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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    My take on this is that the patent registry in the US is essentially a notice registry, much like our Personal Property Security registry here in BC.

    The patent registry officials evaluate the patent claim mostly on whether the form of the claim meets their requirements, not whether the substance of the claim validly constitutes something that is patentable.
    Well, they're supposed to examine for the latter too---the usual standard is "novel and inventive", meaning that not only is it strictly new, but getting from the prior art to your invention requires some nonobvious inventive step. The catch is that everyone's definition of "obvious" is different, so there's some intrinsic subjectivity.

    There's quite a lot of variation between different patent examinations; sometimes the examiner really digs in their heels and makes the applicant argue for inventiveness, and sometimes they, well, don't. As an applicant I actually prefer the former kind, because by the time you get the claims sorted out to where a tough examiner will allow them, you have not just a patent but a *good* patent.

    Other jurisdictions vary. Korea tends to be quick and more administrative, China can be very tough, and so on.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  2. #22
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    This is the best response to a patent infringement claim which I have ever seen:

    http://www.audioholics.com/news/blue-jeans-strikes-back


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  3. #23
    analoguey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    My personal favorite patent is the famous "Method of Exercising a Cat" (US 5,443,036). It's expired now, so you can exercise your cat without legal concerns!

    Many patents---including this one, I think---are never intended for litigation; they're for intimidation value, for building what in the business is called a "thicket" for defensive purposes (even a bad patent costs money to argue against, and if there are enough patents, it's an expensive pain just to sort through them for quality; cheaper and easier to settle on a licensing agreement), and frankly, sometimes they happen because no one has the nerve to tell some egotistical senior manager "your patent is stupid".

    I don't know a lot about the online retail world, but it seems like there are ongoing low-level knife fights about various business-method and presentation-method patents, and this one kind of looks like it's a thicket-builder for use in those internecine battles.

    -NT
    From what I understand the point of patents is to encourage innovation. At least the rhetoric is.
    I would much rather live in a patent-less world then.

    I will definitely vote with my wallet in such cases.

    Why doesnt the patent office outsource at least the fact checking or have professionals give their opinions on such things?
    Wouldnt that be a good thing to CYA?

  4. #24
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    There's quite a lot of variation between different patent examinations; sometimes the examiner really digs in their heels and makes the applicant argue for inventiveness, and sometimes they, well, don't.
    That patent was particularly sneaky because the first two major claims were extremely specific, and the subclaims of claim 2 even more so. Then, after all that drivel, out pops claim 25 which patents everything and its grandma. The patent examiner may well have fallen asleep a few claims before, there is no other explanation how this could slip through.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  5. #25
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by analoguey View Post
    From what I understand the point of patents is to encourage innovation. At least the rhetoric is.
    I would much rather live in a patent-less world then.

    I will definitely vote with my wallet in such cases.

    Why doesnt the patent office outsource at least the fact checking or have professionals give their opinions on such things?
    Wouldnt that be a good thing to CYA?
    Would you want potential competitors of yours getting access to your filings before they were legally enforceable? It wouldn't be hard if you outsourced something like this for companies to pay bribes to the contract examiners to send them notifications and/or copies of the filings, and then if they were interested, an additional fee would be supplied to get the examiner to stall the process until the competitor could file their own claim. Besides, that's what the patent examiners are getting paid for in the first place.

  6. #26
    analoguey's Avatar
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    That assumes penalty for govt employees getting bribed is more than penalty for pvt contractors or that people suddenly grow integrity bones in govt service.

    What is the guarantee that it wont happen or isnt happening at the patent office anyways?

    None.

    Sent from Tap-a-talk

  7. #27
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by analoguey View Post
    That assumes penalty for govt employees getting bribed is more than penalty for pvt contractors or that people suddenly grow integrity bones in govt service.

    What is the guarantee that it wont happen or isnt happening at the patent office anyways?

    None.

    Sent from Tap-a-talk
    Well, here, in the US, there is a general mindset for public employees that they are in fact doing their jobs to benefit THE PUBLIC, not themselves. And they are paid well enough that their integrity is generally speaking not for sale. And here, if a patent office employee would start selling applications to competitors, they'd go to jail for a long time. This is not to say that it has never happened nor that it will never happen. But if you outsource this, part of the point of outsourcing is to reduce cost. If you cut costs by going with the lowest bidder, then the lowest bidder will have to make a profit somewhere, so they'll hire the cheapest labor they can get away with. The cheap labor will be overworked, and feel underpaid, and therefore more likely to be either inefficient or corrupt.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Well, here, in the US, there is a general mindset for public employees that they are in fact doing their jobs to benefit THE PUBLIC, not themselves. And they are paid well enough that their integrity is generally speaking not for sale.
    This is true, and really a pretty amazing statement when you think about it. All complaints about the US gummint aside, we do a remarkable job of avoiding low-level routine corruption.

    The problem of how to do a good-quality examination on a specialized technical topic, without relying on the expertise of people in the private sector with a vested interest in the result, is really hard and something that the patent office has to worry about continuously. It's hard enough in the US and must be a nightmare for smaller countries.

    Personally, I have *huge* concerns with the copyright system in the US and only minor ones with the patent system, but that's just me and I suppose I'm hardly an objective observer.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  9. #29
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    It was filed on April,1st,I'm sure,there is no way to payent a technique, or I would own quite a few patents my selfand don't.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #30

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    Knowing Amazon, they'd probably patent the method for tying your shoes, since nobody has thought of doing that before. Then when you order
    a pair of shoelaces from them, you'd have to sign a service contract. Or maybe a patent on peeling apples, now that they're thinking about
    selling fruit online. Megamonopolies are so much fun, aren't they?

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