Fear of claim chowder…

Ever made a prediction that was utterly, completely and hopelessly wrong?

That’s Claim Chowder.

Daring Fireball has the example of Steve Balmer’s April 2007 quote  – “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”


And yet, has this prediction hurt Steve?

Seth Godin posted about this recently – he suggests – do it anyway, have an opinion, defend it, it will make you smarter, no one ever got a terminal illness from Claim Chowder.

As you read this, no doubt some of you are already turning your minds to the other type of claim – patent claims.  Does the same apply to patent claims?


There’s a great danger in going way too far in predicting the future when you draft patent specifications and claims.

Can you really enable them?  How do you know what’s going to happen?  What is this going to do to the remainder of your patent claims, not to mention the value of the patent…

Only go so far as you can see in sufficient detail.  How confident are you that this is going to work and work as you describe it?  What evidence do you have of this and how are you going to use it to support your claims?

But how do you protect the next step after this patent publishes?

Try inventing it first.

[Image credit: Troels Eklund Andersen]

4 Comments on “Fear of claim chowder…

  1. The photo in this post brings up an interesting IP issue.

    The image credit is given to misterbisson – who has it in his list of flickr photos and has generously released the picture under a cc license.

    However the history of the picture is here http://lukket.dk/homecomputer/ – and it is marked simply as ‘Copyright Troels Eklund Andersen’ – with no mention of a CC license.

    This brings up an interesting issue which all of us face (not just you) – the way we use an image from someone’s flickr account and accept on face value that they are actually authorised to license the image that they are offering for license.

    What liability are we exposing ourselves to by doing this? After all, we are doing zero due diligence when we use these photos – on the implicit assumption that zero due diligence is appropriate for something as inconsequential as this.

    However, we’ve all seen cases where a copyright holder has suddenly decided to sue someone for $150,000 for displaying an old work on a website without
    even issuing a takedown notice or C&D first. Fox did this recently over the screenplay for ‘Jewel of the Nile’ recently – along with other works.

    From a strictly legal perspective they are entirely right – the fact that the particular work is all over the internet is irrelevant – they are quite entitled to get up one morning and decided to collect $150k from everyone who naively posted it on their blogs – even if those people thought that the lack of enforcement in the past was implicit permission !

    Anyway – it’s a fascinating issue.

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