Subject: Re: [Freesw]
From: PILCH Hartmut <>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 16:08:32 +0200 (CEST)

> It seems to me that a searchable database of prior art is actually
> useful for the purpose of showing that a patent shouldn't have been
> granted.
> The problem that many list members have with the concept of a prior
> art database is that of its availability to the patent examiner and
> patent creator.

There are other problems, see my systematic account on

> Perhaps making the cost of using such a database prohibitive in the
> general case is one solution.  For example, imagine the following
> price model:

A lot of people will build proprietary databases with all kinds of price
models.  These models should be attributed to the people who build the
database, not to some institution that represents a community.  Charging
prohibitive prices makes bad PR for that community.

I don't think it's a good idea to have any central community database or
to keep normal developpers busy with contributing to such a database.

> Or, perhaps simply explicitly stated: "The use of this database is
> limited to the membership of the 'I Don't Like Software Patents' club.

That could cause us bad PR and perhaps even cartel problems
(anti-competitive practises) and would be circumventable anyway.

Of course nobody prevents anyone from building proprietary databases under
whatever rule he likes.  Greg Aharonian has accumulated some large
databases already.

> Back links automatically create a searchable database.

I also believe that there is no necessity to have links to any central
certification agent.  There can be an infinite number of such agents.

> In fact, any
> method of classification that is publicly available on the internet,
> no matter how disparate, automatically creates a searchable database.

No method of classification needs to be available.
That kind of work remains to be done by patent busters in a proprietary
manner.  And of course some people in the community may want to do this
kind of work for a living.

> The only way to prevent a publicly indexed database of prior art is to
> keep the database private.

Private databases will be built by patent busters.  Nothing for us to
be concerned about or get involved in, imho.

Hartmut Pilch
Federation for a Free Information Infrastructure
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