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Internet Law

University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

2001

Obviousness

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Internet Business Model Patents: Obvious By Analogy, Margo A. Bagley Jun 2001

Internet Business Model Patents: Obvious By Analogy, Margo A. Bagley

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

This Article contends that part of the problem of Internet business model patents is the narrow view of analogous art employed by judges and USPTO examiners which largely excludes relevant "real-world" prior art in the determination of non-obviousness under § 103 of the Patent Act. Consequently, part of the solution lies in helping courts and the USPTO properly to define analogous art for a particular invention. To do so, judges and examiners must recognize the interchangeability of computer programming (i.e. "e-world" activities) to perform a function, with human or mechanical performance of the same function (i.e. "real world" activities). Such …


E-Obviousness, Glynn S. Lunney Jr. Jan 2001

E-Obviousness, Glynn S. Lunney Jr.

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

As patents expand into e-commerce and methods of doing business more generally, both the uncertainty and the risk of unjustified market power that the present approach generates suggest a need to rethink our approach to nonobviousness. If courts fail to enforce the nonobviousness requirement and allow an individual to obtain a patent for simply implementing existing methods of doing business through a computer, even where only trivial technical difficulties are presented, entire e-markets might be handed over to patent holders with no concomitant public benefit. If courts attempt to enforce the nonobviousness requirement, but leave undefined the extent of the …