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

>>>>> "A" == A Pagaltzis <> writes:

    A> * Stephen J. Turnbull <> [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        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
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