What happened to BountyQuest?
Subject:   Internet Savvy Patent Attorneys
Date:   2003-11-04 21:31:33
From:   anonymous2
The concluding remark that "[as] patent attorneys get more Internet-savvy, [they will be] googling for prior art and posting queries to relevant mailing lists or newsgroup... [as] part of the routine toolkit of anyone doing patent searches" is off the mark. After all, this patent attorney found this posting.

Patent attorneys ALREADY serach "high and wide". One challenge is that they/we/I are/am not easily aided in "prior art" seaches by others because of a lay person's/engineer's/scientist's poor understanding of the legal interpretation of a patent claim, and what nexus the prior art must provide in whole and in part to render a claim anticipated (35 U.S.C. section 102) or obvious (35 U.S.C. section 103), and a patent invalid. Certainly we can try and explain this for an individual patent to hand. But all to often it takes great experience to see how prior art elements may be "woven" into a compendium which will, in total, render an issued patent invalid.

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  • Internet Savvy Patent Attorneys
    2003-11-10 08:44:24  anonymous2 [View]

    The alternative, of course, is to get patents written in sensible English, or at least in the jargon of technical professionals (who are supposedly the users of the patent system :-) rather than lawyers.

    The system as it is now is pretty much useless. The idea was to encourage inventors to publish their inventions, but in fact the method they use to publish them isn't useful to anybody who actually needs the invention to solve a problem.
    • Tim O'Reilly photo Internet Savvy Patent Attorneys
      2003-11-10 12:18:05  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

      Boy, do I agree with this comment. Patents used to require submission of a working model. I wish they required working source code as a condition of receiving a software patent! But it would help if they made it so that you had to be able to reconstruct the invention from the patent. As it is, patent filings are much more like the "obfuscated C contest" than they are like anything that improves the world's ability to learn from inventions in exchange for that limited monopoly granted by the patent office.
  • adversarial search
    2003-11-06 09:08:10  orikly [View]

    i can certainly believe that IP lawyers
    have special expertise re: "weaving" various
    prior art into claims supporting/attacking
    novelty. but what i found most interresting
    about bountyQuest was its interjecting
    of an ADVERSARIAL dynamic to the search.
    the bounties offered were tiny compared
    what "Internet Savvy Patent Attorneys" might
    expect, but significant to technically
    well-trained engineers/scientists who must
    provide the details from which you weave!