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* Michael Champion <email@example.com> [2005-06-05 23:38]:
> On 6/5/05, M. David Peterson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > I doubt any official or non official comment could (or should) be made
> > by an MS blue badge
> Even patents that aren't plausible money-makers on the IP licensing
> market can be very valuable to companies as *defenses* against
> nuisance lawsuits. Look at IBM's counterclaims against "The SCO
> Group" -- lots of patent infringement claims that IBM could not
> plausibly initiate against a competitor, but are fair game to use
> against lawsuit scammers. The best defense in these cases is a good
> offense. "You are suing us for infringing your patent on hashtables,
> eh? Well, you're infringing our patents on half of Computer Science
> 101 and here's a 1000-page countersuit." Deep sigh.
This notion of mututually assured distruction is one that
interests me. If frivolous patent infringment claims are met
with like frivolous patent infringment claims, it makes the
pursuit of such litigation unprofitable.
If the USPTO does issue patents for ideas that are not original,
or are quite obivous, I wounldn't mind so much, if they were
handing them out at a price that individuals and small firms
The large firms have legal departments that can churn out
patents in volume, lowering the cost of the patent application
process, by virtue of specialization. Good old Taylor.
The patent application process becomes an effective barier to
entry for the small innovators that they tout as the little guy
that the patent office serves to protect.
I might have an idea that is every bit as novel as something
found at Large Firm Research, but when do I have the time, as an
individual, to write out a patent application? I barely have
enough time to write out my code and documentation.
I've often thought of some sort of patent union for small
firms, open source developers, a treaty organization. The Apache
2.0 License does something like this.
One could use the resource that Len has proposed, to assist
individuals in authoring their patent applications, perhaps
partnering with a legal team that would integrate in a way that
their hours per application is affortable.
Alan Gutierrez - email@example.com