Subject: Re: [Freesw] priorart.org
From: "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 11:51:55 -0700
Wed, 9 May 2001 11:51:55 -0700
on Wed, May 09, 2001 at 08:02:52PM +0200, Bernard Lang (Bernard.Lang@inria.fr) wrote:
> On Wed, May 09, 2001 at 10:23:04AM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > on Wed, May 09, 2001 at 07:17:16PM +0200, Bernard Lang (Bernard.Lang@inria.fr) wrote:
> > > On Wed, May 09, 2001 at 09:53:46AM +0200, Carlo Daffara wrote:
> > > > An interesting twist on protection against bad patents:
> > > > http://www.priorart.org
> > > > 
> > > > cheers
> > > > 							Carlo Daffara
> > > 
> > > Yes ...
> > > 
> > >    one of the dumbest initiatives of the Hindsight Institute ... and
> > > apparently endorsed by some prominent members of the community too.

Influential ain't the half of it.

> > >   The good thing about it is that one has to pay to use it ... 20
> > >   bucks is still a lot.  So it will probably be ignored.
> > > 
> > >   SWPAT are inherently bad economically (I do not know of any
> > >   study with positive conclusions).  Why waste time helping them.
> > >   It is much more useful to maximize insecurity for patent
> > >   requesters by making prior art search difficult.  Increasing the
> > >   cost for patent holders actually improves the economic
> > >   effectiveness of the patent system (discouraging weak patents).
> > > 
> > >   And it is totally misleading regarding the way patents works.
> > >   People will use this database to get the good ideas and patent
> > >   around them.  Just imagine a new claim and you get a patent on
> > >   an old idea.
> > > 
> > >   I wish free software "leaders" had carefully discussed the issue
> > >   publicly, and with more experienced patent specialists, before
> > >   endorsing it.
> > 
> > Bernard, I'm not quite clear what your objections are.  I'm unable to
> > access the site at the moment, so if the context lies there, I don't
> > see it.
> > 
> > Who is hosting the site, who is endorsing it?
> > 
> > Remember, we do not speak with one voice (Karsten says, speaking for the
> > free software (or is that Open Source) community....).
> 
> I know ... but some voices carry weight and should not be used lightly.
> 
> some URLs:
> http://slashdot.org/articles/01/03/21/139207.shtml
> http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2001/03/21/open source patents/index.html
> http://www.foresight.org/
> 
> 
> Here is some background ... I do not have the URL for it.
> 
> ============================================================================
> 
> 	Todays News
>                                       
>    New Weapon in Fight Against Bogus Patents 
> 
>           Top Open Source Leaders Endorse 'PriorArt.org' Initiative
> 
>                   Billions at Stake in Internet Patent Wars
> 
>     ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- During the 1850's Gold Rush,

<...>

>     Surprisingly, given the often-fractious nature of the open source
>     movement, PriorArt.org has been endorsed by many of its top leaders
>     (affiliations listed for identification purposes only):
> 
>     "Bravo to Foresight and IP.com for making it easy to do defensive
>     disclosures for open source," declared Brian Behlendorf, leader of
>     the open source Apache Project and co-founder and chief technology
>     officer at CollabNet.
> 
>     Added Jeff "Hemos" Bates, co-founder of the open source community
>     site Slashdot.org, "Doing a defensive disclosure at PriorArt.org
>     enables the patent office to see that patent applications on
>     [already-existing open source] ideas should be denied."
> 
>     And as Lawrence Rosen, executive director of the Open Source
>     Initiative, put it: "PriorArt.org will prevent third parties from
>     unfairly claiming patent rights they don't deserve."
> 
>     Even the renowned professor Lawrence Lessig of the Stanford Law
>     School has lent his support to the PriorArt.org service.  "In a
>     perfect world, PriorArt.org would have little use," Professor Lessig
>     noted.  "But we live in a lawyer's world, and PriorArt.org will be
>     crucial to keeping the innovation commons alive."

ESR is usually close to target.  Brian's name lends weight.  Jeff is the
brains behind Slashdot -- and really, that's more of a compliment than
it seems.  Larry Rosen has a good broad grasp of both law and free
software interests (and I'm stunned that he's endorsing something
publicly ;-) But Lessig pretty much clinches it.  All due respect to
$RELIGION, but the man is god.  I'd be interested in seeing his comments
outside a press release, but I have faith in his judgements on things
legal effecting free software.

What is your objection to the idea of a prior arts repository?
Patenting around prior art?  My suspicion is that with a sufficiently
rich PA database, there's not going to be too much nonobvious work
coming up around existing works.

Imagine if the SOP response to a patent infringement letter becomes a
posting of the letter on the recipient's website with a list of
references from the prior arts database, roughly analagous to, say,
http://kmself.home.netcom.com/SAS/ (trademarks issue, but similar
effect -- I've heard of no more strong-arming by SI since posting this,
there were several instances before).   Strong-arm patent litigation
will take a rather different form in this environment.

Cheers.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>    http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/         http://www.kuro5hin.org


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