OIN suggests patent reform on the fly

OIN suggests patent reform on the fly

Summary: We want to develop more rigor about codifying what we know so others can't invent around what we already know. Patent only those things that are truly unique and wrap them with defensive publications.

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TOPICS: Legal
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Open Innovation Network (OIN) CEO Keith Bergelt enjoyed my recent analogy of his work to that of a bomb disposal team. He also liked Paula's story.

But his motive for talking was to push the story forward, and to say that the Obama Administration is going to give us patent reform on-the-fly. He said we can be a part of it.

Yes, we can, because the new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property is David Kappos.

Besides having a nice hair line (so much like my own) Kappos "gets it." He came to the government from IBM. IBM is a co-founder of OIN.

You can help through a group OIN calls Linux Defenders. Here is how:

  1. Peer to patent, examining newly published patent applications to identify prior art and lead to the applications being rejected.
  2. Post issue peer to patent, identifying poor quality patents held by trolls OIN can crowd-source prior art on, leading to re-hearings.
  3. Defensive publications, writing up inventions as prior art for posting on ip.com, a database patent examiners will look at.

"We want to develop more rigor about codifying what we know so others can't invent around what we already know. Patent only those things that are truly unique and wrap them with defensive publications."

Kappos fits in because his mantra is patent quality. "You can't have overly broad patents issued. This will change what the industry does, the interpretation of the legislation, and what is happening in courts."

There's a warning here, however. "We have to meet that change halfway and if we don't mobilize the community we're contributing to the negative future we want to avoid."

About the earlier stories. I was right. The company that bought the patents from Microsoft and passed them to OIN, called AST, is a "white hat" in the patent litigation game. But it's a white hat of a particular type. It buys patents for its owners, licenses them for those owners, then releases them into the wild.

Paula was right, too. Microsoft packaged the 22 patents to make them tasty for trolls, offering hints on who to sue and how. It also pointedly did not offer the portfolio to OIN, the biggest player in the market.

This is the game Microsoft played, Bergelt thinks. "If you are looking for the most elegant way of putting time and distance from the sale and repercussions of a sale directly to a troll, sell to a good guy who releases to the market rather than selling directly to trolls."

Fortunately, in this case, AST and OIN worked together. Problem solved.

Those days could end, but it will take work. The patent office can't do this alone. With your help, however, it's finally willing to move in the way Linux wants.

Topic: Legal

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6 comments
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  • "Bergelt thinks"

    That does say it all.

    It would appear that I was right: IBM is a cofounder of OIN, which would indicate that IBM does indeed wish to control Linux thru patents, using the OIN as a front, or "white hat" as it were.

    This is the game IBM is playing, I believe.
    GuidingLight
    • The OIN patents can not be used to "control" Linux, rather to protect Linux

      Any body is free to use the OIN patents with Linux,
      as long as you do not assert any of your patents
      against Linux. Pretty fair!!
      DonnieBoy
  • There is a simple solution to software patents ....

    ... simply ban them. The software industry exploded primarily under the IP protection of copyright. Software patents for the most part cause a great big mire of legal problems, which disappear once software patents themselves are eliminated. I wouldn't be surprised if MS eventually gets hit by a software patent ruling, akin to a nuclear blast. You cannot have the ever increasing proliferation of deadly IP munitions, and not expect some companies will eventually get seriously hit by them.
    P. Douglas
  • Where's a single shred of reform here?

    This is all how it works today.
    The application is filed publicly, everybody gets ample opportunity to provide evidence of prior art or argue to non obviousness, the pto officers scour the web and other patents/applications for prior art and similarity, and it's either accepted or rejected. That's why it takes so long and costs so much. Having a small amount of information on ip.com isn't significant and it will still probably only be searched through the same web searching that finds it whereever else it is.

    We still will always need some ip protection for the true inventors to keep the googles and ibms of this world from stealing their ideas so complete elimination wont benefit anyone...
    Johnny Vegas
    • Software has many IP protections other than Patents

      [i]We still will always need some ip protection for the true inventors to keep the googles and ibms of this world from stealing their ideas so complete elimination wont benefit anyone...[/i]

      The growth of the software industry under copyright IP protection proves that patents are not needed. Also the cons of software patents far outweight its pros. E.g. virtually every software developer benefits from copyright in a manner that does not step on others' toes. However, virtually every software developer is guilty of infringing on an increasingly large number of software patents, and only a tiny few benefit from this form of IP protection.
      P. Douglas
  • RE: OIN suggests patent reform on the fly

    If you are looking for the most elegant way of putting time and distance from the sale and repercussions of a sale directly to a troll, sell to a good guy who releases to the market rather than selling directly to trolls.<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="white"> k</font></a>
    zakkiromi