Hey, Maybe There's a Patent for Badness Itself

What do 3-D pie charts, training manuals, gene profiling and advertising effectiveness measurement have in common? Gregory Aharonian of BustPatents.com lists them as his top four bad patents of all time, in response to a request for the list from Scientific American, which published the results.

All four apparently passed (or flunked, depending on your point of view) the Obvious Test at the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

According to Aharonian, patents recently invalidated for various reasons include:

  • Device for perfusing an animal head

  • Video processing for composite images

  • Call message recording for telephone systems

  • Negotiable instrument fraud detector and processor

Perhaps the last one failed to detect itself.

—Doc Searls