EFF Busts Another Bogus Patent… Five Years Later
from the still-taking-quite-a-long-time dept
In writing about ridiculously bad patents, we’ve seen a trend of commenters insisting that if a patent is truly “bad,” then there’s no problem, since it will likely get rejected. However, the process of getting a bogus patent rejected is ridiculously long and cumbersome. The EFF is rightfully happy that the USPTO is going to throw out a ridiculous patent on web subdomains, presenting another victory for the EFF’s Patent Busting Project. We discussed this specific case earlier this year, when the patent in question received its initial rejection.
While this is certainly a victory against a bad patent, what should be quite worrying is just how long it’s taken to get this far. The EFF launched their patent busting project almost five years ago. And while it’s had success in getting two patents busted, one significantly narrowed and re-exams on three more, this is an incredibly slow moving process. Yet during that time, such a bogus patent can be used to stop innovation and advancement. That should be seen as quite troubling. Now some may argue that it takes an equally long time to get a patent granted, but that doesn’t hold back innovation in the same way. While the patent process is going on, innovation can continue. Yet if a bogus patent is preventing innovation for many years, the harm to society can be great.