Should Science Fiction Affect Patentability?

Law360, New York (May 24, 2013, 11:11 AM EDT) -- A method of propelling a spacecraft, said method comprising: generating a warp field bubble around said spacecraft; and warping space adjacent said warp field bubble to move said warp field bubble, and said spacecraft therewithin, at superluminal velocity relative to unwarped space.


People in general, and science fiction writers and readers in particular, have been fantasizing about faster-than-light travel almost from the moment in 1905 that Albert Einstein published the theory of relativity, which proclaimed such travel to be impossible. One form of such fantasies simply ignores the scientific problem (see, e.g., the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet"). Another form of...

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