Patent Process Essay

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The recent wave of attentionto patent litigation has focused on struggles between technology giants, like Apple and Google, but the problems with our patent system, which are profound, are not limited to software patents. The problem must be clarified before feasible solutions can be formulated.

The idea behind patent law is to encourage inventions by giving the inventor a period of years (normally 20) in which he has the exclusive right to use (and to sell) the invention. This prevents free riding by a competitor who would, by copying the invention, avoid the cost of inventing.

But as patents have evolved in the U.S. legal system, they are not an ideal solution to the problem; instead they are part of the problem. Although they are supposed to be limited to inventions that are novel, useful, and non-obvious, they are granted rather promiscuously by the Patent and Trademark Office. And while they can be challenged in court, jurors tend to be biased in favor of patent holders. That is one reason that even a patent granted for a minor invention of little value can be a potent competitive weapon. Patent “trolls,” as they are called, purchase large numbers of patents in the hope of using the threat of a patent-infringement suit to extort a patent-license fee from a company that makes a similar product; the product may or may not infringe, which is often very difficult to determine, but the alleged infringer may decide to pay the licensee fee, if it is not too large, to avoid the cost of litigation.

In most industries, moreover, patent protection, or at least the 20 years of protection that the law generally provides, is not necessary to provide adequate incentives to invent useful new products and processes. Often invention is cheap. And to be first in the market with a new product often confers a big competitive advantage—consumers identify the product with the inventor’s brand and develop a preference for it over latecomers, and a head start enables a company to move down its learning curve (that is, learn, through doing, how to minimize its costs of production and distribution) faster than any competitor. Also, many products have a short life in the marketplace; in the time it takes to copy them, the market will have moved on.

Some products, moreover, are difficult to copy. And companies often have the alternative of trade secrecy—keeping the essential features of the invention secret, so that, even though it’s not patented, it can’t be copied. The disadvantage of that alternative, from an overall social standpoint, is that other inventors can’t learn from a trade secret. Patents, by contrast, are published, and the information in a patent often can enable competitors to invent around the patented invention without infringing.

Patent protection becomes more important for creating adequate incentives for invention as the ratio of the cost of invention to the cost of copying increases. When it is very cheap to copy a product that was very costly to invent (pharmaceutical drugs are the principal example, because of the enormous cost of the testing required for approval to sell a new drug), the copiers will be able to charge a price that covers their costs (with an attractive profit) but that is nevertheless so low that the inventor can’t recoup the costs of his invention in the price that the market allows him to charge.

Few industries, however, are characterized by a high ratio of cost of invention to cost of copying. And so, our patent system might greatly improve if the length of patent protection varied from industry (or industrial sector) to industry, ranging from no protection at all to 20 years of protection, or even more, for pharmaceutical drugs.

One of the great costs of the existing system is that it induces a good deal of defensive patenting. A company that does not regard a patent as important to its business may nevertheless apply for one on any invention it makes, for fear that someone already has a patent (as it will discover during the application process) or will get one and sue for infringement.

Incremental improvements are possible in our system. We could make the granting of a patent contingent on producing the product or process that incorporated the invention, within a specified time. This would reduce the troll problem, by clearing out patents that are obtained to extort license fees rather than to produce products or processes.

Another improvement—this one in process—is to ask for volunteers among federal district judges to take on more than their share of the patent cases filed in their districts. The hope is that judges with an interest in technology would volunteer and would bring or acquire specialized knowledge, making them superior arbiters of the disputes in this field. It’s important that the volunteers (who are likely to be newish, young judges) receive training in the conduct of patent cases, and I believe that as yet the training offered is very brief.

Presiding as a trial judge over a patent case is very difficult, especially if it’s a jury trial. To make a patent case intelligible to a jury requires a big investment of time and effort by the judge, to make sure he or she understands the relevant technology and, what is more difficult, to make sure that the jurors understand it. That means drafting jury instructions that eschew both the jargon of patent law and technical jargon. It also often means that the judge should appoint neutral expert witnesses to provide jurors with an unbiased source of insight into the particular invention at issue. Judges have this authority but rarely use it.

The changes I’m suggesting are not panaceas, but they can help to eliminate bias, to educate jurors, and to make patent protection less costly, disruptive, and anticompetitive.

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/881,291 filed Jan. 19, 2007 the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

For many years, educators have struggled with the arduous task of teaching writing skills to students. One of the most difficult areas to teach, is the writing of expository essays. Numerous attempts at providing computer assisted essay instruction have had mixed and limited success. Often, the methods and their lack of success discourage students from acquiring this very important skill. The present invention has a dressed the shortcomings of previous attempts and provides a novel, innovation, and even effective system for teaching expository writing.

An essay should have a simple form used for the expression of an idea or the proof of a point. Unfortunately, until now, all the rules were too nebulous to allow the writer the freedom found in standardized form. For example, we were told that a paragraph changed when the idea changed. What if the idea of my essay was my life story? Should this then make my essay one long paragraph?

Therefore, we have developed an organized form that gives the writer the framework within which to express his or her ideas. This method shows when to start each paragraph, what goes into each paragraph, how to end the paragraph, and the order of the paragraphs. By following the form, the inclusion of extraneous material is prevented and as an eventual side benefit teaches the writer to think in a more logical manner. Yet, in spite of all the attention to form, it allows the writer the freedom to express him or herself with all the creativity in the world.

With the use of this writing style, the writer can spend his or her time on the formulation of ideas, not the formation of form.

In one embodiment, the present invention is a computer based system for composing an essay comprising:

    • (a) at least one computer-readable medium having one or more executable instructions stored thereon, which when executed by at least one processing system, causes the at least one processing system to implement one or more essay generation tools for assisting a user in generating at least one essay;
    • (b) said one or more stored executable instructions comprising a primary instruction prompt to provide a thesis statement;
    • (c) said one or more stored executable instructions further comprising prompts for a secondary instruction to provide at least one paragraph topic sentence wherein said instruction for said paragraph topic sentence contains instruction as to being related to proving said thesis statement;
    • (d) said one or more stored executable instructions further comprising prompts for a conclusory instruction to provide at least one conclusion paragraph topic sentence wherein said instruction for said conclusion paragraph topic sentence contains instruction as to restating said thesis statement and said proofs.

The system computer readable medium may be stored on a remote database and may be accessed through the Internet.

The system has an output based on the thesis statements, topic sentence, and conclusion paragraph topic sentence.

The system also has a user viewable display with at least two distinct regions for displaying user provided input and essay output on a single display.

Also contemplated is a method for composing an expository essay comprising the steps of:

    • a. at least one computer-readable medium having one or more executable instructions stored thereon, which when executed by at least one processing system, causes the at least one processing system to implement one or more essay generation tools for assisting a user in generating at least one essay;
    • b. said one or more stored executable instructions comprising a primary instruction prompt to provide a thesis statement;
    • c. said one or more stored executable instructions further comprising prompts for a secondary instruction to provide at least one paragraph topic sentence wherein said instruction for said paragraph topic sentence contains instruction as to being related to proving said thesis statement;
    • d. said one or more stored executable instructions further comprising prompts for a conclusory instruction to provide at least one conclusion paragraph topic sentence wherein said instruction for said conclusion paragraph topic sentence contains instruction as to restating said thesis statement and said proofs.

Additionally contemplated as an aspect of the invention is an Essay produced by the system disclosed system and method.

In one embodiment, the Essay may have an option for an age appropriate output.

The Basic Paragraph

A paragraph is an organized expression of a complete idea. It begins with a topic sentence. The topic sentence informs the reader as to exactly what will be discussed in the paragraph. It limits the range of the subjects. The next part or body of the paragraph proves or clarifies the topic sentence. Only statements that directly refer to the topic sentence are used in this section. The end of the paragraph is the clincher sentence. The clincher sentence is the conclusion and may restate the topic sentence as proven. All paragraphs must have a beginning, a middle and an end in the form of a topic sentence, body of proof, and a clincher sentence.

The Short Essay

To write a short essay, one simply expands the basic paragraph. This paper begins with a thesis statement. It is similar to the topic sentence in that it begins the first paragraph and all following information must be, in some way, relate to it. A thesis statement is a statement of fact. A fact is something that can be discussed. If it can't be discussed, you can't write about it. The thesis statement is followed by major proofs. These are used to prove or clarify the thesis statement. Then, as always, a clincher sentence is used as a conclusion for the paragraph and restating the thesis.

The next section of the essay is the body. It is similar to the body of a simple paragraph, except that it is a group of paragraphs. Combining the thesis statement with each of the major proofs forms the topic sentence of each paragraph. (A separate topic sentence and paragraph is needed for each major proof.) Following the topic sentence, in each case, are minor proofs whose purpose is to directly prove the topic sentence and indirectly prove the thesis statement. Each paragraph in the body is ended with a clincher sentence.

The paper is ended with a paragraph of conclusion. This paragraph begins with a restatement of the thesis statement and also restates the major proofs. Any conclusions that the writer has conceived are included in this paragraph. This paragraph, as with all others in this style of writing, ends with a clincher statement. In this case, the clincher restates the thesis as proven.

The Five-Paragraph Essay (in Five Paragraph Essay Form)

The five-paragraph essay is the most organized way to elaborate on any expository theme. It begins with a paragraph of introduction. It follows with three paragraphs of proofs. The essay concludes with a paragraph of conclusion. Using this device the modern writer can easily analyze, in an organized fashion, any subject he or she desires.

The five-paragraph essay begins with a paragraph of introduction. This starts with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a statement of fact (a fact being anything which can be discussed). This is followed by three major proofs that directly assert the validity of the thesis statement. The paragraph concludes with a clincher statement, that is, one that restates the thesis as proven. All essays of this style must begin with a paragraph of introduction.

The main body of this expository style of writing contains the thesis statement combined with the major proofs. The first major proof is combined with the thesis statement to form the topic sentence of the second paragraph. Three minor proofs are used to validate this topic sentence. Again, as in all proof style paragraphs, it ends with a clincher statement. The same process is used for the other major proofs.

The final part of the essay is, logically the conclusion. This is essentially a restatement of the introductory paragraph as proven. It must contain the thesis statement, major proofs, and a clincher statement. This paragraph completes the essay.

With this tool for writing expository essays today's author can logically analyze any subject. With the use of a paragraph of introduction, a body of proof, and a conclusion he can discuss knowledgeably almost any subject of which he has the necessary information.

Comparison/Contrast Essay

In a comparison or contrast essay it is most important to remember that for every point the counterpoint must be stated or there is no valid comparison. Simply state as major proofs in the paragraph of introduction both sides of the issue. Then in each paragraph of the body of the essay present a direct comparison of all aspects of the subject.

The Longer Essay

The expansion of a five-paragraph essay form into a longer essay is a simple matter. Write a basic thesis statement with three basic proofs and clincher sentence. Then form a five-paragraph essay using the basic thesis and the first basic proof of your thesis for the first section. Repeat the process for two more five-paragraph sections. End with a paragraph of conclusion that restates the opening paragraph of the essay. Remember to use transitions to tie all the parts together.

As you will see in the following outline, the longer paper can be viewed in a simplified manner, as follows:

Paragraph I—Introduction

II-VI A five-paragraph essay based on the basic thesis and the first basic proof.

VII-XI A five-paragraph essay based on the basic thesis and the second basic proof.

XII-XVI A five-paragraph essay based on the basic thesis and the third basic proof.

XVII Conclusion

Or put another way, the process is as follows: p=paragraph

5 p essay to longer essay

p2 stays p2 and is repeated as p6 (conclusion) and builds all topic sent. and clincher sent.

p3 of short essay becomes p7 and p11 (concl) of longer and builds topic sent. and clincher sent,

p4 of short essay becomes p12 and p16 (concl) of longer and builds topic sent. and clincher sent.

p5 of short essay is repeated as p17 (p1 as proven)

Remember, these outlines are only a basic guide. Fit them to your subject's needs.

Longer Essay Outline

INTRODUCTION

I. Basic thesis statement

A. }

B. } Basic proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

BODY

II. Thesis statement 1 (Basic thesis plus basic proof I-A)

A. }

B. } Major proofs 1

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

III. Topic sentence (Thesis 1, plus major proof II-A)

A. }

B. } Minor proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

IV. Topic sentence (Thesis 1 plus major proof II-B)

A. }

B. } Minor proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

V. Topic sentence (Thesis 1 plus major proof II-C)

A. }

B. } Minor proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

VI. Topic sentence Thesis 1 as proven

A. }

B. } Major proofs 1

C. }

D. Clincher sentence-restate Thesis 1 as proven

VII. Thesis statement 2 (Basic thesis plus basic proof B)

A. }

B. } Major proofs 2

C. }

Clincher sentence

VIII. Topic sentence (Thesis 2 plus major proof VII-A)

A. }

B. } Minor proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

IX. Topic sentence (Thesis 2 plus major proof VII-B)

E. }

F. } Minor proofs

G.

H. Clincher sentence

X. Topic sentence (Thesis 2 plus major proof VII-C)

I. }

J. } Minor proofs

K. }

L. Clincher sentence

XI. Topic sentence (restatement of Thesis 2)

A. }

B. } Major proofs 2

C.

D. Clincher sentence-restate Thesis 2 as proven

XII. Thesis statement 3 (Basic thesis plus basic proof C)

A. }

B. }Major proofs 3

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

XIII. Topic sentence (Thesis 3 plus major proof XII-A)

A. }

B. } Minor proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

XIV. Topic sentence (Thesis 3 plus major proof XII-B)

A. }

B. } Minor proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

XV. Topic sentence (Thesis 3 plus major proof XII-C)

A. }

B. } Minor proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence

XVI. Topic sentence (restatement of Thesis 3)

A. }

B. } Major proofs 3

C. }

D. Clincher sentence restate Thesis 3 as proven

ESSAY CONCLUSION

XVII. Restate Basic Thesis

A. }

B. } Basic proofs

C. }

D. Clincher sentence—Basic Thesis as proven.

The present invention is unique in that it automatically generates statements and paragraphs based on minimal user input and does not allow the user to digress from the original assertion. We ask for the user to state a fact (defined here as a fact being something which can be discussed). We then ask for three reasons why that fact is true. Every time a blank(s) is seen on the screen there is a question above it to keep the user on track. The user clicks on the “save and expand” button and he is automatically given a five paragraph worksheet. In the worksheet many things have been automatically done for him. The program has repeated the thesis (original fact) in the first paragraph and added it as the clincher sentence with the word “therefore” added to the beginning of the clincher statement. It has also repeated his facts in the body of the first paragraph. The program combines the thesis statement with the first proof, connected by the word because, to form the topic sentence of the second paragraph and left three blanks for the user to fill in (facts which prove the topic sentence) and created a clincher statement beginning with the word “therefore” and repeating the topic sentence as therefore proven. The program similarly does this with the second and third facts forming, respectively, the third and fourth paragraphs. The fifth or paragraph of conclusion repeats the first paragraph as proven by beginning it with the word “so.”

The thesis statement and the supporting facts are color coded.

The program further expands into a seventeen paragraph paper which is basically three five paragraph essays plus the original paragraphs of introduction and conclusion.

For research capabilities, the initial thesis is linked to Google®.

The “view essay as” component allows the user to view his paper, in various lengths, in either an outline or paragraph form. It also allows the user to split the screen so that the rough form is on the left side and he can vary the restatements and polish the essay on the right side of the screen.

The present invention provides a novel computer based system for composing an essay, a method for composing an essay using the system, and an essay created by the system and method.

The system has at least one computer-readable medium having one or more executable instructions stored thereon, which when executed by at least one processing system, causes the at least one processing system to implement one or more essay generation tools for assisting a user in generating at least one essay. The one or more stored executable instructions comprise a primary instruction prompt to provide a thesis statement. The one or more stored executable instructions further comprise prompts for a secondary instruction to provide at least one paragraph topic sentence wherein said instruction for said paragraph topic sentence contains instruction as to being related to proving said thesis statement. There are provided one or more stored executable instructions further comprising prompts for a conclusory instruction to provide at least one conclusion paragraph topic sentence wherein said instruction for said conclusion paragraph topic sentence contains instruction as to restating said thesis statement and said proofs.

The system and method may be used with any acceptable computer readable medium. In a preferred embodiment, the system is stored on a remote database accessed through the Internet.

The system further comprises an output based on the thesis statements, topic sentence, and conclusion paragraph topic sentence.

The output essay may then be edited as desired and further may be used as a tool to teach a student the portions of an essay that may require editing.

The system may have a user viewable display with at least two distinct regions for displaying user provided input and essay output on a single display. This may be a “split screen” as is commonly known.

As shown in the Figure, a preferred embodiment is set forth in this example.

  • F=FIELD R=REASON UE=USER ENTRY
    F1 IS TITLE-UE
    F2 IS THESIS STATEMENT-UE
    F3 IS R1-UE
    F4 IS R2-UE
    F5 IS R3-UE
    F6 IS CLINCHER STATEMENT-AG
    PROGRAM EXPANSION TO 5 PARAGRAPH ESSAY
  • P=PARAGRAPH AG=AUTOGENERATED TS=TOPIC SENTENCE CS=CLINCHER STATEMENT
    F7-F1 is repeated AG
    P1
    F8-F2-6 is repeated AG
    P2
    F9 is a combination of F2 and F3 AG
    F10 proves F9 UE
    F11 proves F9 UE
    F12 proves F9 UE
    F13 repeats F9 as proven AG
    P3
    F14-18 is built in the same fashion as P2 and is a combination of F2 and F4 AG
    P4
    F19-24 is built in the same fashion as P2 and is a combination of F2 and F5 AG
    P5
    F25 IS THE SAME AS P1 AS PROVEN-AG
    STANDARD PROMPTS ARE USED ON THE WORKSHEET TO ASSURE THAT THE PROPER INFORMATION IS PUT IN THE PROPER AREA

After the shorter (5 paragraph) essay has been generated, to expand to a 17 paragraph essay the following process takes place.

    • 1 The title is repeated
    • 2 The first paragraph is repeated.
    • 3 The second paragraph of the original 5 paragraph essay becomes the first paragraph of a new 5 paragraph essay and then is constructed as shown earlier.
    • 4 The third paragraph of the original 5 paragraph essay becomes the first paragraph of a new 5 paragraph essay and then is constructed as shown earlier.
    • 5 The fourth paragraph of the original 5 paragraph essay becomes the first paragraph of a new 5 paragraph essay and then is constructed as shown earlier.
    • 6 These three new five paragraph essays are kept in order, following the first paragraph of the original 5 paragraph essay (step 2 as shown here).
    • 7 The fifth paragraph of the original 5 paragraph essay is added at the end of the above, thus making 17 paragraphs
    • In cases where information, as topic sentences, a word of transition is used to make the resultant statement sound more logical i.e. because. In statements of conclusion, as clincher sentences and statements, a word of transition is used to make the resultant statement more logical i.e. therefore, so.

While the invention has been described in its preferred form or embodiment with some degree of particularity, it is understood that this description has been given only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction, fabrication, and use, including the combination and arrangement of parts, may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

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