[ODE] Quickstep and patents

Jon Watte (ODE) hplus-ode at mindcontrol.org
Thu Jun 7 12:50:05 MST 2007

Giel van Schijndel wrote:
> If so then ODE _is_ prior art to this patent. As usual the US patent
> office does hardly any checking for prior art (sigh).

As someone who works with patents and the patent office every now and 
then, I can tell you that's not true. They search very hard among all 
previous patents (including patents that weren't issued at the time of 
your filing), and often among conference proceedings and scientific 
papers in the area in question.

The problem seems to me to be two-fold:

1) A lot of "basic techniques" are so well-known that no conference or 
journal will accept a paper on the techniques.

2) The patent examiner can't know the details of every area, and often 
finds spurious prior art that doesn't actually apply, and then spends 
lots of time trying to defend/understand that assertion rather than 
looking for "real" prior art.

This is an observation from the outside, though, but saying they do 
"hardly any checking for prior art" is patently false (pun intended).


          / h+

More information about the ODE mailing list