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Bloodsuckers - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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Bloodsuckers [Oct. 24th, 2005|03:41 pm]
Lindsey Kuper

Today a few of my co-workers were discussing a company who's trying to <airquotes>monetize</airquotes> a patent they hold by claiming that it covers the XML format.

"Scientigo." Awesome. Stay tuned: next week, "Togethia" attempts to patent plain text!

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fellow_traveler
2005-10-25 12:34 am (UTC)
Somebody said that the USPTO's only function nowadays is to timestamp claims, leaving whether something is trivial or whether there is prior art as a matter for the courts. Sounds about right.

The problems with this are obvious. First, the inevitability of involving lawyers raises the financial bar for access to patent protection.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, it encourages the proliferation of "defensive" patents, which are filed merely to help establish prior art in case of an infringement allegation. Until, of course, some jackass decides to <airquotes>monetize</airquotes> it.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-10-25 03:46 am (UTC)
I don't know enough to pass judgment on what their motives were when they got the original patent. It might have been innocuous. It looks as though it's generic enough, though, that they could have pulled this kind of crap with respect to just about any system for transmitting "data in neutral forms", and they were just waiting for one such system to get popular.

It's a damn shame. I was raised to believe that a patent was really something special.
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