History of Software Patents II: Arrhythmia Research

By Gene Quinn
April 1, 2009

This article has been significantly updated. Please see:


Software Patent History III: The Federal Circuit Decides Arrhythmia Research and Alappat.



The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 3 Comments comments.

  1. Noise above Law April 1, 2009 10:36 pm

    “why not try something radical, like actually enforcing the laws and rules? ”

    Amen. ‘nuf said.

  2. Greg Rundlett April 3, 2009 12:28 am

    > “The resulting information, whether on a monitor or on a chart, is then interpreted and lives can be saved.”

    > “I see absolutely no reason to prevent such useful, worthwhile and important innovations from receiving patent [sic] (monopoly) protection [sic] (weapon). ”
    What does society gain by granting a monopoly on life saving?

    > “It seems to me that if the patent system is intended to encourage innovation for the benefit of people…”
    The patent system is intended to secure monopoly rights to the owner (corporation), and the preponderance of the evidence now shows that innovation and people are what suffer under the patent regime.

    > “… then the patent laws should encourage and then reward this very type of invention.”
    They should but they don’t. It would be the absence of patentability (monopoly) that produces invention. Today scientists have no almost no doubt that what they practice (pursuit of knowledge and innovation) — even in the most advanced and cutting-edge fields– could be found to “infringe” upon some of the millions of existing worldwide claims. Invention and sharing produces greater (farther-reaching) reward all by itself, and certainly more economic reward without the fetters of the anachronistic patent regime.

  3. Gene Quinn April 3, 2009 12:49 am


    Society gains the life saving. You see, no one will spend the time and money to invent in the first place if there is no financial reward. If you believe otherwise then you should simply refuse to take any medicine, because medicines would not be created but for the ability to make money by those who create the medicine. You can believe that invention is something that people will want to do for free, but that simply ignores reality.

    If you really believe patents hamper innovation you really should do some research. Patents enhance innovation and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply not telling the truth. Those who believe patents hamper innovation simply do not understand patent law and rather than educating themselves they chose to remain ignorant in the belief that they understand what a patent is and what a patent prevents. Sad really that such ignorance reigns supreme.

    The absence of patents will not produce invention. Quite to the contrary. Without recognizing exclusive rights there will be no investment and without investment there will be no real significant innovation. If you want to believe in fantasy that is fine, but we cannot allow something as important as science, innovation and economic stability to be governed by unsupported opinions and fantasy about the way things should be. Reality needs to matter.

    It is odd to ask scientists who have absolutely no understanding of patent law whether patent law would render their activities infringing. The truth is that most people think that if it is in a patent you cannot do it, rather than concerning themselves with the legal reality. I had someone tell me the other day that something was listed in the Abstract, and that defines what the patent covers. That is legally not true, and those who want to remain ignorant about the law and choose to believe things that are incorrect must suffer the consequences. That, however, is not a patent law problem, that is a you problem, and one that suggests you are extremely lazy and don’t care enough to be informed.