Subject: Re: [Freesw]
From: PILCH Hartmut <>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 21:34:37 +0200 (CEST)

> Yes ...
>    one of the dumbest initiatives of the Hindsight Institute ... and
> apparently endorsed by some prominent members of the community too.

I don't think that the Foresight showed their press release to ESR, Lessig
and the others.  This is a quick shot, designed to exploit them for PR
purposes and throw them away later.

>   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.

More than that: one has to write a text in a form that makes it searchable
for a patent examiner.  That is quite a lot of unpaid work.

Posting to Usenet=Dejanews achieves a better effect with less effort.
Moreover we will hopefully have time-stamped CVS soon.  The one remaining
reason to use something like is when you really need to make
sure that nobody gets a patent, not even an invalid one.  For those cases
we need to have our own server, free of pro-patent propaganda.

FFII started one project at

long ago, but it didn't really get on track.  It still depends too much on
voluntary effort of a few people.

>   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).

Good point.

>   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.

Yes, this is the way the patent system works.

The Foresight press release is rather shameless in asserting that
documenting prior art will eliminate "bad patents" or "bogus patents".
They should know that the patent system has no standards for
non-obviousness and practically anything "new" is also considered
"inventive".  Thus it is quite easy to patent around a good idea.

>    I wish free software "leaders" had carefully discussed the issue
> publicly, and with more experienced patent specialists, before
> endorsing it.
> So it goes ...
> Bernard
> --
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