If The Patents Are Substantially The Same, Then Shouldn't They Be Invalid?
from the just-saying dept
Here we go again with patent battles that pretty much hurt everyone. The latest concerns WiFi security methods with two separate companies arguing over patents that both companies applied for. One has been granted a patent that the other says is "substantially the same invention" as a patent they filed earlier, but which has yet to be approved. So, how did the one patent get approved earlier? Apparently because it's a narrower set of claims, even though the other company says the other patent is narrower. If you look through the various patents that have been made public, they certainly seem fairly broad -- which, again, goes against the point of patents. However, much more important is the basic fact that if these two companies were both working independently on "substantially the same invention" and clearly came to very similar end results, neither should be patentable. Patents are only supposed to be granted for inventions that are "non-obvious to those skilled in the art." The fact that multiple groups of people "skilled in the art" came to basically the same conclusion certainly suggests that it was where the state of the art was heading anyway -- and, thus, "obvious" and not deserving of patent protection. There was nothing actually innovative here or a breakthrough. It was simply the natural course of the market driven by demand in the market for better WiFi security. Why should one company get a government-granted monopoly on such a system?