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Man Tries to Patent His "Godly Powers" 192

Posted by samzenpus
from the this-patent-brought-to-you-by-shampoo dept.
KWInt1601 writes "A man who believes he is Christ files a patent application — and the formal dance of responding to office actions from the USPTO begins. Invoking the 1998 State Street decision, the applicant argues, 'like software, godly powers is a method, and affects a machine. Like business methods, godly powers produces a useful, concrete, and tangible result, and that should be all that's needed for statutory material.'"
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Man Tries to Patent His "Godly Powers"

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  • by SMoynihan (1647997) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:19AM (#36374576)

    It would be freaking hilarious if they granted it, and he went around suing all the Churches...

    Please, please, please...

    • Good luck getting God to abide by the court's decision... can't sue the churches, they don't claim to have any direct control over godly power, just a hotline to the guy who does.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Good luck getting God to abide by the court's decision... can't sue the churches, they don't claim to have any direct control over godly power, just a hotline to the guy who does.

        So, this guy should take a page out of the ISP/Cable company/cell provider book and charge for access?

        • by PPH (736903)

          At least levy a surcharge for those who have exceeded their bandwidth cap. And maybe a TSO violation for excessive content sharing.

          • by jkauzlar (596349)
            In case no one else posted this, it's defnitely worth a look....

            Filed by UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA [bendmover.com]

            Plaintiff Christopher Anthony Roller claims that defendant David Copperfield has been wrongfully using plaintiff’s godly powers to perform defendant’s magic. Plaintiff asserts one cause of action in his complaint, that David Copperfield’s use of his plaintiff’s go dly powers constitutes a labor dispute under Minn. Stat. 179.06. Plaintiff added in his respons

            • by jkauzlar (596349)

              And Copperfield's response [stellaawards.com] to the lawsuit:

              Plaintiff Christopher Roller (“Roller”) has commenced an action for a purported labor dispute against David Copperfield’s Disappearing, Inc. (“Copperfield”) under Minnesota Statute 179.06. This statute relates to the notice required to negotiate or make changes to a collective bargaining agreement. Seeing as how Roller has never worked for Copperfield in any capacity anywhere ever and has no relation to Copperfield whatsoever, he has

              • by jkauzlar (596349)

                There is much to be amused by in the above link..

                Defendant respectfully urges the Court to visit Plaintiff’s website, www.mytrumanshow.com, to which the Plaintiff refers both the Court and Defendant. Therein Plaintiff makes the following claims including: Plaintiff is running for President of the United States in 2008 with Bill Gates as his running mate.

                • Plaintiff claims he is Jesus Christ.
                • Plaintiff claims he is God.
                • Plaintiff claims that Katie Couric and Celine Dion are his wives and are going to ha
                • by Dr Max (1696200)
                  The man is crazy or a troll. He claims his godly power is giving others godly powers and keeps talking about proving that he is god yet offers no proof whatsoever. The only statement even trying to be proof is when he says they have godly powers, so that means they must of gotten them from me (who says they didn't actually get them from me doctor max). Till i see this guy give some one godly powers (or a DNA test from one of his 1, 000, 000 babies) he is just looney or a troll. YouTube clip with the man cla
      • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:31AM (#36374764)

        Probably a good thing then that churches are the last place that you'll ever find God.

        • by dcollins (135727)

          Flying Spaghetti Monster blesses your restaurant-centered loyalty.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          You're not very likely to be inside a church unless you've already found God.

          • Nice word play.

            But if somebody found God, why would they want to go to a church?. That's like resolving Einstein's Unification theory, then becoming an accountant.

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              To commune with other people who have found God. That's like resolving Einstein's Unification theory, then goiing to a retreat with other theoretical physicists.

      • In that case, they still might be liable for indirect infringement. Would be worth a try. Also, if god does not abide by the decision, you could just target the pope - after all he claims to act as god's immediate proxy on earth.
        • by jhoegl (638955)
          Well, look. "God" can settle this today. He can either appear and say "Yes, this guy does my bidding and I do my good deeds through him", or he can not appear at which case I will be the only one that holds "Godly Powers".

          Wait for it.... wait for it....

          Thats what Im talkin bout.
          Count it!
          • Did you just admit that, by virtue of declaring yourself god, are infringing on this idea? Mate, time to lawyer up ;)
        • by enjerth (892959)

          I'm pretty sure the pope can show prior art.

        • prior art
          • Actually, wrong. I looked it up by now, and it has been finally rejected. The examiner chose the right reason, btw - and it is not prior art, because, obviously, there is none. The rejection was due to insufficient disclosure - not enough information for the man skilled in the art to reproduce the claimed effects.
            • Unless they interview him personally to see if he can himself reproduce the claimed effects, isn't the obvious response to that simply that no one else is "skilled in the art" of being the godhead? At least not anyone willing to answer a summons?

      • You can always sue anyone; the only question is whether or not you will win. The interesting question here is that if he patents his powers as Christ's powers, if he trademarks his business activities as Christ, if "Christ" (tm) becomes a protected business asset, then while the church can argue that all of this is in the public domain, it wouldn't be the first time courts have turned around and granted trademark, copyright, business secret, patent types of protections to corporate entities for things that
      • "On Earth as it is in heaven."

        This would be like the movie Dogma. God will no longer be able to exercise miracles without becoming a criminal. This guy will have worked in a clever restraint on God's power that will destroy the fabric of reality. He must be stopped!!!

  • Ooh! Ooh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:19AM (#36374578)

    Sorry, but we have prior art. See also Respawn [computerhope.com].

    Also, your system has a respawn lag time of about 3 days. Not very efficient. Especially for someone who claims his boss/dad created an entire universe in less than a week.

  • I wonder how he'll deal with all the prior art... I mean, we're talking tens of thousands of years here.

    • Hm. I still see a way to circumvent that, in the form of a claim directed at a "Method for controlling godly powers by a human". Jesus, being an aspect of god himself, would not qualify as prior art here. Other miracles are, according to the mythology, not controlled by humans, but granted by god. You can only ask for it, not control it. So, no prior art there. Obviously, I would raise the objection that he can't disclose his method in a clear and unambiguous way that would allow the man skilled in the art
  • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:24AM (#36374658) Journal

    If he says that he is Christ, then he's clearly publicly disclosed his "invention" 2000 years ago. The one year statutory bar prevents him from receiving a patent on this. Thus, the powers of Christ is in the public domain.

    • Thus, the powers of Christ is in the public domain.

      Amen!

    • by VortexCortex (1117377) <`VortexCortex' ` ... -retrograde.com'> on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:40AM (#36374876) Homepage

      If he says that he is Christ, then he's clearly publicly disclosed his "invention" 2000 years ago. The one year statutory bar prevents him from receiving a patent on this. Thus, the powers of Christ is in the public domain.

      Ah, but computers are relatively new, so using "Powers of Christ" "on a computer" will surely be patentable.

      I mean, gestures aren't patentable, unless you're using them on a computer, and math isn't patentable -- unless it's the instructions that make up software in a computer...

      • Oooh, we need to get "Laying on of hands on a touchscreen mobile device with a screen over 3.0 inches, to heal people remotely over a wireless network" here on Slashdot, in public domain now, so that we have reference to prior art.
      • by geekmux (1040042)

        ...Ah, but computers are relatively new, so using "Powers of Christ" "on a computer" will surely be patentable.

        Careful. Chances are they'll be copyright infringement if he's running Windows. I mean c'mon, I can't be the only guy praying to the almighty that my Windows server restarts OK after every patch Tuesday. And it's practically a miracle to find one running without a virus or malware on it...Divine intervention indeed.

      • If he says that he is Christ, then he's clearly publicly disclosed his "invention" 2000 years ago. The one year statutory bar prevents him from receiving a patent on this. Thus, the powers of Christ is in the public domain.

        Ah, but computers are relatively new, so using "Powers of Christ" "on a computer" will surely be patentable.

        Powers of Christ have been around for 2000 years. Computers have been around for 40. The combination is obvious under 35 USC 103.

        (It's okay, I know your "on a computer" comment was either a joke or an indicator that you don't know what you're talking about)

        I mean, gestures aren't patentable, unless you're using them on a computer, and math isn't patentable -- unless it's the instructions that make up software in a computer...

        In re Warmerdam. Next question?

    • by dcollins (135727)

      "Thus, the powers of Christ is in the public domain."

      Also, they compel you.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      If he says that he is Christ, then he's clearly publicly disclosed his "invention" 2000 years ago. The one year statutory bar prevents him from receiving a patent on this. Thus, the powers of Christ is in the public domain.

      OK, but all I have to do is add the words "on a smartphone" or "with a touch screen" and the prior art on my godly powers disappears.

      I'm off to the patent office.

  • No sillier than all the recent gesture / software patent applications :)
    • I'm actually hoping he gets the patent - maybe then the rest of the country will start saying "wtf guys?"
      • by ndavis (1499237)
        I agree it would show that the people in the USPTO have no idea how to research a patent. This is why some of the people I know in the patent office quit and why some worked till they were medically unable to (afraid patents would get through that have prior work or are unworkable).
    • by Jonner (189691)

      No sillier than all the recent gesture / software patent applications :)

      That's why this is potentially useful. If the USPTO treats this seriously, it can be used as an example of how far things have gotten out of hand.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Why would a godlike being require patent protection?

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:27AM (#36374704)

    when working models are no longer required. This and patent trolls.

    • when working models are no longer required. This and patent trolls.

      And small inventors working in their garages, and scientists designing new drugs through computer simulations without needing to first manufacture them, etc.

      Patent trolls have nothing to do with working models. Patent trolls usually buy applications after they're already filed, if not already granted and issued. You're confusing "working models" with the "working requirement" in some other countries. The latter is a requirement that the patent owner actually goes out and manufacturers or licenses the paten

  • .. still not quite sure, reading the article. :p
  • The New Testament is 2000 year old prior art. Jesus's powers are not patentable under (at least) 35 USC 102.

    This is not the USPTO's first trip to the crazypants rodeo.

    • IIRC there's nowhere in the NT or OT anything about how anyone produced a miracle. Describe how you deem it possible to do one (after all, you don't actually have to perform one, just describe how you would do it), and you're in.

      • Spit in the mud, wipe on the eyes, go rinse the eyes in that river over there... that sounded like a prescription of sorts to me. Another was to go wash in this other river, dipping one's self three times, and the unclean skin would become clean. Again, this sounds like step by step instructions for healing / miracles to me.

  • dooms day predictions for the next 30 years. The real Christ won't be able to use his Godly powers until the patent runs out or until he pays a license fee. So unless he's planning a rapture sometime soon, I guess we can relax until the end of epoch time.
  • It's clearly a cunning move to discourage competing second comings of other Jesuses Christs.
  • What next? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:32AM (#36374784)
    What's next some guy tries to patent his sexual technique so he can troll porn companies by sueing them when they use it?
    • Hey, that's not bad! Thanks for the tip!
      • And since you don't even have to produce a working model anymore, even us geeks here can come up with one that we developed on one of the various sex-IRC chats ... erh... that I heard existed...

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:43AM (#36374910) Journal
      It would be one of the few legitimate excuses to submit a schematic drawing of your genitalia to a government office...

      On the other hand, matters could get rather humiliating when the porn industry comes to trial and argues that "the 'apparatus' covered by claimant's patent is clearly of such dimensional disparity with the apparatus in common industry use that the applicable methods cannot be judged to be sufficiently similar to be infringing..."
      • by habig (12787)

        It would be one of the few legitimate excuses to submit a schematic drawing of your genitalia to a government office...

        Sounds like a great way to get congressional support, seems at least several congresscritters would love to do this.

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      Whatever it is, Ron Jeremy has prior art.

  • I'm thinking there's lots of prior art on this one. How else would there be terms such as "godly powers?"
  • by Progman3K (515744) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:36AM (#36374824)

    I permit the sun to rise every morning but you don't see me trying to patent it, jerk.

  • Screw prior art, finally a "useful, concrete, and tangible result" demonstration

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:39AM (#36374866) Journal
    The whole point of a patent is disclosure in exchange for a monopoly of limited term. Since it has been repeatedly emphasized that God works in mysterious ways to which mortals are not privy, clearly the apparatus and method in question have not been adequately disclosed to the copyright office.

    Arguably, since God has retained these powers as a closely held Mystery, licenced only on a limited basis to his fertilitity and translation services provider subsidiary, Holy Spirit LLC, and a number of middle-eastern contractors to which he has outsourced prophetic work over the years, Godly power would be better served by Trade Secret, rather than Patent, protection...
    • And this is exactly why we need patents! If God could have patented his powers, there would not have been the need to keep the inner working secret and by now the patent could have run out... wait, what? Lifetime of the inventor plus 70 years? So? When did the old geezer die? Uh? God is WHAT? What is he, a corporation?

    • The whole point of a patent is disclosure in exchange for a monopoly of limited term. Since it has been repeatedly emphasized that God works in mysterious ways to which mortals are not privy, clearly the apparatus and method in question have not been adequately disclosed to the copyright office.

      It's in the rejection:

      3/17/08- Non-Final Rejection, page 7 of PDF- “The specification has not described how one of ordinary skill in the art could make or use the claimed godly powers.”

  • Good for him. I wouldn't want anyone else using godly powers if I came up with them. They better grant the patent too or they might get smitted!

    I'm patenting satanic powers right now!
  • "How do you know you're God?" - "Because when I pray I find I'm talking to myself."
  • I wouldn't even be surprised if the patent was awarded.
  • What does a person with godly powers need a government-granted monopoly?

  • by mooingyak (720677) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:22AM (#36375448)

    As part of the patent application, doesn't he need to disclose how others can acquire godly powers?

    • Quoth the final rejection: "The specification has not described how one of ordinary skill in the art could make or use the claimed godly powers."

    • by Bobartig (61456)

      He needs to describe with sufficient detail how one of ordinary skill in the art can practice godly powers.

      But what is "one of ordinary skill", and what "art" is this? Is it the art of being godly? One must be practiced in the art to say that it is not enabled.

      Personally I would have gone with non-patentable subject matter under Chakrabarty, since "godly powers" are by definition not "made by man."

  • Have someone patent the process by which you protest at the funeral of U.S. soldiers, and trademark phrases like "God hates fags". Then when it's all granted, sue the living fuck out of WBT.
    I'm only half kidding, and I'm sure as hell not trolling. It would be completely outrageous, but it would also be so chock full 'o WIN that I think I would just burst.
    • by Combatso (1793216)
      I have a feeling the result would be the patent holder getting a royalty check out of every god Hates Fags sign made... and it would be business as usual for the WBT
  • Just a tool....

  • I'm all for it! Basically, he's arguing that if software patents are valid, then his patents must also be valid. It probably won't be granted (but who knows these days?), but anything that highlights exactly how idiotic software patents really are. Think of his as the Flying Spaghetti Monster of Bilski. Go, crazy dude! Rock on, useful idiot!

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      I'm all for it! Basically, he's arguing that if software patents are valid, then his patents must also be valid. It probably won't be granted (but who knows these days?), but anything that highlights exactly how idiotic software patents really are. Think of his as the Flying Spaghetti Monster of Bilski. Go, crazy dude! Rock on, useful idiot!

      I'm curious, which does it highlight more? The nonsensical musings of the USPTO, or the nonsensical musings contained within a book that speaks of an all-knowing divine entity that created the earth and the heavens, represented on earth by one man born from a virgin who later died and was resurrected...Hmmmm...

  • From TFA, it seems like he is patenting the business model used to exploit such powers almost as much as the powers itself.

    Of course, maybe I am misunderstanding it. The mix of law, religion, business, and plain-old-fashioned crazy is giving this a cthulu-like quality.

  • I can read the minds of earthworms. Surely, I can make a few bucks off that.

  • by coats (1068) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @01:00PM (#36376736) Homepage
    But patent law requires sufficient disclosure for the patented invention to be duplicated by one with only normal skills in the subject area.

    I strongly doubt he does this :-)

    • by sjames (1099)

      That's just because you have considerably less than the ordinary skills of a deity (no offense intended :-). For all we know it makes perfect sense to Thor.

  • Read the claims... They aren't patent claims. They look more like a statement of facts and claims in a civil suit:

    What is claimed is: 1. Godly powers are being used on planet Earth. For example, technology (i.e. Electronic and Medical) is being assisted by godly powers throughout the planet. Godly powers could be used prior, during, and after godly product/procedure. For example; Before—in the making of a device, like a micro-processor chip. During—in the operation of a device, like an inkjet printer cartridge. Afterwards—like gradual scar removal from breast implant surgery. A magician might perform magic before, during, and after, for any given trick (“illusion”). 2. There is a plan governing our existence and actions—God's plan. 3. Christopher Anthony Roller is the godly entity powering Earth with godly powers as stated in claim 1. 4. From claim 2, God's plan (or Game of Life) puts restrictions on what can currently be done with godly powers, or even if/when. 5. From claims 2 and 4, there are restrictions on what magic (godly powers) can be in Chris Roller's presence—what Chris Roller can actually witness, which can differ from what everyone else can witness (in claim 4). Also, the magic needs to have a plausible explanation for its end product, like magicians calling their magic “illusions” or “tricks”. 6. From claim 1, godly powers can be transferred once a grantor—a grantee. A grantee can be a grantor only if granted the right, and only a subset of the rights a grantor possesses. 7. From claim 1 and 6, some grantees may be using their powers without morals. 8. Claim 1 is proved via David Copperfield, who has been using godly powers for his financial gain (MN Federal case 05-446JRT/FLN) and hiding knowledge of godly powers as stated in claim 7. 9. From claim 1, there are many phenomenons associated with godly powers—most of them discussed on www.mytrumanshow.com. 10. From claims 5 and 9, anything Chris Roller finds out is fact (information from all senses except psychic/imagination—i.e. global information via television from eyes and ears) becomes a state of reality on planet Earth. 11. In association with claims 7 and 9, will-power can be cast on another to control people's fate. 12. From claims 2, 5, and 9, reality can be restructured. Chris sometimes calls this re-ravel. Magic completely countered/reversed is called unravel. 13. From claim 12, information via psychic/imagination (not real yet) (non-eyes/ears) can be reversed/re-raveled/unraveled. 14. From claim 12, 5, and 10, unravel/re-ravel can only be done before Chris Roller gets the “real” news, and almost entirely governed by God's plan as stated in claim 2. 15. Immoral activity from claim 7 can be covered up with reality restructuring mentioned in claim 12.

    So, he obviously filed this pro se, never really having seen a patent application before (his response to the Office Action uses the term "plaintiff" even, and applicants are not plaintiffs). The guy is clearly insane, and he's already spent a thousand bucks in filing fees. While we can laugh about the application (and it is pretty amusing), it's also a clearly pretty awful story.

  • This application was finally rejected back in August 2008 and abandoned on May 19, 2009... more than 2 years ago.
  • I think we should write our congresspeople asking why the government is not attempting to regulate his godlike powers! Obviously they could be quite harmful if they fall into the wrong hands!
  • That insurance companies can now insure us for "acts of god" and then go after him for payment after a disaster?

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