Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 15:31 UTC
Legal Joel Spolsky killed a Microsoft patent application in just a few minutes - he found prior art and submitted it, and the USPTO examiner rejected the patent because of it. "Micah showed me a document from the USPTO confirming that they had rejected the patent application, and the rejection relied very heavily on the document I found. This was, in fact, the first 'confirmed kill' of Ask Patents, and it was really surprisingly easy. I didn't have to do the hard work of studying everything in the patent application and carefully proving that it was all prior art: the examiner did that for me." This is all under the umbrella of 'Ask Patents'.
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 24th Jul 2013 00:58 UTC
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It boggles my mind that every patent aren't registered in a single database and searchable free of charge online as easily as one can with a telephone book. Honestly, I would have though such a requirement was a logical requirement as to to ensure that there is transparency in the patent process - that patent holders have a public record and new comers to the marketplace are able to check their product against patents that they could be potentially infringing upon. The lack of such a setup makes me wonder wether patent holders and lawyers like the fact that it is next to impossible to check off ones own product in development against existing patents in a home of trapping a company in a trap of 'paying up or going out of business'.

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