Web Review of Patents


The US Patent and Trademark Office is opening up patent applications for feedback from the web:

The Patent and Trademark Office is starting a pilot project that will not only post patent applications on the Web and invite comments but also use a community rating system designed to push the most respected comments to the top of the file, for serious consideration by the agency's examiners.

Consider the money for being known as the #1 patent comment optimizer. Many people will be pissing in that pond.



There may just be a business model in there somewhere. Hmmmm.

Wait, let me understand

Wait, let me understand this. You invent a perpetual motion machine, ask for a patent, and to get one you have to expose your un-patented idea to an internet popularity contest guaranteed to have millions of dollars behind the stronger players? The strong will get stronger, the weak will be weeded, and all will be gamed.

With so much money riding on patent decisions -- for instance, a federal jury ordered Microsoft last month to pay $1.52 billion for infringing two digital-music patents -- the program's designers acknowledge that the incentive to manipulate the system is immense.

Maybe I'm too cynical. Someone talk me out of my view of this?


Yup, Caroline, you pretty much summed it up.

Every patent goes through the same process. You shoot for the most general coverage you can get, then you get rejected, then you refine it, get rejected again, then refine it once more, and finally you get accepted on your very narrow patent.

There's nothing to stop a large company from jumping to stage three ahead of you once they get wind of what you're doing.

The big guy wins again.

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