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I can understand your pride of having a system that tries to create
justice and equal opportunity in place for everybody. I ask myself however
how equal this opportunities really are if - to judge from your own
posting - the average developer who suffers from patent mess is bound to
rely on lawyers (who don't want to interfere) for upholding his rights.
Let's examine this:
Wouldn't a simple mechanism for online filling of prior art and claims not
better suit the exercising of your US sitizen's right to infringe any
patent - and why this hasn't happened yet? I read erlier on this list such
an attempt to collect individual claims was declared illegal for procedure
reasons. Also from this list, I found out about an open law initiaive that
seems to be dead for two years now - open source collective models do not
seem to work for other professions yet.
So where is the mechanism to effectively protect the US developers who in
fact help developing the ideas patented by US corporations?
And even worse - who is to protect the rights of developers from all over
the world who participate in creating open source, from the heavy US
patent machine? Do *they* also have to file prior art and look for US
lawyers from Australia or China or Germany or India? Why so, in the first
place - this would only consolidate the rest of the world in an anti-US
position no matter it's only the "achievment" of one US company or other,
and no matter whether you the rest of US sitizens like this or not.
So, unless the developer community in the US starts actively use the
existing patent system to defy void patent claims in time and with success
and use to this end the help of the rest of the global developer
community, don't talk about equal opportunity to anybody but scolars ;-)
In the mean time, I as software user who likes the market principle of
having a choice of product and resents *any* monopoly, would be happy
seeing the developers start thinking about a *patented and open standard*
way of filling patent documentation using a sort of PatentML or whatever
of their invention to facilitate the patent processing. Where there is
interest - like in business with ebXML - people do it. In Estonia they
have achieved - by political will and step by step, as the Estonians say -
an eGovernment where every sitizen can post a suggestion to Government on
its portal using his or her digital ID card, and every other sitizen can
support it, also online. Once the support passes a threshold of X voices,
the suggestion is authomaticly forwarded to Government for processing.
This holds true of *any* proposal out of *any* sphere of life which is
general enough to incorporate IP over software - and it works. OK, this is
Continental tradition originating in Switzerland (maybe only applicable in
small countries with homogenous population?), and I come from Europe too
and may be biased but somehow find a similar solution for the US Patent
office better than hiring a US lawyer to defend the rest of the world
against the implications of US law.
Does anyone on this list know of any efforts to create PatentML?