This post was first published on 8th September, 2011.
Christopher Anthony Roller filed a patent application (11/161,345) entitled “Godly Powers” on July 29th, 2005; he wanted the USPTO to grant him a patent for the same. Chris Roller wanted an exclusive right to the ethical use and financial gain in the use of godly powers on planet Earth.
The Abstract of this invention is as mentioned below.
“Christopher Anthony Roller is a godly entity. ‘Granters’ had been given my powers (acquired my powers) (via God probably). These ‘granters’ have been receiving financial gain from godly powers. These ‘granters’ may be using their powers without morals. Chris Roller wants an exclusive right to the ethical use and financial gain in the use of godly powers on planet Earth. The design of godly-products have no constraints, just like any other invention, but the ethnic consideration of its use will likely be based on a majority vote of a group, similar to law creation. The commission I require could range from 0-100% of the product price, depending on the product’s value and use.”
Also, Chris Roller claimed that Godly powers are being used on planet Earth. Godly powers could be used prior, during, and after godly product/procedure and there is a plan governing our existence and actions—God’s plan. He also claimed himself as the godly entity powering Earth with godly powers. Further, Chris Roller even blamed David Copperfield and David Blaine, for stealing his godly powers and using them.
However, the prosecution process for this case is more interesting than Chris Roller filing patent for godly powers. On 17th March 2008, USPTO mailed a Non-Final Rejection to the applicant, which said the following few main reasons for rejection.
- The specification has not described how one of ordinary skill in the art could make or use the claimed godly powers.
- The claimed invention can be considered to be a naturally occurring phenomenon and is therefore not patentable.
- Barlow discloses a magic game wherein the users are given the ability to perform illusions of Godly powers.
In response to the non-final rejection, the applicant argued that “Like software, godly powers is a method, and affects a machine. Like business methods, godly powers produce a useful, concrete, and tangible result, and that should be all that’s needed for statutory material.” The applicant also argued that Barlow does conventional magic using real tricks but there is no mention of supernatural or Godly powers. The applicant also stated that there is nothing proven supernatural on this planet until Chris Roller discovered it via the David Copperfield lawsuit. However, this patent application is now abandoned as the applicant failed to respond to the Final Rejection sent by USPTO.
My doubt here is shouldn’t God be listed as a joint inventor?
By Sanjiv Saran
I agree that the USPTO’s response is near-genius, and also hilarious. From what I understand, this patent application was filed as a protest — a means of pointing out some ridiculous aspects of patents and the patent prosecution and examination process. I wish the applicant had followed through, because some interesting perspectives may have resulted. But then, I suppose that possessing and protecting his godly powers is likely quite time-consuming and exhausting for Roller.