Man seeks square deal, patents wheel
MELBOURNE, Australia -- A man who wanted to test the efficiency of a government department has patented the wheel, a newspaper says.
But according to The Age newspaper, he has no plan to patent fire, crop rotation or other fundamental advances in civilization.
The man, a freelance patent lawyer, was issued with an Innovation Patent for a "circular transportation facilitation device."
John Keogh wanted to prove the innovation patent system was flawed because submissions could be prepared without professional help and did not need to be examined by the Australian patent office.
The name should be changed to "Registered Innovation" to avoid confusion with standard patents, Keogh says.
"The patent office would be required to issue a patent for anything. All they're doing is putting a rubber stamp on it," the paper quoted Keogh as saying.
"The impetus came from the Federal Government. Their constituents claimed the cost of obtaining a patent was too high so the government decided to find a way to issue a patent more easily," said Keogh.
Commissioner of Patents Vivienne Thom argued small business had benefited from lower costs because a lawyer did not have to be retained.
"To obtain the patent for a wheel would require a false claim, which is a very serious matter and would certainly invalidate the patent as well as amounting to a misrepresentation on the part of the applicant and unprofessional conduct by any professional advisor," she said.