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In reference to the patent: US20140207263

I ran across this patent application in a google search and can't help but be dismayed that someone is actually trying to patent this. Is this a patent troll?

The idea of coming up with a score for physical fitness has been around for years/decades. Nothing new or novel here. Several organizations utilize an overal physical fitness scoring system that combines performance levels from multiple disciplines in order to arrive at a single number or level. Reference the FBI physical fitness test 2, or similar tests from air force, army, marines, California department of education fitnessgram 3, Presidential physical fitness test 4, Track and Field Combined-event scoring systems 5, and numerous others. How could this patent application be considered new or novel?

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This application is for an automated method of fitness scoring which is an entirely different matter. I am not an examiner but it depends a lot on the prior art:

Prior Art US20140207263

You have listed a few examples. It does appear that there may be some novelty to this invention but it may be obvious as it seems it is to you.

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You can go to USPTO PAIR to check the status of this application. The examiner issued non-final rejection twice (2016-2-22 and 2015-7-31).

Just because something was invented doesn't mean someone can't improve it and get a patent on the improvement. Method/system relating to fitness scoring can be patented (e.g. US8027822). However, I do think US20140207263 lacks novelty when compared to pat. '822. I am not a software patent expert, but I seriously doubt the application, as it is written, would get granted.

There is no foul trying to get an overtly broad claim granted. In fact, it's a good defensive tactic against patent trolling. The worst you can get is a rejection on a vague idea, which isn't so bad considering a patent troll wont' be able to patent it. In that regards, most large software companies (e.g. MSFT and GOOG) are patent trolls, except that they usually have no interest in enforcing bad patents.

You can check the US6605038 "System for monitoring health, wellness and fitness" patent family to get a feel of what's patentable and what's not. Currently there have been 32 applications in this family, most are abandoned, some are pending, and 5 are patented. The granted patents are 6605038, 7689437, 8398546, 8961413, and 9033875. Some rejected/abandoned applications are US20140257540, US20140221785, US20080183051, and US20140257055.

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