Intellectual property: patenting plot

The intellectual property crisis extends far beyond interminable copyright extensions and could threaten narrative itself. Last Friday, Boing Boing pointed to the abstract for “a recently-applied-for and utterly Onion-esque patent titled, Process of relaying a story having a unique plot.”

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.

According to eMediawire, the “inventor” is asserting provisional rights against Hollywood. Jason Sanford tells you how to protest.
 

Update: Susan Ramsey points me to an interesting analysis of the application’s defects. She found it earlier this week through Neal Gaiman’s site.


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