[A2k] "Gérald Sédrati-Dinet (Gibus): Re: US Federal Circuit to Consider Software Patentability

"Gérald Sédrati-Dinet (Gibus)" gibus at april.org
Sun Oct 28 05:49:32 PDT 2012

Le 27/10/2012 14:56, Erik Josefsson a écrit :
> Top me it seems Google is now promoting a completely schizophrenic
> policy on internal visavis external "Peer-to-Patent" practices.
> Boldrin and Levine says in "The Case Against Patents" paper here
> published by the Research Division Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:
>     "More to the point, companies typically instruct their engineers
>     developing products to avoid studying existing patents so as to be
>     spared subsequent claims of willful infringement, which raises the
>     possibility of having to pay triple damages. Based on sworn
>     testimony by Google's chief of Android development in Oracle vs.
>     Google (see for example Niccolai [2012]) the engineers that
>     developed Android were unaware of Apple (or other) patents, and so
>     were unlikely to have been helped by them."
>     http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2012/2012-035.pdf
> So Google asks its engineers not to read patents while they encourage
> volunteers to both read patents *and* to give a way the money they can
> make from selling prior art knowledge they find? And this in
> collaboration with the USPTO?? (see
> http://wiki.piug.org/display/PIUG/USPTO+Launches+Prior+Art+Crowdsourcing+Website,+AskPatents.com)
> That is, if anything, patently absurd.
> Btw, how much would this particular prior art knowledge be worth? David
> Martin (M-CAM) breaks the news in a Bloomberg interview that Apple's
> "rubber-banding patent" is invalid:
>     *US Patent Office Rules Apple Patent Is Not Valid
>     *http://www.bloomberg.com/video/us-patent-office-rules-apple-patent-is-not-valid-w0nKRxCkRwGB33N29prROA.html
> (it's even invalidated by one of Apple's own patents...)
> So far I have received some encouraging emails off list. Thanks!
> But peer-to-patentists are still silent.

Sorry, I'm not a "peer-to-patentist", but let me answer clearly:

Peer-to-patent is a very bad idea. The goal is abolition of software
patents. We know software patent are bad and detrimental to software

Software patents have been granted/legitimated by patent
offices/specialized patent courts, both in US and in Europe. Activists
who voluntary engage/promote peer-to-patent are just doing the job for
patent offices/specialized patent courts.

Moreover they are just doing the wrong job: invalidating software
patents because of non-novelty/obviousness, while the problem is a
(non-)patentable subject matter issue.

It can be understood that big firms like Google promote peer-to-patent
researches by volunteers: the latter help Google invalidating patents
that are attacking Google. It also can be understood that big firms like
Google ask their engineer to not look at patents: this prevent Google
from being charged with treble damages of willful patent infringement.

But it cannot be understood that voluntary activists engage/promote in
peer-to-patent research. Not only this distracts from the overall goal
to abolish software patent, but it also helps and gives some
justifications to the software patent system.

I've detailed on
why opposing to "rubber-banding" patent by searching prior art is a bad

Gérald Sédrati-Dinet
http://www.unitary-patent.eu/      http://www.april.org/
http://www.brevet-unitaire.eu/     http://laquadrature.net/

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