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US Patent Office Seeks Aid To Spot Bogus Patent Claims 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-eyes dept.
First time accepted submitter startling writes "Members of the public are being asked by the US Patent Office to help weed out bogus patent applications. It wants the public to contribute to a website that will spot applications for patents on technologies that have already been invented. The website, called Ask Patents, will be run by US firm Stack Exchange that has a track record of operating Q&A websites."
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US Patent Office Seeks Aid To Spot Bogus Patent Claims

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  • by O422 (2737869) on Monday September 24, 2012 @08:53AM (#41435531)
    Here's first such patent registered by Google: Patent #8,271,894 [uspto.gov]

    As noted on Slashdot, it's a patent for using anonymity online [slashdot.org] much like you can already. The problem here is that since Google has been awarded this patent, then other companies like Facebook or any other website CANNOT offer anonymity! This is a perfect example of a very dangerous patent and who else patented it than Google, the champion for losing anonymity on the internet.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Personally, I think nearly all patents issued in the last 20 years are bogus. The entire system is abusive, protects great corporatiins and harms individuals, and should be abolished.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:11AM (#41435721) Homepage

      Congratulations on your fourth-grade reading level. You've demonstrated the ability to read a headline, but not an actual patent.

      The Google patent in question covers a particular method of managing multiple personas. I, for example, could have a persona of "Sarten-X", which I could use for my programming and other online dealings, and "John Smith", which I use for my professional and audio work. When someone interacts with me on a social network, they can pick which profile they're interacting with.

      The patent does not broadly cover "anonymity" in general, so other companies can allow anonymous access.

      • by O422 (2737869) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:18AM (#41435783)

        The Google patent in question covers a particular method of managing multiple personas. I, for example, could have a persona of "Sarten-X", which I could use for my programming and other online dealings, and "John Smith", which I use for my professional and audio work. When someone interacts with me on a social network, they can pick which profile they're interacting with.

        Yeah, multiple usernames. Now that's not obvious at all! Hell, even schizophrenia predates it!

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          No, not just multiple usernames. Multiple personas, each with their own configuration and visibility, linked to a single master account but can appear to others as though they're separate. Multiple usernames would involve logging out of one and into another to use the alternate personas, but this method removes that inconvenience.

          • So less schizophrenia, more like multiple personality disorder

            • by Sarten-X (1102295)

              Convenient multiple personality disorder, where the person can pick which personality to use for everything.

          • by calzones (890942)

            To me, the idea of offering multiple personas for a single username is a completely obvious thing to want to do for online communities.

            Easy example: a popular musician may want to appear as "Sting" to fans but as "Gordon Sumner" to business and financial types, and perhaps "Gordie" to family. Each persona would not just have a different name, but would engage in different activities and form relationships with different people.

            That is because the prior art here is reality itself. This is how humans live a

      • The Google patent in question covers a particular method of managing multiple personas.

        Yahoo Messenger has allowed users to have multiple chat nicknames with different profiles for years.

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)
          But do you pick which profile to use with each message, and are they all linked together under one account?
          • ... and are they all linked together under one account?

            Yes. There is the "primary" username you log in with, but you can set up any number of "alias" profiles.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Google's new motto: "Be less evil".
      They'll accomplish this by forcing their competitors to be more evil.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:40AM (#41435965) Journal

      The problem here is that since Google has been awarded this patent, then other companies like Facebook or any other website CANNOT offer anonymity!

      That's absolutely false. One of the primary purposes of the patent systems is to identify areas of "innovation" very precisely so that people can license these ideas. There is the 'carrot' way of doing this whereby you would approach Google and ask them how much they want for you to license a patent and, since there's nothing forcing Google to license those ideas, the alternative is "stick licensing [wikipedia.org]." So if Facebook wanted to use anonymity in this specific way, the courts would need to determine how much damage this did to Google. I really can't see anyone in their right mind claiming much in damages in that situation. At that point both companies should agree on some form of licensing based on what damages the court found.

      Anonymity itself cannot be patented since the concept is very very old. So Facebook would be free to invent an alternative way to offer its users anonymity than the very specific way presented by Google. Your jump from Google's patent to generic anonymity shows that you do not understand then intense and rigorous legalese that patents must follow. That demonstration is another issue entirely (and the biggest blocker to Stack Exchange's proposal).

      If you read the above as a defense of patents, you're wrong. I'm trying to help you understand that patents are bad but hyperbole doesn't help anyone when they're trying to make the system better. I don't want a world where we have no intellectual property laws and ideas are stolen wholesale ... however I also don't like what software patents are doing today and I feel like we need to find a better approach to this complicated problem.

      • Why proposing stupid alternatives to the words "anonymous coward" an innovation?
      • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:48AM (#41436023) Homepage

        I don't want a world where we have no intellectual property laws and ideas are stolen wholesale ... however I also don't like what software patents are doing today and I feel like we need to find a better approach to this complicated problem.

        Look... I know you're fairly well-known around here, so I hate to question you, but I really don't think you're quite irrational or extreme enough for Slashdot.

      • by Rob Y. (110975)

        Required licensing might help. Part of the problem is that companies like Apple are using patents on minor features to lock out competitors' entire systems. Somehow, the patent office or the courts are going to have to figure out a way to put an actual dollar value on these innovations. Because the actual dollar values wouldn't be worth actually attempting to collect. As it is, these patents are being used to attempt to grab a monopoly on an entire category of device, simply because the holder 'owns' th

      • by shentino (1139071)

        For ideas to be stolen they must first have owners.

        I challenge this premise.

      • I'm still foggy on why a patent can be issues for a user interface, some middleware and a relational database. I just don't see that the same level of protection is needed without the same kind of initial effort as, say, developing a machine to implement a ball bearing polishing technique. I can sit down and in a day bang out the code to do what Google patented.
        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          I can also sit down in a day and machine the parts for a bearing-polishing machine. It proves nothing, though, because I'm just copying something that's already been invented. I didn't have to come up with the idea myself, or refine it, or really put any effort into it at all. That's the key motivation for patents in the first place: Effort should be rewarded, while trivial copying should not.

          So now we're stuck with a fundamental problem of having to decide what the minimum amount of effort is that deserves

          • I highly doubt you or anyone can conceive, design and build a bearing polishing machine in one day, but I digress. And I understand the effort it takes to "invent" ideas on the web (Amazon "one click," this Google account thing, etc.). I just don't see it as the same as building a physical machine operating in the physical world, and that is the distinction with which I am trying to come to terms. The bar of triviality and obviousness needs to be set in a far different place in software compared to the phys

    • New account, post at the same minute as the story. You could try to be a little less obvious.

    • by andydread (758754)
      Obvious troll is obvious troll.
  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Monday September 24, 2012 @08:58AM (#41435585) Journal

    Alert! Alert! Alert! Warning! Danger! Launch all lobbyists!

    • by vlm (69642)

      Here's how it'll play out, as a long time SE watcher.

      If there's no answer that is "acceptable" then it'll be closed as "off topic".

      If there's only one "acceptable" answer then the lurkers / astroturfers will pounce, post the single "acceptable" answer, and the question will get "protected question" status which was originally invented to stop idiot noobs to the site from posting "Me toooo" but is more commonly used to prevent alternative viewpoints from being discussed.

      Being SE that means no discussion allo

      • It depends on the site.

        Stackoverflow is by far the most tolerant of questions that don't fit neatly into a perfect box that can be wrapped and declared to be answered. Questions that deviate from the formula DO eventually get moderated in a way that allows them to fade from view and get pushed to the bottom of search results, but there's (fortunately) very little of the religious zeal for stamping out Badthink that seems to infect most of its other sites.

        In contrast to SO, the other SE sites really seem to

    • It would be great if they all set astroturfers on the site to destroy each other's patents...hey, I can dream right?

  • by ukemike (956477) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:04AM (#41435639) Homepage
    Rectangular with rounded corners is pretty bogus. How about all design patents and all software patents.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:04AM (#41435641) Journal
    Some patent troll claims to have invented a process to crowd source finding invalid patents. They want patent office to agree to license this technology from them for a hefty fee. Though prior art exists for using a large number of people searching documents to find examples of prior art and invalid claims, the troll claims innovative new original work in using the "internet" to do the search. As everyone knows, even if people have been doing something for ages, if you stick in the phrase, "using internet" it suddenly becomes new, original and innovative.
    • by SQLGuru (980662)

      The patent office can just click the little "invalidate" button on that patent......problem solved and the patent troll has one less bullet in its gun.

  • (if (patent-on-software p) 'reject 'accept)

    • by splutty (43475)

      I think you meant:

      (Iff (pathent-on-ssoftware p) 'reject 'affept)

      (Yes yes, I didn't know exactly how I'd do that with a lisp..)

    • I have a more solid implementation


      PatentValidator = function(patent) {
      var me = this;
      me.valid = true;
      if(patent.hasOwnProperty('type') && patent.type === 'software')
      {
      me.valid = false;
      }
      };

      Being in Javascript, this is now completely cloud-ready, synergistic, web 2.0 and capable of CSS-3 transformations (wh

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:07AM (#41435667) Homepage

    MPEG LA claims to manage 346 patents (in the USA alone) which are necessary for anyone who wants to write a video player that can play this very widely used format.

    Eliminating 5%, or even 95% of these patents will change nothing. Software developers will still have to ask MPEG LA for permission, and MPEG LA will continue to prohibit free software implementations.

    Why bother with these complicated, time-consuming ideas? The way to fix the problem (and unblock the patent office), is to make software simply non-eligible.

    * http://en.swpat.org/wiki/MPEG_LA [swpat.org]

    * http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Raising_examination_standards_wouldn't_fix_much [swpat.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a problem with the standards, not the patents. The real solution is to stop creating standards that rely on patented technology. That's far easier than getting rid of software patents.

    • by Zimluura (2543412)

      Raising examination standards won't fix much?? I think i just figured out why they're doing this!

    • by godrik (1287354)

      You are correct and I aggree with you. However, this is not a power that the US Patent Office has. But I think this is a good step toward reducing the number of ridiculous patents.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      It's called "having enough nukes to fire back if someone hits you first"

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      MPEG LA claims to manage 346 patents (in the USA alone) which are necessary for anyone who wants to write a video player that can play this very widely used format.

      Eliminating 5%, or even 95% of these patents will change nothing. Software developers will still have to ask MPEG LA for permission, and MPEG LA will continue to prohibit free software implementations.

      Why bother with these complicated, time-consuming ideas? The way to fix the problem (and unblock the patent office), is to make software simply non

  • Ooh An Aid? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:13AM (#41435733) Homepage Journal
    Do you mean, like, READING them? You know, BEFORE they break out that rubber stamp?
  • Not a bad idea, but the horses are already out of the barn. Trying to close the doors now will just make things worse, without a major reversal of not just bogus patents, but patentable items (like software and business processes).
  • by retroworks (652802) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:15AM (#41435751) Homepage Journal
    I found a virus on my computer which was taking random terms and filing USPTO claims, debiting $ filing fees from my bank account. Oddly, USPTO granted more patent claims than people clicked on the links selling viagra ten years ago.
  • Wouldn't it be easier to simply grant anybody any patent they want, and then revoke it if another party produces evidence of obviousness or prior art?

    We already have its worst-case scenario - ridiculous patents, virtually the same one granted to several different parties, and the parties suing each other over their "portfolios".

    Might as well skip the years of up-front research that do nobody any good, and cut straight to the lawsuits.

    • by causality (777677)

      Wouldn't it be easier to simply grant anybody any patent they want, and then revoke it if another party produces evidence of obviousness or prior art?

      We already have its worst-case scenario - ridiculous patents, virtually the same one granted to several different parties, and the parties suing each other over their "portfolios".

      Might as well skip the years of up-front research that do nobody any good, and cut straight to the lawsuits.

      Yeah that'll be just great for individual inventors and startups. Can't afford millions of dollars and years of time in massive legal battles? Hah well too bad, effectively no patent protection for you!

  • by 3seas (184403) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:19AM (#41435785) Journal

    Software is not of patent-able subject matter.

    Of the things that universally agreed cannot be patented:
    Abstract ideas,
    Physical Phenomenon.
    Natural Law.
    Because they cannot be enforced
    and out of these comes mathematical algorithms as a forth.

    All these together describe software and there is more
    see http://abstractionphysics.net/ [abstractionphysics.net]

    • Someone said somewhere (I forget where) that DNA, as a natural process, cannot be patented.

      A year later, Big Pharma had patents on 98% of the Human genome, for what was then widely considered "junk DNA".

      Why would a pharmaceutical company find the need to patent "junk DNA"?

      For something claimed to have no discernible purpose?

      For something which was publicly touted as being of no benefit to the betterment of the Human Race?

      And now all of a sudden, once the patents are solidified, it's suddenly "discovered" th

      • Of course it is, otherwise it wouldn't be there.

        Why? What makes that process perfect?

        • From this [ldsmag.com]:

          "...the opinion of many scientists was that some 90% of the three billion DNA letters in our cells has no function at all--calling it “junk DNA.” Now, a ten year follow-on research project is beginning to publish discoveries centered within this so called junk DNA code. Like the complex rule base of an expert system on a computer, it is now estimated that 80% of our DNA contains a “complex network of regulatory switches that control how cells interpret the genetic instructions co

          • From this:

            That only says that there's junk DNA than claimed, not that there's no junk DNA at all.

            Yet, that's exactly what's happened with DNA, over millions of years, from a pool of primordial sludge of amino acids and RNA to where we are now, a veritable feast of complex organisms. As a technological culture we're about to the point where growing earlobes on the backs of laboratory mice is done for giggles these days. All we're doing is rewriting some code, albeit using a soup of chemicals and an electric charge in lieu of a keyboard. And by applying the language of the engineer to the biological process, chemical engineers are able to con us all by demanding royalty with menaces on the use of something we were all born with.

            For sure, I agree with that completely. Patents on DNA - "junk" or not - make me sick. And clearly the claims that most DNA was "junk" were clearly bogus crap.

            But that doesn't mean that the DNA generation process is infallible and perfect. There can still be obsolete or ineffective parts of the sequence.
            Of course, I'm far too ignorant about biology to know if that's actually true, which is why I asked: how do we know ther

            • Indeed - part of the ageing process is thought to involve nucleotide sequences called telomeres - sections of DNA which normally shorten with each cellular generation to protect the active chromosomal ends, as DNA cannot normally replicate all the way to the end.

              Once a certain point is reached (anywhere between 100-300 generations) where the next generation would result in non-viable cells (the teleomeric sections are exhausted), the cell stops dividing and terminal dementia signifies the end of the line.

              Fo

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Bags of money towards campaign expenses tend to blind people to common sense.

      And for people allergic to carrots, there's always the stick of threatening to offer that money to your opponent instead of you.

      We have a system that rewards crooked politicians by pitting them against honest politicians who don't stand a chance.

  • Ob. Open Letter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tastecicles (1153671) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:22AM (#41435815)

    Dear United States Patents and Trademarks Office,

    It has come to my attention that your organisation has resorted to begging for free work from the Public in finding and reporting on prior art to already-issued patents. I have an issue with this action, since as an inventor myself I have invested thousands of Dollars in patenting actual technology that has no discovered prior art and in fact has potential to change the lives of everyone who uses it. The issue boils down to the amount of money I have paid to your organisation in fees with my patent applications, on the understanding that you yourselves employ staff to perform patent searches and research into prior art on patent applications; indeed, a small proportion of my applications have been rejected due to prior art that I either did not consider relevant or I missed and you informed me that it did in fact exist. That is a system which works.

    And now you're asking the public to carry out this work for nothing? Is this overflow for the sheer number of patents that are disputed in courts up and down the country? Or are you laying off staff and diverting that workload that you should be paying staff to do in order for your executive board to pocket the fees in massive bonuses and now granting every application that hits your inbox? Frankly I think you should be watching patent cases and automatically invalidating those which are found to be without merit in such disputes.

    Sincerely,

    Disgruntled inventors everywhere.

    • by Bill Dimm (463823)

      Or are you laying off staff and diverting that workload that you should be paying staff to do in order for your executive board to pocket the fees in massive bonuses and now granting every application that hits your inbox?

      From this article [businessweek.com]:

      Unlike most government agencies, the USPTO isn’t allocated funds by Congress. It gets all of its money from the fees paid by those seeking patents and trademarks. Congress hasn’t allowed the USPTO to keep all of those fees. Over the past two decades, Congress has siphoned off more than $800 million, according to the agency.

      So, unless things have changed since that article was written a year ago, the fees you are paying are being swallowed by Congress rather than being spent on reviewing patents.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      At least they are being humble enough to admit that they are fucking up.

      That gets them brownie points in my book. They are asking for help period.

      Whether they deserve it or not this is definitely a step in the right direction. The more bogus patents that get flushed out, the better for everyone.

      This "beg the public for help" is better than "rubber stamp everything"

      I plan to help them if I can spare the time, it's the right thing to do.

      Never minding the fact that cleaning up the patent mess is in my own in

  • by StormReaver (59959) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:22AM (#41435825)

    If it contains the words, "using a computer," or some such derivative, it is almost certainly a bogus patent application.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:25AM (#41435871)

    a) any patent extending or similar to existing patents, application price is x2 for research
    b) any patent where similar work is easily found by the patent office but was not referred, costs x5 to continue application once the similar work is found
    c) any patent where terms are obfuscated by not using the most common industry standard terminology and reference terms x2 for research
    d) any patent where once obfuscated terms are cleared up similar work is easily found, costs x10 to continue application
    e) idea registery separate from patent. not subject to exploding fees as above. the idea is open and can be used by anyone. Is a sort of defensive patent. Means anyone can use the idea and it cannot be patented and held proprietary by anyone.
    f) different costs for patents in different areas due to research needed .....
    lots of ways to provide support

    • g) 50% of any lawsuit winnings goes to the patent office to be used to prevent similar issues in the future.
      • That'll only mean they offer more fuzzy patents, not less. What you should have is a penalty for offering fuzzy patents, not a reward.

      • How about making the patent office pay 50% of the legal fees for any defendant who was sued for infringing a patent that got invalidated in court (plaintiff pays the other 50%).

  • by Bill Dimm (463823) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:37AM (#41435949) Homepage

    "Our hope is that Ask Patents will reduce the number of patents mistakenly granted for obvious, unoriginal non-inventions, especially around software," said Stack Exchange boss Joel Spolsky in a blogpost about the site ... Mr Spolsky said that although US patent clerks worked hard they typically had less than 22.5 hours so spend on each application.

    I can understand the USPTO having difficulty finding all prior art with limited resources, but why do they need help determining that something is obvious? It seems they could save a lot of time hunting for prior art if they just took the "non-obvious" part of the patent requirement seriously and dismissed all of the "do X obvious thing with a computer" patents right off the bat.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because patent maximalists made the patent GRANTED by default, not the patent REFUSED by default.

      So they put the patent examiner in the position of proving why the patent SHOULDN'T be granted, with limited access to the inventions, the best ones of which are trade secrets, or exist in some lab somewhere waiting to be turned in commercial products.

      The "with a computer" is an example of this, the interpretation of the patent office is that "on a phone" makes it a new invention. Yet for some patents Apple is c

    • "Our hope is that Ask Patents will reduce the number of patents mistakenly granted for obvious, unoriginal non-inventions, especially around software," said Stack Exchange boss Joel Spolsky in a blogpost about the site ... Mr Spolsky said that although US patent clerks worked hard they typically had less than 22.5 hours so spend on each application.

      I can understand the USPTO having difficulty finding all prior art with limited resources, but why do they need help determining that something is obvious? It seems they could save a lot of time hunting for prior art if they just took the "non-obvious" part of the patent requirement seriously and dismissed all of the "do X obvious thing with a computer" patents right off the bat.

      Yeah! And why do we waste so much time in criminal trials? It seems they could save a lot of time looking at evidence if they just took the "guilty" part of the law seriously and threw people in jail right off the bat.

      Oh, wait, because of due process. That's why. In order to make a legal conclusion, like say, "guilty" or "obvious", you need to provide evidence to support that conclusion, like say, "witness testimony" or "prior art". Unless you want to just throw out the Constitution, of course.

      • by Bill Dimm (463823)

        Yeah! And why do we waste so much time in criminal trials? It seems they could save a lot of time looking at evidence if they just took the "guilty" part of the law seriously and threw people in jail right off the bat.

        Your analogy seems exactly backwards to me. In criminal law you are innocent until proven guilty. Nobody can (ideally) take your freedom away unless they can make, and are willing to shoulder the expense of making, a compelling case in court against you.

        Patents aren't about taking something away from the patent applicant, they are about granting the applicant the special privilege of a monopoly on an invention. That monopoly takes freedoms away from others as they cannot utilize ideas that they may have d

        • Yeah! And why do we waste so much time in criminal trials? It seems they could save a lot of time looking at evidence if they just took the "guilty" part of the law seriously and threw people in jail right off the bat.

          Your analogy seems exactly backwards to me. In criminal law you are innocent until proven guilty. Nobody can (ideally) take your freedom away unless they can make, and are willing to shoulder the expense of making, a compelling case in court against you.

          Patents aren't about taking something away from the patent applicant, they are about granting the applicant the special privilege of a monopoly on an invention.

          Actually, the analogy is exactly right, for the reason you note - just as a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, a patent application is presumed allowable and valid unless the Examiner proves it not to be [uspto.gov]:

          The examiner bears the initial burden of factually supporting any prima facie conclusion of obviousness. If the examiner does not produce a prima facie case, the applicant is under no obligation to submit evidence of nonobviousness.

          Just as a defendant doesn't have an initial burden of proving themselves innocent, a patent application doesn't have an initial burden of showing nonobviousness.

          The Constitution gives Congress the power to grant patents "to promote the progress of science and useful arts." It does not, as far as I am aware, require Congress to grant your particular patent.

          Sure, but once Congress has created by statute an examination and approval process, that examination and approval process must be

          • by Bill Dimm (463823)

            Thanks for the detailed reply. Your explanation for the motivation behind granting patents is interesting, and while different from mine it gets you to the same place -- an invention should be very non-obvious to have enough value to the public to warrant offering a 20-year monopoly in exchange for the publication of the idea.

            I'm really not sure what you objected to in my original post, unless you are claiming, like another poster [slashdot.org], that the examiner can't "make a case" for obviousness without prior art (si

    • Because the legal definition of obvious isn't so obvious.

      They don't can't reject a patent for being intuitively obvious; they have to point to specific prior art and show that the patent application is for a trivial improvement or dead-simple combination of the prior art. Which effectively makes obviousness practically the same thing as having prior art.

      • by Bill Dimm (463823)

        They don't can't reject a patent for being intuitively obvious; they have to point to specific prior art...

        IANAL, so I can't dispute that, but it's pretty sad if true. A lack of prior art doesn't make something non-obvious. If you are trying to solve a problem that nobody has attempted to solve before, every solution you come up with, no matter how trivial or non-obvious, would have no prior art.

  • What could possibly go wrong? It's not like anyone would astroturf their patents. Right?
  • Sounds too good to be true.

  • Why not hire some folks to do such a thing? i would love to apply for this job. The requirements are that these people be Reasonable, and Prudnet.
    • Im reasonable. I will quite reasonably deny everything. Unless its a viable patent for a hoverboard. That gets approval.
  • Maybe it's time to restrict patents to fields that need real innovation. In many fields, patents have simply added unnecessary overhead to the cost of production. Patents for a fusion reactor or a better rocket engine might be necessary to protect the huge investments necessary to engineer and build prototypes. But are patents necessary for product design elements that anyone with a little knowhow can produce with off-the-shell CAD software?

  • by liquiddark (719647) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:25AM (#41436467)

    1. If it was good enough for Einstein, it's good enough for you. Spend a little time reading patents. Maybe you'll change the world

    2. Congratulations to Spolsky and Atwood, because damn

  • grep "plurality" *

  • US Patent Office Seeks Aid To Spot Bogus Patent Claims

    How about patrolling East Texas court rooms, for starters.

  • They should make sure prior art can be applied as well and make sure "first to file" doesn't come to pass.

  • See all those Software and Business 'Process' patents? Throw them all in the trash. All of them.

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