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A Patent Application on How to Propose Marriage:
Find it here. Who ever said that patent attorneys aren't romantic? Thanks to Mark Eckenwiler for the link.
one more lawyer here:
Ryan sounds like a complete bore, even among those who deal with anal retentive lawyers. If Ellie agreed to marry him, suppose she's regreting it now and looking for some fun?
4.8.2008 4:06am
UW2L:
one more lawyer here: too bad for her, he's got a 20-year exclusive term.
4.8.2008 5:20am
Fub:
His professional profile is here. His dry wit is also evident in his listed publications. Another whimsical patent: Method and instrument for expressing gratitude for a scholastic experience.

I bet Ellie is glad she married a civil engineer.
4.8.2008 6:42am
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
Awww, I think it's sweet!
4.8.2008 8:23am
alias:
For those with free Westlaw or old copies of the Green Bag lying around..

See also Steve Michelson, How Do I Love Thee--A Poem by a Patent Attorney, 7 Green Bag 2d 201 (2004) ("How do I love thee? Let me count the plurality of methods . . . .").
4.8.2008 9:42am
Sean M:
For some reason, Sasha, I am not surprised.
4.8.2008 10:11am
NYU 3L:
The application's great, but I want to see the first office action response.

And frankly, proposing by patent application is definitely novel, useful, and nonobvious, and given the liberal acceptance of methods and algorithms as patentable subject matter, it seems they should grant the patent. Which would then allow Mr. Grace to prevent future similarly inclined patent attorneys from proposing by patent application...
4.8.2008 10:21am
IANAL:

If Ellie agreed to marry him, suppose she's regreting it now and looking for some fun?


Ya know that's exactly how I picture lawyers. How come you guys are the only profession whose office Christmas parties don't typically allow spouses?
4.8.2008 10:31am
Mike Brown (mail):

The application's great, but I want to see the first office action response.


It's on Public PAIR, and it makes interesting reading. Just enter the publication number at http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair

In response to the first office action, the main claim was amended to claim a method of proposing marriage by converting a patent application into a marriage proposal. There was even an interview, where the applicant argued that the application had utility, because it was useful to him to propose to his intended.

The application eventually went abandoned due to failure to respond to the final office action, which rejected the claims as failing to comply with the written description requirement (section 112), being directed to nonpatentable subject matter and not being "useful" (section 101) and being obvious (section 103) in view of a prior patent on a method of drafting patent applications and a list of marriage proposal ideas retrieved from the Internet Wayback Machine.
4.8.2008 10:42am
alias:
proposing by patent application is definitely novel

Perhaps unfortunately, it actually isn't.
4.8.2008 11:08am
Rohan Verghese (www):
If Ellie is a patent examiner, this is absolutely brilliant. If she isn't, then it's a little bit weird.
4.8.2008 1:51pm
theobromophile (www):
Which would then allow Mr. Grace to prevent future similarly inclined patent attorneys from proposing by patent application...

Licensing! Ellie can share in the royalties. :)

Maybe I'm a huge dork, but I think this is really sweet.
4.8.2008 2:45pm
Smokey:
"Take it from me, marriage isn't a word -- it's a sentence."

~ King Vidor


Maybe a lot of sentences. Almost a novella.
4.8.2008 4:26pm
JoelP (mail):
The Patent clearly needs to be amended to an application on how to propose marriage to Ellen Renee Colyer.

With that kind of narrowed focus, only a churl (or Ms. Colyer) could deny it.
4.8.2008 7:02pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Licensing! Ellie can share in the royalties. :)

Depends on the state. In a community property state, I'm pretty sure that a patent issued during marriage, but on an application preceding the marriage (as was necessarily the case here), would be separate property. Thus, revenues from the licensing of the patent would be his property.
4.8.2008 10:13pm
theobromophile (www):
<b>CrazyTrain</b>: Upon divorce, yes. In my idealistic world, though, this couple is staying together. (I would posit, however, that any marriage wherein either couple says, "This is MINE MINE MINE and you can't have it, because the law says it's MINE upon divorce" will be short-lived.)
4.9.2008 1:41am