The JMRI Project and software patents
Posted Apr 25, 2006 16:29 UTC (Tue) by iabervon
Parent article: The JMRI Project and software patents
Could we have PJ's explanation of the patent, so we know exactly what we're looking for? One common problem with asking for prior art from experts in the field is that reading patents is somewhat tricky, and it's easy to find previous inventions which fit criteria which are non-normative or incomplete. So there's a patent on a nail clipper, for example, and people say, "I've been clipping my nails with a nail clipper for 30 years!" But the patent is actually on a way to make nail clippers with one fewer part than anyone's done before, but people trying to read it tend to quit reading while the patent is still describing things everybody knows about nail clippers to provide the necessary context to be able to state what's different, and so they think they find a lot of prior art, because they're only reading parts that the invention shares with the inventions that it improves upon. So it would be helpful to have a plain language description saying what would be necessary to invalidate this patent and what would just be considered a different invention.
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