the JPTOS article: For an information packet, including a copy of the JPTOS article, contact Andrew Knight or visit

See also the the November 03, 2005 post on IPBiz: "Storyline" patent application, The Zombie Stare, to be published by the USPTO

Guess looking for prior art isn't part of the Glaskowsky approach. The Aharonian involvement in the Jaffe/Lerner prior art meltdown (at page 144 of Innovation and Its Discontents, Princeton University Press (2004)) has previously been noted:

At page 144 of Innovation and Its Discontents, we have the text:

Consider Patent No. 6,049,811, which is for a “Machine for Drafting a Patent Application and Process for Doing So.” Describes a computer that poses a series of questions to a potential patentee, asking him to describe his invention. The application for this patent cited as relevant prior art just one other patent and two published articles.

Greg Aharonian pointed out, a line of research at Hitachi anticipated this event by many years (165)

In 1992 JPTOS published an article by two of the managers of Hitachi ’s Intellectual Property Division, describing in detail their development of a new system to automate the patent application process (166). Apparently the examiner also missed this publication in his search of prior art. [74 JPTOS 315-334 (1992)]

One notes that the idea of the missed reference apparently comes from Greg Aharonian, not from Jaffe and Lerner. One does not see that Jaffe and Lerner investigated 74 JPTOS 315 to prove that this reference does anticipate the claims of US 6,049,811. In fact, the subject matter of 74 JPTOS 315 has nothing to with the claims of US US 6,049,811. One gets a hint that 74 JPTOS 315 is about something entirely different than the '811 patent at page 320: which states "The distributed patent offices convert the application documents and specifications (prepared on word processors) to electronic application format." The "advance" disclosed in the JPTOS article is that "the inventor prepares the patent specification manuscript on a word processor." Of course, the inventor has already written down everything (in no particular sequence) on paper, as Figure 5, on page 321 shows. There is NO TEACHING in the JPTOS article of what is in claim 1 of the '811 patent.

One notes that Jaffe and Lerner seem to be uninformed about the meaning of prior art. To paraphrase Emerson, the more they talked about the failures to find prior art, the more I wanted to check the prior art they said was unfound.

**Tried to submit the following to zdnet:

This topic has been covered in the patent journal literature AND a patent application has been filed (and published) in the US.

Been there, done that...


**Glaskowsky's comment to the effect he was referencing Aharonian brings up an interesting "journalistic responsibility" issue: does Glaskowsky have a responsibility to look into the accuracy (and here "currentness") of what Aharonian said? Ditto, Jaffe and Lerner. In the greater scheme of patent law, Glaskowsky's reference was not a big deal. Jaffe and Lerner's is more problematic, because it was wrong. Worse still was the "transistor only for hearing aid" assertion, which worked its way into prestigious law reviews (UChicago, Stanford) but which was based on an interview (with someone who had NO firsthand knowledge, had nothing to do with the transistor, and who was dead wrong on the point.) Similarly, should someone be able to cite the Stanford Law Review for the "fact" that Gary Boone invented the integrated circuit? One hopes not, but then look at the traction on Quillen and Webster.

Again, look to Glaskowsky's bigger post.


An email has been sent to Greg Aharonian to get his current views on the '811 patent.
Separately, note the discussion in Landis.


Blogger Peter N. Glaskowsky said...

Just to be clear, it was Aharonian suggesting that a movie script may be patentable. My blog entry had two parts-- reporting Aharonian's position as fairly as I could, and then poking a few holes in it.

Since my CNET blog is just getting started, I'd appreciate it if you'd do something for me. The link you used goes to a syndicated version of the piece. The original blog entry-- which is longer, and not so badly edited by some unknown person in Australia-- is here:

Could you change the link to point to that version of the piece instead?

And of course I'd welcome any comment or link you'd like to add to that page.

Thanks for mentioning me, anyway. :-)

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10:16 AM  
Blogger Peter N. Glaskowsky said...

Interesting question-- when do journalists have a responsibility to independently verify the claims of someone covered in a story?

Well, factual claims can be verified with a second source, but it probably isn't reasonable to expect a journalist to perform a prior-art search for every story about a claimed invention. After all, inventors themselves aren't required to do that...

I hope you'll agree I did a reasonable job of presenting the information I had, as well as the relevant context from patent law. I think that's all I could be expected to do in this situation.

Anyway, I'd still appreciate it if you'd change the link in the original blog entry to point at the one I provided rather than the second-hand and badly edited version on ZDNet in Australia. Sites such as Technorati only give me credit when the link goes back to my original blog.

Thanks again.

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11:06 AM  
Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

The NBC Nightly News (Brian Williams) of August 15, 2007 had a relevant disclosure about the footage allegedly of a Russian submarine (made available by Reuters for use in the Russia claims the North Pole business) which actually was of something used in the filming of the Titanic movie.

15 Aug 07

4:26 PM  

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