[openip] Re: "rights" and "freedoms"

Ross N. Williams ross at rocksoft.com
Wed Oct 20 00:04:55 UTC 1999

At 11:43 AM -0400 19/10/99, Doug Hudson wrote:

>> IF
>>     (a) the patents really are easy to prove as trivial,
>> AND (b) each company has paid US$20K+ to bring the patent
>>         to issuance,
>>     it should be possible to create an organization that
>>     generates revenue by writing to companies at the start
>>     of their patent's 3 month public period saying that if
>>     they don't pay US$5K immediately, then Patentbusters Inc
>>     will throw all its resources into finding prior art to
>>     bust their patent!
>NO! No! No!


>Once again, no.  Future 'victims', as they realize they are threatened by
>some patents out there, may actually submit patents to the site.  The point
>is that the PTO isn't doing it's job, as it's old method of prior art
>searching doesn't work in the software / e-commerce world.  This would work,
>it's a free market solution and should make everybody happy (except for
>"land grab" patentees who would lose the "threat" of suit as a lever to $$
>settlements for questionable infringement suits.)
>Rather than that, the "organization" wouldn't point its guns at anyone.  The
>users chose which patents are nominated, the users post prior art, etc.  The
>users are students, open source programmers, small startups, and big
>corporations equally.  I've been thinking about this for a while...

My main point is that patent busting trivial software patents is not
glamorous or interesting. It's tedious and boring. The people who
submit patent applications go through the tedium of preparing them
because they are being paid. The patent examiners are being paid too.

patentbusters.org is a fine idea, but ultimately it's going to be
relying on volunteer power to do absolutely mind-numbing paperwork
against a tide of 25,000 patents a year. It would be the only part
of the software patent bureaucracy that isn't getting paid and
that's why I have my reservations about it.

It might work as a means for those who are being threatened by patent
lawsuits to find prior art, but only because the threatened company
would pay for all the paperwork preparation.

I know that my idea of making a business out of it seems a bit
blackmaily, but it's an attempt to define a practical system whose
resource flows can match those of the system it opposes.

Good luck with patentbusters.org.


Dr Ross N. Williams (ross at rocksoft.com), +61 8 8232-6262 (fax-6264).
Director, Rocksoft Pty Ltd, Adelaide, Australia: http://www.rocksoft.com/ 
Protect your files with Veracity data integrity: http://www.veracity.com/

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