An idea for opening software patents...
Robert M. Muench
robert.muench at robertmuench.de
Tue Oct 19 15:03:24 UTC 1999
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Doug Hudson [mailto:dthudson at concentric.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 1999 4:26 PM
> To: robert.muench at robertmuench.de; 'Ross N. Williams';
> openip at egroups.com; rms at gnu.org
> Cc: anicolao at mud.cgl.uwaterloo.ca; ghost at aladdin.com;
> weigel+ at pitt.edu;
> cowan at locke.ccil.org; Ken.Coar at Golux.Com; gnu at gnu.org;
> graham at collector.hscs.wmin.ac.uk; fsb at crynwr.com;
> pleb at cse.unsw.edu.au;
> license-discuss at opensource.org
> Subject: Re: An idea for opening software patents...
> When a questionable patent comes to someone's attention, they
> can "nominate"
> it to a central site. Then, instead of one person spending
> days or weeks
> looking for prior art, let everyone look at it and contribute
> their prior
> art, by distributing the work.
Hi, that's a good approach and uses the more-eye-balls strategy
> The art stays in a database
> attached to each
> patent, and, poof, people can get an idea of how broadly the
> patent would be
> interpreted or how likely it would be enforced at all. It's
> not a "legal"
> prior art search, but it would probably give everyone a
> better idea of what
> a patent is worth than any PTO search. And you wouldn't have
> to wait until
> a lawsuit w/ lawyers to find out.
Well, that's one point but the input can be used to file an
objection to the PTO and try to get the patent invalid.
> Right now, I have two domains (patentbusters.org &
Cool names :-)
> and I have a few law students who know IP/software who'd be
> to help. The site should be up in about 2 weeks, and any
> recommendations would help, and any technical assistance would
> up the time frame.
Great! This really sounds good. I think one of the best things
the law students could do is to work out a workflow how to write,
structure ,file, ... an objection against a publish patent. This
could be used by others as a check-list. Even better in the
Internet world would be an online-questionnaire and a nice
program, which 'writes' the objection conforming to the law
> The scary thing is, even setting up a simple web organization
> like this may violate some unknown e-commerce patent lurking
I don't see any problems here. I'm not aware of a patent about
web-pages (yet). And the other question is, if you don't earn
anything when infringing a patent I'm not sure if a patent
dispute will have any success.
Robert M. Muench, Karlsruhe, Germany
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