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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Why
by JLF65 on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 16:32 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

The main reason why devs don't try to invalidate more patents is their company won't let them. To invalidate a patent, you have to read it. If you read a patent and CANNOT invalidate it, you may now be in willful infringement, which triples the damages. So companies enact rules for devs, the main one being DON'T READ ANY PATENTS, EVER!! They recognize that any substantial program violates thousands of patents, and willful infringement could put them out of business.

Reply Score: 12

RE: Why
by Soulbender on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 17:04 in reply to "Why"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

To invalidate a patent, you have to read it. If you read a patent and CANNOT invalidate it, you may now be in willful infringement, which triples the damages.


That's just...fucking INSANE. Please, for the love of all that is holy, that can not be how it works. Did the devil design the patent system? Ok, that's perfectly possible that he did but that's still crazy even for the devil.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Why
by Carewolf on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 18:46 in reply to "RE: Why"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

No, it is not true. It more than triples the damages. Being in good faith by never reading patents EVER is much more valuable than that. Remember if you did a patent search and did not find the patent, you have to prove you didn't find it (not so easy). So it is better never to do a patent search at all.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Why
by kwan_e on Tue 23rd Jul 2013 03:08 in reply to "RE: Why"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Did the devil design the patent system?


Even worse: it was designed by committee.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Why
by shmerl on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 18:01 in reply to "Why"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

It's easy solvable by delegating the invalidation to neutral third party who doesn't develop anything (which removes the risk). The same method which patent trolls use to attack, can be turned against patent aggressors themselves.

Edited 2013-07-22 18:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Why
by tylerdurden on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 19:02 in reply to "RE: Why"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

There are no "neutral" 3rd parties when money is involved...

Reply Parent Score: 7