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Just Kill Patents

July 15, 2011 22:14:11.000

They are now doing more harm than good - notice the patent for "one and two way messaging", applied for in 2005. Seems to me that IRC (at a minimum) is a prior application. The larger point is, patents are now causing harm, not good. They either need massive reform, or they should be eliminated outright.

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Just Kill Patents

[Maarten] July 16, 2011 4:03:30.867

Maybe for software. For all elese I totally disagree.

I currently hold 3 patents, and I am preparing two new filings.

Two raise their TRL and turn it into viable products we need lots of money 200-800k€ just to get to level 8.

How can we raise such if we cannot obtain any protection while investing ?

Re: Just Kill Patents

[james Robertson] July 16, 2011 12:47:47.536

In principle, I agree. The problem is the reality of the current system. Maybe the best answer would be to scrap all patent law, restore whatever was passed first (probably in the early 1790's), and then exclude software completely.

Re: Just Kill Patents

[anonymous] July 16, 2011 13:14:48.016

As a victim of software patent trolls, I agree.

This particular patent has the immediate telltale signs of trolling. For example, the abstract is a single incomprehensible sentence of 152 words, 1117 characters. And while the description seems to remotely touch on the real world (content filtering in social network publish/subscribe), it, too, is clearly obscured. "It's like he's trying to speak to me, I know it!" There are decades of prior art preceding this patent, but the obfuscation likely prevented it from being detected.

Deliberate obfuscation was once a patent attorney technique to hide an idea from competitors while protecting it. Now it's commonly done by trolls to hopefully extend the reach of the patent to new areas the "inventors" can't even imagine. If I cross my eyes and blur my vision, it seems Google+ infringes this patent. But, then, again, I'm confident that US 6368227 could be rewritten with the right language/obfuscation that G+ would infringe it, too.

So maybe we add the virtue of brevity to the process: make folks state the invention in the kernel of a couple dozen words or less and protect only that. Or maybe we invite 8th grade grammar teachers into the patent review process. If they can't understand it, grade it as F- and toss it out!

Re: Just Kill Patents

[Maarten] July 16, 2011 21:51:29.248

Well for as far as I know software can only be patented in the US.

The above mentioned surely looks ridiculous. But be comforted that US law often amuses the rest of the world. Remember the guy ho got a hart attack when starting his grass cutting machine. Apparently his wife claimed and won some million dollar from the machine maker... LOL...the stupid machine was to difficult to start ... MDR

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