Hard it is now to recall when and how the fantastical narrative first took wing and soared.
Somewhere, not that long ago, in a valley full of mystical silicon clouds and tranquil coffee shops sat an enterprising 2nd year engineering student, hunched over his generic laptop, sipping on code sustaining java juice, staring at a blue sky screen and waiting. Waiting for the idea man to show.
Show he does. With abstract idea dripping through tightly cupped hands. He spills what remains across the table top. "There it is," he gasps, Make it so." "I have the idea, you have the computing chops. Go forth now and apply it. I will reward you commensurately."
With only momentary hesitation, our student genuflects before the master and rushes off, not to be seen for whole weekend's time. And then behold. He reappears with code fully coded into his lone generic computational machine. It is a thing of wonder and beauty. It gives forth whatever magic had been conjured out of the fluid abstraction splashed so long ago across that coffee shop table.
"As thou have wished master --it is done," bows the student, ogre-like. "It tookith but no more than a Gigabyte."
"Mine. Mine!" squeals the idea dropper as he yanks the laptop away. His face transmogrifies into that of a horrific troll.
"Now I will patent it. Sue everybody (even goats at school crossings) and become rich. Greedily and undeservibly rich!"
Just then the back door smacks open.
Hurray. It is the superheroes of the Supreme Ct. Justice League.
"We know what you are."
"We know what you do."
"Your generic computer and weekend's done abstract idea will not fool us!"
"We have been to Nature's mountaintop. Mother has given us her laws."
"She also gave us this magic compass and lead-laden off-balance scale."
"The compass detects the directional force fields of abstract ideas."
"The off-balance scale tells if by accident there is something significantly more."
But as for you hideous patent troll, there is no more.
You are history.