Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Why your next chick lit novel may violate a patent

Everyone is spazzing out about Amazon and Random House and their plans to charge to read the innards of a few books.

Spaz out about this:

U.S. Patent Office Publishes the First Patent Application to Claim a Fictional Storyline; Inventor Asserts Provisional Rights Against Hollywood.

How absolutely weird. A faithful reader (and writer) tipped me off to this piece and I'm pretty sure I read it three times, with the certifiable dropped jaw and dimwit eyes.

You can now (try to) patent a storyline of a novel.

I bet Dan Brown (or that other guy) wishes this had been possible years ago.

What a great idea, really. We can reduce the number of publishable books from 195,000 to about 17. At a minimum, it sure would force writers to get creative. Science Fiction might be the only genre to survive it all. Heaven forbid you are writing about something static, like say, the Civil War. (I guess you can always have Lee win the thing!)

Granted, this probably will not survive the first lawsuit (oh, and it'll come) but it still makes one's hair stand on end. Who knew with all of the copyright lawsuits we worry about that it would be the patents that nailed us in the end.