Subject: Re: [Freesw]
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 19:40:24 +0200

On Mon, May 14, 2001 at 11:03:32AM -0400, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Bernard Lang writes:
>  >   - making prior art difficult to find is a deterrent to patenting,
>  > and raises its cost through more expensive searches and insecurity as
>  > to the actual existence of prior art.
>  >     Expensive patents are economically more efficient, since people
>  > will be less tempted to submit weak patents (there is economic
>  > literature on this) ...
>  >    and we wish to discourage patents.
> The flaw in your theory is that patent authors have no incentive to
> find prior art, and patent examiners do not have the time or
> expertise.

no ... because the cost is there anyway :

  either you pay it with a more expensive search of prior art
  or you pay it with the insecurity on the patent granted
       which may be cancelled

> I own 224 acres of land, the borders of which I have never walked the
> entirety of, because some of them go through a wooded swamp.  Now, if
> I was to post this land, the ownership of which is uncertain, and I
> actualy posted someone else's land, I would be subject to a legal
> penalty.
> If a patent author claims prior art -- someone else's idea -- then are
> not subject to any penalty other than the loss of their patent, which
> they never owned anyway.
> And finally, isn't "finding prior art" the same thing as "finding
> prior open source code"?  How can we make the first hard without
> harming the second?

because the kind of thing that are patented are not directly related
to the tools built with them.

         Non aux Brevets Logiciels  -  No to Software Patents
           SIGNEZ    SIGN             ,_  /\o    \o/    Tel  +33 1 3963 5644  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  Fax  +33 1 3963 5469
            INRIA / B.P. 105 / 78153 Le Chesnay CEDEX / France
         Je n'exprime que mon opinion - I express only my opinion