Subject: Re: patent trolls and X-licensors
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 17:26:57 +0900

>>>>> "A" == A Pagaltzis <pagaltzis@gmx.de> writes:

    A> * Stephen J. Turnbull <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp> [2006-05-29
    A> 08:45]:

    >> What I would suggest as a practical measure for FSBs to
    >> consider (as a group) is somehow creating an open patent search
    >> system. This would be the best defense against patent trolls.

    A> How does this mesh with the oft-heard advice not to do any
    A> research on existing software in order to be able to plausibly
    A> plead ignorance of a patent, which leads to milder charges?

I don't care.  If I can't afford to do the search, that's one thing; I
won't and I'll go ahead and hope I'm OK.  But if the search is of
reasonable cost and I don't do it, I'm a thief in my own eyes and in
the eyes of the law.

    A> Another thought: what about the formation of a research group
    A> that examines patent *applications* and submits prior art for
    A> due consideration to the PTO? US legislation at least provides
    A> the means for this, and preventing patents from being granted
    A> at all is a much more effective long-term defence than
    A> attempting to circumstep them after the fact.

I believe you're wrong.  There has been legislation proposed to open
up the process in that way, but as far as I know only the PTO normally
has access to *applications* until they are approved.  They're
considered trade secrets until approved, or something like that.
There is no formal way to overturn a patent, except to be sued for
violating it and successfully defend.

I'd be happy to find out I'm wrong, of course!


-- 
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba
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        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory