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The problem with doing that afterwards has as has
been pointed out on this list in previous IP
discussions is the enormous costs of patent
litigation. It is very expensive to overturn
a patent and very expensive to defend one. It
is better to repudiate it early when the patent
office is listening rather than paying lawyers
later to kick down the doors.
As to nonobviousness, I'm not sure I understand
you. If I were hired as a patent examiner
and my background in English did not include
the years of computer science on the job training
that followed, I would not have a clue about
the nonobviousness of the ideas patentned. Heck, I'd
believe that XML was invented by Zig Zag. After
all, it is just a thin wrapper for content, right?
It is a really hard job. Where they have an
open ear and it is early in the game, we can
have influence if played well. I suspect that
just as the very technical lists require very
formal exchanges, one should be careful to
meet their expectations as to content and form
if one wants them to listen attentively.
From: Doug Ransom [mailto:Doug.Ransom@pwrm.com]
I don't think determining the originality of the work is a problem, even after a patent grants if prior art is found claims of originality can be repudiated.
In general (as opposed to being concerned with the MS patent), it the interpretation of nonobviousness by the patent office I find interesting.