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   RE: [xml-dev] Patents, schmatents (was: hi)

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It's difficult to improve the system by beefing up the examination process.
Humans are too good at getting around obstacles and getting off on
technicalities. It's probably the trait that spurred our ancestors out of
the trees and onto the savannah then into a Mercedes.

I think a better approach would be to place some risk on the patent
applicants by making the applicant pay a financial penalty if prior art

As it stands now, applying for a patent is a bit like buying a lottery
ticket. If you win, "great!"; if you lose, "aah well". [1]

Perhaps if the applicant (and their patent attorney) were required to pay a
penalty when the examiner finds prior art then inventors would be less
likely to buy a ticket when they think the odds may be stacked against them.

The difficulty with this approach is that it would discourage the mum and
pop inventors much more than the large corporates; but perhaps some
differential penalty could be applied (this last sentence is the regulatory
equivalent of "then magic happens" in a software spec).


[1] Patent applicants have an obligation to disclose prior art, but an
applicant would have to be pretty unlucky to get nicked breaching that

Doug Hudgeon

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Lowery [mailto:Jeff.Lowery@creo.com] 
Sent: Saturday, 31 January 2004 7:30 AM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: [xml-dev] Patents, schmatents (was: hi)

Maybe patents shouldn't be examined, but instead awarded by vote through
some sort of representative body drawn from industry, academia, and
members-at-large. It might inject into the process a measure of common

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