Just when you think the patent system can’t get any worse

I am not making this up: the patent office is currently considering issuing a patent on “Process of relaying a story having a unique plot“. Here’s the abstract:

A process of relaying a story having a timeline and a unique plot involving characters comprises: indicating a character’s desire at a first time in the timeline for at least one of the following: a) to remain asleep or unconscious until a particular event occurs; and b) to forget or be substantially unable to recall substantially all events during the time period from the first time until a particular event occurs; indicating the character’s substantial inability at a time after the occurrence of the particular event to recall substantially all events during the time period from the first time to the occurrence of the particular event; and indicating that during the time period the character was an active participant in a plurality of events.

That’s right, the applicant is trying to patent a story idea.

More details at Groklaw.

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8 Days Later

The Exponent finally published the letter I wrote in response to Oct. 27′s article on evolution versus intelligent design.

For those too lazy to click on those links, the full text of the letter, all 299 words of it, follows.

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