[openip] Re: "rights" and "freedoms"
Robert M. Muench
robert.muench at robertmuench.de
Wed Oct 20 06:58:08 UTC 1999
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Stallman [mailto:rms at gnu.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 1999 3:05 AM
> To: robert.muench at robertmuench.de
> Cc: openip at egroups.com; 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: [openip] Re: "rights" and "freedoms"
> You may not realize how much work this involves. I think that
> thousand US patents are issued each month. Just finding the
> want consider part of the scope of the effort would be a
Depends on. BTW: Does someone know if the PTO database which is
accessible over the web contains only issued patents or if I can
do a research over published patents too? And if it only contains
issued patents, does this mean the 3 month period is already
> Then you would have to read the patents and see what they
> Reading and understanding a patent is torture. (You could give
> try and judge for yourself.)
I have worked with several hundred patents and I have to say that
it's absolutely torture but you get used to the language quite
> You have not said what fields you would want to do this in.
> software and circuits?
Yes, I think that's the fields we are most interested in and
(more important) where we have enough knowledge.
> Finding actual proof of prior art for a patent is a lot of work
> well. (Assuming there is any proof.)
Here I think the Internet is our best friend. Depending on the
workflow we use I'm sure that finding prior art for trivial
things takes about 30 minutes. To make a good paperwork out of it
will take longer.
> All this work might succeed in eliminating some trivial, absurd
> patents. But the nontrivial patents that cover real inventions
> of which are not brilliant) cause the same danger.
That might be right, and trying to change the world as a whole is
a honorable task, but I think it's not practical. So let's start
with something we can get to move even if it's not the ultimate
> I encourage people to invalidate individual software patents
> there is a way to do so, but I will not call this approach a
> solution to the problem of software patents.
Than we split the jobs, and the FSF can concentrate on this topic
and patentbuster concentrates on doing some action in this field.
Robert M. Muench, Karlsruhe, Germany
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