When I was writing my last entry about my new Galaxy Tab, it took about three hours longer than it normally takes me. This is partly due to the fact that I couldn’t stop playing with my new toy, but also because I needed to ensure that all of my copyright usage was in order. Just terms like Google, iPad, Samsung, even Galaxy Tab, all are locked away somewhere by some impossibly ancient man, who I shall now refer to as The Keeper of the Patents.
I don’t know if anyone has ever been inside a patent office, but I certainly haven’t. I’ve always pictured the patent office to look something like a massive room, with gray walls and a gray floor. There is one door, at one end, and no windows. Walk in through this door, and on your right, you see an empty water cooler with an abundance of small Dixie cups, and in front of you, several miles of that velvet rope they use to form queues at banks. One must stand in this very orderly queue during the office’s business hours of 11 am – 1 pm, although there is a one hour lunch break that takes place around 11:30, and all staff are entitled to two fifteen minute breaks (these are standard hours in any government building, though, so no one should be surprised here).
If, by some reason, your unfortunate soul should make it to the front of the line and actually manage to speak to The Keeper of the Patents, you will first realize that he is, in fact, The Watcher (as depicted above), and that he is the only person that works there. You present your patent documents to him, and he looks them over. He’ll mull over them for a few hours, and either a) tell you that you need form 36b, and send you home, b) reject the patent outright for no apparent reason, or c) approve the patent and then sacrifice a newborn lamb on your papers as an appeasement to the patent gods.
Of course when I say patent gods, I mean judges across the continent, because if it looks anything like Apple, expect to get sued.
(All licensed trademarks and copyrights used in this article are the property of their respective owners, of which I am not.)