Again, let's not forget patent-litigation defendants...
Posted Sep 18, 2006 17:34 UTC (Mon) by PaulMcKenney
In reply to: Again, let's not forget patent-litigation defendants...
Parent article: Prior art won't solve the software patent problem (NewsForge)
Since we cannot predict who the defendants will be, the only way to get the prior art to them is to make it public. Since it must be public, then, yes, it might well be used for nefarious purposes. But the possibility of nefarious use is outweighed by the needs of the defendants.
In addition, denying the information to the defendants allows the attackers to collect more money from litigation or (more likely) settlements. Therefore, failing to publicize prior art provides more money to the attackers, money that will be used to (1) resist reform and (2) create/purchase even more patents. This is already happening. In contrast, the danger that prior art will be used to create stronger patents is a longer term issue, since it takes years to create a patent -- and if we stop giving easy money to the attackers, substantial patent reform might be possible during those years.
We must carefully weigh all of the dangers, as well as their corresponding timeframes. Fixating on some of the dangers and ignoring others will play into the hands of the patent attackers, as will failing to understand the corresponding timeframes.
Paul E. McKenney (my personal opinions, not necessarily those of my employer)
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