In the era of the Live Web, tweak your client and bungle your pitch at your peril

In the era of the Live Web, tweak your client and bungle your pitch at your peril

Summary: Making the once private public, the Live Web excels at exposing everything from lawyers' bad jokes to bad PR tactics


One of Professor Eugene Volokh's readers mined the publicly available patent applications and found this comedy nugget:

Check out claim 9 of this patent application:

9. The method of providing user interface displays in an image forming apparatus which is really a bogus claim included amongst real claims, and which should be removed before filing; wherein the claim is included to determine if the inventor actually read the claims and the inventor should instruct the attorneys to remove the claim.

(Via Slashdot Review.)   And the Edelman podcast I mentioned earlier highlights The Bad Pitch Blog, where clumsy PR is skewered for fun and perhaps profit.  (I have to remember to submit my recent email exchange with an account executive from a huge PR firm, who kindly but cluelessly decided I'd be a good candidate to attend a Samsonite product launch...)

Topic: Legal

Denise Howell

About Denise Howell

Denise Howell is an appellate, intellectual property and technology lawyer who enjoys broad industry recognition for her expertise on the intersection of emerging technologies and law.

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  • This shocks you?

    The inventor didn't even read the patent. I wonder if the patent examiner caught it also?
    Edward Meyers
    • Clumsiness hardly ever does...

      ...but if you're going to be as brazen as this lawyer was, you'd think
      a modicum of review before finalizing and filing the document
      would have occurred! If everyone was meticulous about keeping
      their brazenness under wraps though, there would go all the fun.
      Denise Howell
      • How brazen?

        To determine whether a teacher was grading my work by expectation, I included the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner in the middle of my paper.

        I have since decided to give him the benefit of the doubt because the course was in English poetry, and he may have downgraded my work to its usual grade because he could not see the relevance of the quote to my subject matter.
        Anton Philidor
        • So perhaps

          God Save the Queen would have saved your grade!
          Denise Howell
    • Just a sec,

      The inventor is a Japanese national and may not be able to read English. The application probably had not yet been examined when this publication came out. The patent office will probably not freak out, they will just reject the claim and move on. The client will be another matter however.
      • Oh that's worse

        You are contending that he and his attorney didn't understand enough English to catch that before they sent it in to the USPTO? BTW this was filed with the USPTO hence why it is in the publicly available government database (You didn't catch that the application was on a .gov in the Link?).

        How do we know that the any portion of the application describes accurately his invention... Oh wait! He wouldn't be able to tell us that as he can't communicate with us in English.

        I don't buy it! I think they didn't read it and just filled it.
        Edward Meyers
        • Take a breath,

          I said the applicant is Japanese, not the lawyer, they are in California. I am aware this is a public record, all I am saying is that it is not the downfall of the patent system. A closeted, fatigued lawyer thought something would be funny but it was not. They should apologize and rebate. It is an amusing anecdote that would be much more common if there were a real problem.