Dean Kamen Awarded Patent For Robot Competition Rules

An anonymous reader writes “Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway and the founder of the FIRST Robotics Competition has been granted Patent 7,507,169, that describes one of the previous competitions. The main invention is a ranking system that ranks teams not only on their score, but their opponents’ score, so teams are rewarded for helping their opponents score more. It is claimed that this ranking system promotes the made up phrases ‘coopertition’ and ‘gracious professionalism.’ It had three rejections, and even more appeals, before finally being accepted six years after the first application. While a majority of his 130 patents are for things related to his inventions, which are as diverse as medical equipment, unique uses for Stirling engines, and transportation, this one seems a little dubious. Dean opposes the Patent Reform Act of 2009, which would make it easier to overturn patents after they are granted.”

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