Article One Hypes Up Maybe Finding Prior Art That Might Possibly Invalidate A Patent?
from the not-that-exciting,-folks dept
The folks at Article One are nothing if not aggressive in their attempts to get me to write about what they do. They submitted the following story four separate times (once is enough, please!). Article One, you may recall, is the company that came on the scene last year with a plan to pay money to people if they could find prior art that invalidated patents. We were a bit skeptical, and found it odd that the company seems to not want to admit that its business model is almost an exact replica of the earlier BountyQuest that failed miserably. Also a bit troubling is that Article One seems to position its services as a way to validate a patent, more than invalidate one. There are plenty of prior art search firms out there, so the only really different thing happening here is the company trying to jump on the “crowdsourced” bandwagon.
This particular announcement is also a little underwhelming. The company’s press release loudly declares that it’s succeeded in dredging up some prior art for a lawsuit involving Garmin and patent holding firm SPT. That seemed mighty fast — and, indeed, there’s no evidence that this prior art means anything at all. The USPTO hasn’t looked at it. The patent hasn’t been changed or invalidated in any way. Basically, the company has something that it thinks is prior art, and is hoping that Garmin will now take it and use it to go through the process of trying to invalidate the patent. That may be useful to Garmin, but it seems a bit early to celebrate (and even earlier to give out huge cash awards to those who found the prior art). At least BountyQuest knew to wait until the USPTO actually used the prior art before handing out the bounty.
While I’m all for turning up prior art and busting bogus patents, something about this whole thing feels more like a big publicity stunt than anything truly useful.