Collect prior art only for *existing* patents
Posted Sep 18, 2006 23:45 UTC (Mon) by PaulMcKenney
In reply to: Collect prior art only for *existing* patents
Parent article: Prior art won't solve the software patent problem (NewsForge)
It might well be good to collect prior art only for the purpose of challenging existing patents. However, there is no reasonable way to actually do this in practice. The reason for this is that we have no way of knowing who the defendants in patent litigation will be, nor do we know in advance which patents will be used in that litigation. Therefore, resisting existing patents requires that the prior art be made public so that the defendants can find it quickly and easily -- they don't have a whole lot of time to put their case together.
Also, are you absolutely certain that preventing additional weak patents from issuing is a bad thing? Or that forcing additional patents to have narrow rather than broad scope is a bad thing?
Please keep in mind that the more weak patents there are, and the broader the scope of each such patent, the greater the ability for patent attackers to extract more money. And the more money patent attackers have, the more tenaciously they can resist badly needed patent reform, again, up to and including abolition of software patents.
As to helping patent applicants more than future defendants, it takes considerable time for the patent applicant to obtain a patent, time in which legislative and judicial patent reform might be possible.
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