Marriage Patents: The Algorithm of Love

As some lawyers patented tax avoidance strategies, attorneys started to wonder what would be the next area to be colonized by this form of IP. This patent application suggests some new worries for family law:

The purpose of this invention is to provide an improved method of proposing marriage to an individual. The method of proposing to an individual generally comprising the steps of meeting the individual; exchanging names with the individual; dating the individual (not necessary); drafting a government document having a proposal to marry the individual incorporated therein; and showing the government document to the individual. The government document may be a patent application. The patent application may claim the method by which the proposor will make a marriage proposal to the individual. The proposor could then use the method claimed in the patent application to propose to the individual. The patent application could be the actual marriage proposal.

Some of the details are pretty bizarre:

Where the individual is emotionally connected to a current boyfriend, the inherent problems with such an emotional relationship between the individual and the current boyfriend may be overcome as set forth below. The meeting step 12 may also comprise one or more sub-steps, such as having the individual continuously beat the proposor at electronic trivia in a merciless fashion.

Though this application must be facetious, controversial “business method” patents have been a concern of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for some time. As it gets ready to consider In re Bilski en banc, hopefully it will keep in mind the points made by satire in the marriage patent app…and the Samuelson Center/PK/EFF/CU brief on the limits of patent law.

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