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One For The Team


Informal Drawings is a comic-strip devoted to patent attorneys, examiners, and inventors. New comics are published weekly.

Prints and coffee mugs may be purchased at patentspace.net/informal-drawings.

The Author

Peter Sleman

Peter Sleman is a patent attorney and co-founding partner of Wei & Sleman LLP. His practice focuses on patent prosecution, opinions and due diligence spanning a variety of technologies ranging from mechanical devices to electronic hardware and software. His specialty is medical devices. In addition to working with large medical device manufacturers, Peter has supported many physician entrepreneurs and startups. He is the author of The Physician Inventor: The Doctor's Handbook to Patenting Medical Devices and Methods, available on Amazon. As a creative outlet, Peter publishes Informal Drawings, a comic strip devoted to intellectual property.

For more information, please visit www.patentspace.net/peter-d-sleman.

Discuss this

There are currently 8 Comments comments. Join the discussion.

  1. Pro Say October 20, 2020 3:00 pm

    All that’s missing … is a “CAFC” banner across the volcano.

  2. Paul Cole October 22, 2020 3:42 am

    There is a wonderful cartoon from Punch in the 1960’s (I think) by Michael Ffolkes: “What do you mean obvious to the meanest intelligence? and that should be known to and reflected on by all of us who draft and prosecute patents. https://punch.photoshelter.com/image/I00002OJfD2DVUsk

  3. Anon October 22, 2020 7:29 am

    Mr. Cole – from the 1960’s to a present day issue (even if the latest USPTO report still seeks to water down that issue).

    Thank you.

  4. Paul Cole October 22, 2020 12:01 pm

    The point is, actually, that the attorney is glad that his job of writing patent specs is not going to be taken by an intelligent machine. That is the reason for he smile on his face.

  5. Anon October 22, 2020 3:20 pm

    Mr. Cole, that smile was there in the 1960’s.

    Alas, times have a’changed. Would that smile still be there if the cartoonist in the 60’s be recreating that panel some 50+ years later?

  6. Anon October 23, 2020 7:21 am

    Hmm,

    Let me answer my won question – in a way.

    I went back this morning and looked again at the cartoon you provided.

    There is NO smile there – and quite the opposite, the man in front of the gargantuan machine (which is now equivalent to what I have strapped on my wrist) actually looks peeved, rather than having a smile on his face.

    Were you looking at two different comics?

  7. Paul Cole October 23, 2020 9:18 am

    @ Anon

    The attorney with the smile on his face is the one in the Sleman cartoon. He is delighted that artificial intelligence for legal purposes is deemed unpatentable, that such machines may never be built because the necessary development funds may not be forthcoming, and therefore that he can keep his job.

    The little man drawn by Ffolkes is angry at being called an idiot by the very large computer.

    Incidentally, in 1959 I saw the ACE computer built at the National Physical Laboratory to designs originating with Alan Turing. The machine filled a space equivalent to that of a large gymnasium or school assembly hall and was worked by thermionic valves. Its power was only a small fraction of what you would find on your wrist.

  8. Anon October 23, 2020 1:03 pm

    Thanks for the clarification Paul. I had thought that you were making a comment on the comic panel that you provided.

    I do get why the Sleman cartoon attorney is smiling. That being said, I think that the far older cartoon is indeed a very clever add, as the ‘lesson’ from that cartoon may well overtake the Sleman cartoon in the not so distant future.

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