Subject: Re: Patent prior art database
From: Don Marti <dmarti@zgp.org>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 08:35:18 -0700

begin Luis Villa quotation of Thu, Jul 03, 2008 at 01:07:05AM -0700:

> Possibly relevant:
> http://wiki.mozilla.org/Legal:Prior_Art

Yes, it seems like lawyers always come up with the
idea of "hey, let's index prior art and increase
patent quality" which, even if it does result in
higher-quality patents doesn't necessarily affect
the goal of "let's reduce the impact of the patent
system on Free Software."

If you find prior art for a patent applicant, won't
the applicant either redraft the patent to avoid the
prior art or save his money and patent something else?

> I tend to think that in practice no one has built this because the
> payoffs are very abstract and very far off, and the costs to do it
> well are fairly high. But YMMV.

Richard Stallman --
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/trivial-patent.html
-- writes:

  "What's more, the courts are reluctant to overrule
  the Patent Office, so there is a better chance
  of getting a patent overturned if you can show
  a court prior art that the Patent Office did not
  consider. If the courts are willing to entertain a
  higher standard in judging unobviousness, it helps
  to save the prior art for them. Thus, the proposals
  to 'make the system work better' by providing the
  Patent Office with a better database of prior art
  could instead make things worse."

-- 
Don Marti                                               +1 415-734-7913 mobile
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/
dmarti@zgp.org         Linux device driver unconference: http://freedomhec.org/