Subject: Re: [Freesw]
From: Greg Broiles <>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 14:38:46 -0700

At 07:44 PM 5/12/2001 -0400, wrote:
>Prior art the patent examiner considered during the patent application
>process cannot be used to invalidate a patent, because the examiner
>already knew about it when they decided the patent was novel.

Unless the examiner made a mistake.

>Making prior art easier to search makes the life of patent applicants

This is true if you assume that an applicant would prefer no patent or a 
limited but defensible patent over a broad but vulnerable patent. I'm not 
sure this is a good assumption, given the scope and defensibility (and 
reasonableness) of issued patents, especially for software.

There is no obligation on the part of applicants to search for prior art - 
only an obligation to disclose the prior art they're aware of. The less 
they're aware of, the less they disclose, and the less the Patent Office 
sees prior to issuance.

Greg Broiles