Subject: Re: Patents (was Re: DiBona, Allman, Tiemann, O'Reilly, Perens interview)
From: Mark Shewmaker <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 13:56:42 -0500

On Mon, Jan 31, 2000 at 12:56:39AM -0800, wrote:
> There's still the problem of providing an incentive for a stricter
> rating of patent applications.  I don't see this happening, whether the
> resources for doing it are available or not.


> Incremental, rather than revolutionary, reform is most likely, and
> probably the better way to fly.

Currently examiners get more credit for applications they eventually
approve than those they eventually reject.  A bit of incremental reform
I'd favor would be to attempt to remove any bias either way if possible
by adjusting the point system the examiners are measured on, (and also
compensating for the fact that rejecting more patent applications means
the examiners will be called into court more often to justify the

I disagree with the current rules of what can be patented, but no matter
what rule system in place and what disagreements I might have with it,
it's not right that examiners end up having to approve too many
applications because of biases in the metrics that are the basis of
their promotions.

 -Mark Shewmaker