[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).
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