BREAKING: Man Recieves Patent on ‘Picture Book’
This is unbelievable. And sad.
Patent trolling, the much maligned practice of aggressively enforcing a patent with no intention of manufacturing a product, has popped up in the most unexpected of places – children’s literature.
In a case that is sure to be controversial, James L. Schmiddy, an Alaskan lawyer, has been granted a patent on the concept of the picture book. Schmiddy intends to enforce the patent, with wide-ranging negative consequences. Children’s publishers would be forced to pay crushing licensing fees in order to publish a picture book,
When questioned about the case, Schmiddy was open about his opportunistic intentions. “Honestly, I was surprised no one had ever though of doing this before.”
To avoid licensing fees, books will be required to modify their titles to reflect Schmiddy’s ownership of the picture book concept. Following the guidelines set forth, Schmiddy’s name must be included on all picture books published. For example, Where the Wild Things Are would be retitled:
James L. Schmiddy Presents Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are: A Schmiddy Picture Books Inc. Picture Book
Schmiddy Inc. released an exclusive mockup of what such a cover would look like:
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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