Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dumb blood group patent, and an idea as well

Are many software patents bad? Sure, and it is worth pounding the system to improve software patent quality, especially the handling of non-patent prior art. But the whole system needs pounding, massive pounding, not just software patents. Case in point - what follows is anonymous email from either a jealous patent lawyer, or a patent examiner unhappy with one of his colleagues. After the email is part of the patent in question. Actual correspondence between a USPTO examiner and a patent lawyer: Examiner: Does claim 1 of US-6,503,529-B1 read upon taking a vitamin pill? Practitioner: The effective filing date for the patent below was 1999. comments: Unfortunately, a best selling book came out in 1996 by Peter D'Adamo called "Eat for your Blood Type" which taught herbs and vitamin pills best for each blood type. Shockingly, this book (or some tiny portion thereof, maybe a photocopy of the cover), is "of record" in the file. I simply cannot believe that it does not anticipate. Supplements for Type A blood is discussed on pages 131-138, for instance. Yes, indeed it does read on taking a vitamin pill. The BEST you can say about the claim is that the inventor thought his invention was the LABELING of a bottle of pills, for a specific blood group. That is what was specifically claimed in the parent patent. However, the dumb-as.s attorney broadened that out to make it "formulated" for a specific blood group, which is infinitely broad and also indefinite. "Formulated.... for" is not defined in the spec. Of course, the dumber as.s examiner bought it. The Notice of Allowance count date for the patent was 25 March 2002, probably a "Count Monday", perhaps even at the end of some quarter. Production ueber alles. For your reference: United States Patent 6,503,529 Blood type methods and dietary supplements Abstract Dietary supplement compositions designed to be responsive to specific blood types, and thus most beneficial for people with specific antigenic blood types. Inventors: Fleischner; Albert M. (Westwood, NJ) Assignee: Goen Group, Inc. (Cedar Knolls, NJ) Filed: April 11, 2001 This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 09/468,819, filed on Dec. 22, 1999 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,291,533. Other References Metaform/MetaPlexx, Weider Nutrition International, Aug. 29, 1989.* Peter J. D'Adamo, Eat Right for Your Type (1996). Primary Examiner: Pryor; Alton Attorney, Agent or Firm: Pharmaceutical Patent Law LLC, Pohl; Mark Claims I claim: 1. A method to supplement the diet of a human of a specific antigen blood type with a specific dietary supplement for said specific blood type, wherein the method consists essentially of providing to said human said dietary supplement, said dietary supplement consisting essentially of a substance selected from the group consisting of a vitamin, a mineral, an herb and a botanical, and wherein said dietary supplement can be formulated as a pill, capsule, tablet or liquid for the antigen blood type of the human. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein said substance consists essentially of vitamin K, ginseng root and green tea leaf. comment: herb and a botanical in claim language means one and the same thing can be formulated - the implied existence of the fact is that it is NOT formulated, though it can be, see a post about claim language can be formulated as a pill - if I was an attorney for a second party, and I was good and picky, I would counter with the fact that formulated implies a makeup, not a final form. In this case, a pill specifies the claim into the direction that renders it non-legally binding, specific, and, therefore, does not preclude others to use the claim for their own benefit. essentially - a meaningless term in claim language. It might have been substantially, or generally (stretching it: maybe)

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