Subject: Re: Online patent exchanges
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen Sitaker)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 13:02:15 -0400 (EDT)

Craig Brozefsky asks:
> Would not just publishing your "patent" do the same thing?  It would
> serve as prior art, stopping others from patenting it.

Yes, it would stop others from patenting it, at least in theory.  What
it would not stop others from doing is patenting other things and using
those patents against you.

The idea is that, if you want to use any of the (presumably tens of
thousands of) techniques the cartel controlled, you would have to allow
everyone to use all of your patented techniques in free software.  (Or,
better, all software.)  Perhaps, to be legal, there should be a small
licensing fee with onerous reporting requirements available as an
alternative.

> Unless there is a small number of well-known cartels which provide
> nice interfaces for discovering their patents, then the patent will
> still appear in the USPO database, and it may discourage developers who
> may not know that it is owned by the cartel which freely licenses it.

Ideally there would be one such cartel.

-- 
<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
Tue Sep 14 1999
55 days until the Internet stock bubble bursts on Monday, 1999-11-08.
<URL:http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/bubble.html>