20 June 2007

Do Not Feed the Patent Trolls

Good point here about a big problem with the apparently welcome Peer to Patent project:

Helping patent trolls with their QA is like going through bandits' ammunition and throwing out the dud rounds for them before they try to rob you.

And sensible advice, too:

If you have Prior Art, print it out and put it in your safe deposit box. Make sure that the source is verifiable, but don't tell anyone what the source is. Don't say it's from "the June 1997 login;" or "comp.sources.unix in May 1986". If you want, borrow a tactic from Tim O'Reilly and tell people that you have prior art for a certain patent, but don't give attackers any more information than you have to.

More generally, perhaps the free software community should set up a shadow scheme that tracks all of these patent applications, and works to find prior art, which it then stores safely against a rainy day.

No comments: