Tag Archives: satire

How to Get a Patent in 2 Easy Steps!

1. Expedited Process: [Note: if your name is not Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sony, or Oracle, skip to step 2]:

Scribble a drawing in crayon on a napkin, write ‘for, you know, stuff’ and drop it off at the Patent Commissioner’s house when you have dinner with him and his wife. On the off-chance it isn’t accepted the next day, be polite but firm. The assigned examiner may be new or overworked. Bear in mind, he is NOT your employee. He serves several other large corporations as well.

By the way, don’t forget that the Patent office is running a special this month: you get every 1000th patent free!

2. Standard Process:

(i) spend several months with a team of lawyers (paid out of pocket) carefully researching the state of the art of your field, fleshing out your idea, researching potentially related patents, and constructing unassailable claims of your own. In the course of this, learn a new language called “legalese,” which bears only a superficial resemblance to English — much as its speakers bear only a superficial resemblance to humans.

(ii) assemble a meticulously crafted and airtight application — one which no sane person can find fault with, because it has no fault.

(iii) get rejected by the examiner, who clearly did a sloppy google search for some keywords. He cites several patents which have nothing in common with yours, except for those keywords.

(iv) reply to said patent examiner, patiently explaining why a simple reliance on keyword similarities is insufficient evidence of prior art, and that modern linguistic scholarship has shown different sentences can have words in common.

(v) receive a reply with “final rejection” emblazoned in huge letters, and in what appears to be blood. An attached notice explains that any further communication regarding this patent will result in a late-night visit by three large fellows with Bronx accents. Your lawyers dismiss this as boilerplate, and explain that “final rejection” actually means “we want more patent fees.”

(vi) battle your way through 50 years and $1,000,0000 of appeals and rejections as the examiner displays an almost inhuman level of ineptitude, an apparent failure to grasp rudimentary logic, infantile communication skills, and an astonishing ability to contradict himself hour to hour.

(vii) Suspect your patent examiner is planning to run for Congress, where his skills would be better appreciated. Encourage him to do so. Maybe his replacement will be better equipped, possessing both neurons and synapses.

(viii) Eventually you reach the end of the process. There has been one of two outcomes:

  • You passed away long ago, and no longer care about the patent.
  • Your application finally was accepted. Because an accepted patent is valid from the original date of application, yours expired decades ago. But this does not matter, since the idea is long obsolete anyway.

Either way, you should feel privileged. You have participated in one of the great institutions of American Democracy!

The Art of Writing Circa 2019 in 44 Easy Steps

1. 1 minute: Come up with interesting observation or creative idea regarding a recent experience.

2. 10 minutes: Compose concise, eloquent, and impactful written expression of said idea in 6 lines.

3. 10 minutes: It’s too pompous. Remove 2 lines.

4. 10 minutes: It’s too vertiginous. Remove 2 lines.

5. 10 minutes: 2 lines is less pithy than one. Remove 1 line.

6. 10 minutes: It isn’t accessible to a broad audience. Remove all words over 3 letters, adjectives, adverbs, and any verbs of latinate origin.

7. 10 minutes: That one semicolon really should be a colon. People don’t like semicolons.

8. 40 minutes: It could be misinterpreted by the far left, the far right, the Koala anti-defamation league, or Mothers Against Mothers. Reword it.

9. 1 hour: Properly format the blog post. Italics? No, bold. No, italics. Maybe small-caps? That font really doesn’t look right.

10. 4.8 hours: Research current trends on google. Add the same 15 long-tail keywords to the title, description, excerpt, post metadata, twitter metadata, facebook metadata, and google+ metadata. Realize google+ doesn’t exist anymore and feel sad, as if you put out an extra place setting for that one late cousin whose name nobody remembers.

11. 6 hours: Locate a tangentially-related image with a suitable Creative Commons license. Realize the license doesn’t allow the modifications necessary to achieve an NC-17 rating. Find another image, this time with an open license on Wikimedia. Hope that nobody else had the brilliant idea to use a generic image of a college student with the word “Stock” overlaid on it.

12. 2 hours: Remove face from image to avoid any potential liability.

13. 2 hours: Thumbnail is different size than image on blog post is different size from instagram version is different size from flickr version. All involve different formats and much much smaller files than you have. Resize, reformat, and wish you weren’t using Windows.

14. 1 hour: Pick an appropriate excerpt, hashtag, and alt-image text.

15. 1 hour: Tweet, post, and instagram your idea as text, pseudo-text, image, and sentient pure-energy.

16. 2 hours: Cross-post to all 14 of your other blogs, web-pages, and social-media accounts.

16. 20 seconds: Realize that your long-tail keywords no longer are trending.

17. 20 seconds: Receive 2000 angry tweets. Realize your hashtag already refers to a far-right hate group, a far-left hate group, a Beyonce Sci-Fi fanfiction group, the political campaign of the 237th least popular Democratic candidate for President, the Lower Mystic Valley Haskell, Knitting, and Dorodango group, or all of the above.

18. 10.8 seconds: Beat Jack Dorsey’s own speed-record for deleting a tweet (which happened to be about Elon Musk tweeting about Donald Trump’s tweets).

19. 6 hours: Update long-tail keywords to reflect current trends. Realize that Beyonce Sci-Fi fanfiction is trending, and leverage your newfound accidental affiliation to comment on the irony of your newfound accidental affiliation. Then tweet Beyonce to ask if she’ll retweet you.

29. 5 seconds: Receive automated cease and desist order from Taylor Swift, who loans out her 2000 person legal team to Beyonce on the rare occasions it isn’t in use. Spot idling black limo full of tattooed lawyers outside window. One who looks suspiciously like Jennifer Pariser grins and gently drags her finger across her throat.

30. 4.2 seconds: Beat own recent world record for deletion of a tweet.

31. 28.6 minutes: Decide that social media is a waste of time. “Delete” all accounts.

32. 28.6 minutes: Decide that you need a professional presence on social media after all, and won’t be intimidated by Taylor Swift or her 2000 lawyers. “Undelete” all your accounts.

33. 1 minute: Decide original post is stupid, obsolete, and has several grammatical errors. Delete it.

34. 2 hours: Delete all variants of post on blogs, web-pages, twitter, facebook, and instagram.

35. 4 minutes: Just in case it’s really still brilliant, email idea to a friend.

36. 4.8 hours; Worry whether [insert appropriate gender normative or non-normative pronoun] likes it.

37. 1 minute: Try to interpret friend’s ambiguous single-emoticon reply.

38. 30 minutes: Decide you’re not going to let the establishment dictate what’s art, and that the post’s stupidity, obsolescence, and several grammatical errors are intentional and signs of unappreciated genius.

39. 12 minutes: Receive voicemail that you missed 2 consecutive shifts at Starbucks and are fired.

40. 30 minutes: Decide you’re not going to be an indentured servant to the establishment and will go it alone like most great artists throughout history.

41. 0.8 seconds: Realize you have no marketable skill, don’t know how to market a skill, and don’t even know what markets or skills are. Recall that most great artists throughout history had “Lord” before their name, got money from someone with “Lord” before their name, or died in penury. Consider writing a post about the injustice of this.

42. 0.2 seconds: Have panic attack that you’ll end up homeless, penniless, and forced to use the public library for internet-access. Google whether euthanasia is legal, and how many Lattes it would take.

43. 1 minute: Call manager at Starbucks, apologize profusely, and blame Taylor Swift for your absence. Hint that you have an “in” with her, and if the manager takes you back there may be sightings of Taylor Swift’s people idling in a black limo outside.

44. 6.7 hours: A sadder and a wiser man, you rise the morrow morn. You decide to share your newfound sadness and wisdom with others. Go to step 1.