Patent Office Agrees To Check Into All That Prior Art On The Eolas Patent

from the oh,-look-at-that... dept

The latest in the Eolas patent saga is that someone at the Patent Office has finally agreed to review the patent based on stacks and stacks of prior art that people have been finding. Amazingly, the Patent Office appears to have responded quickly (though, they don’t say how long it will take for a new decision on the patent) to the requests for a re-examination of the patent. There’s a quote from the USPTO’s deputy commissioner for patent examination policy saying that this was an “extraordinary situation” which necessitated the quick response. The problem with this statement is that it’s not an extraordinary situation. In fact, it’s an increasingly common situation, where silly patents are getting the stamp of approval every day – and then used to hold other companies up for extortion, rather than for encouraging innovation.

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Comments on “Patent Office Agrees To Check Into All That Prior Art On The Eolas Patent”

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Anonymous Coward says:

What happens if a company has their patent revoked

Can they appeal, sue? These non-productive companies that make revenue by litigation don’t really have any other way to make money. What’s their recourse?

I’m not sympathizing with these parasites–just want to know what to expect when they get what they deserve–nothing.

Ed (not Yourdon) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Trademarks and patents are completely separate kinds of IP, and there’s no reason for the rights and restrictions of one to apply to the other. (And that goes for copyrights and trade secrets, too.)
I’m sure that the intention is for the benefit of individual inventors. Say a guy in his garage invents something like a new feature to be built into cars, which would take the resources of General Motors to bring to market. The patent gives him the rights to the invention whether he can produce it himself or not, and he can take those rights and try to license them to GM. (In fact, wasn’t one of Lemelson’s big patents something for intermittent wipers?)
The current problems with patents lie not in the patent system itself, but in how it’s being applied today. The situation is as if I file for a patent on intermittent wipers today, and nobody in the patent office notices that they’ve been built into cars for decades.

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