Jury duty tomorrow, so I was daydreaming about patents.
Why, yes, jury duty and patents are related.
The daydream featured a rather nice “Moore’s Law Patent.”
What’s a Moore’s Law Patent?
A Moore’s Law Patent is a sillypatent (one word, that) for a device that would not sell or be used at all, now, because, for instance, it would cost $100,000 – which is far, far too much for what it does.
Wait 10 years. Now it’s $1000, off the shelf. Another 5 years and it’s $100. And, if the device’s cost is subject to Moore’s Law, it’s likely to be dependent upon software, which will be far more powerful and cheap after that 10 years.
At that time, if the device is a good idea, someone will make a business out of it. Maybe a very large business. Which will make the patent a good thing to have. … For the patent holder.
No innovation is needed. Just extrapolate with common sense and/or look what’s being done now, “in the lab”. That’s the essence of a “Moore’s Law Patent.”
OK, here is the patent that ties together jury duty and patents:
A computer controlled system that helps lawyers vet prospective jury members. This system suggests questions to ask and listens for and understands the answers. And the system advises the lawyer/user which people to consider for the jury and which to keep off the jury. The system uses artificial intelligence logic in a novel way to arrive at its advice. And, the system pools collaborative information with all other compatible systems – one embodiment, in real time, another not – to automatically improve the logic.
The interesting questions are:
- Can such a system be built today to run on hardware that costs from $100,000 to a million dollars?
- Could such a system be developed today for 1 to 10 billion dollars?
If so, score!
Work the numbers.
We’re talking about a $1000 device in 10 years. Easily affordable for a lot of trial lawyers – say 100,000 of ’em in this country alone. These lawyers would have an incentive. Wouldn’t a client with a lawyer who doesn’t have the device wonder whether he, the client, is truly, fairly represented by competent counsel?
Budget to build: $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 10 years from now.
And, if there were 100,000 lawyers buying this thing every year (updates would be important), and if the device cost those lawyers each $2000, then the device’s manufacturer would be raking in $100,000,000 per year, gross. Not a bad ROI.
A business like that will not blink when you show up with your patent and ask for a measly $10 million.
Reader, take the idea and run with it. It can’t miss.