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On Fri, 2004-01-16 at 10:56, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> A question to ask is why was the system working ten years
> ago and why is it not working now? Scale and opportunity.
Alternatively because the examination process for software (and
apparently business process patents) is broken.
First, the PTO did not start issuing software patents until there was
nearly 50 years of prior art, none of which was in their archives.
Assimilating this would have been difficult no matter what. The PTO did
not IMO make even a mediocre attempt at this admittedly very difficult
Secondly, they don't seem to be doing even what they should be doing,
which is patenting each development only once. If they did that, we'd
only have twenty years of mess while the unscrupulous patented
everything developed between 1946 and 1990. However, the PTO doesn't
seem real good at recognizing the same concept expressed in different
words, so they're issuing multiple patents on the same thing over and
over. The database is my favorite example. I bet they've issued 100
patents including the claim to have invented the idea of a data store
which can be queried and updated.
IOW Len, I disagree that the problem is wholesale infringement. It's
starting to issue patents in a field with a ton of existing art, and
it's continuing to issue replicative patents in that field.
If a software patent actually had a reasonable probability of being what
it claims to be, instead of a mere license to sue, most of the bogosuits
would go away.