Company Reinvents BountyQuest In Attempt To Bust Bogus Patents

from the if-it-works... dept

Many of you probably remember BountyQuest, the company set up by Tim O'Reilly and Jeff Bezos as an attempt to bust bogus patents by reaching out to the "wisdom of the crowd" to dig up prior art. The initiative got plenty of attention, thanks to Bezos' and O'Reilly's involvement, but the project faded out and eventually just shut down after it failed in its high profile attempt to invalidate Bezos' own infamous "one-click patent" (which has since run into troubles on prior art found by others).

Apparently, though, there's a new startup that's attempting to do pretty much the same thing. The Associated Press has an article about Article One Partners, whose business plan sounds like a photocopy of BountyQuest's original plan. Apparently the AP reporters weren't aware of BountyQuest, because it's not mentioned in the article. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but considering the striking similarities between the two operations, you'd think it would at least merit a mention. Hopefully Article One can survive where BountyQuest flopped, but I'm not that hopeful, honestly. It could potentially work for a few high profile patents, but on average, it's tough to get random people to get excited about digging up prior art on patents.
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Filed Under: crowdsourcing, patents, prior art
Companies: article one, bountyquest


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2008 @ 1:50pm

    ironic monthly

    as an editor of ironic monthly, i want exclusive rights to cover the patent battle over this idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    A nony mouse, 18 Nov 2008 @ 2:10pm

    The value of the historical record

    This is actually an interesting (yet depressing) testament to the value of preserving the historical record. Despite the fact that BountyQuest "failed", the fact that such an effort existed is an important historical fact. The Article One folks might benefit from contacting BountyQuest-involved folks that might give them some insight into how to make the effort work better this time around.

    I'm actually more baffled by the fact that the memory of BountyQuest effort seems to have been lost so rapidly. I suppose in the internet age, historical cycles are much shorter than us "old folks" are accustomed to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Blatant Coward, 18 Nov 2008 @ 2:44pm

    Back in my day we had to go uphill to and from the Texas courthouse to bust patents. And we liked it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    skeptic, 18 Nov 2008 @ 4:42pm

    Are we sure this is a good thing?

    Pamela Jones over at Groklaw seems to have read some more detailed descriptions of the aims of this new group and is of the opinion that they are not good guys. It seems she believes they are out to strengthen patents, not invalidate patents.

    I don't know which it is, but I'd say let's not be too hasty at celebrating the appearance of this new organization. They might not be anything we want to see.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Watcher, 19 Nov 2008 @ 7:00am

    It's about patent validity

    Seems the focus here isn't busting patents or strengthening them, it's about evaluating their validity. If prior art exists, the patent claims are invalid and shouldn't have been granted. If not, that helps strengthen a claim.

    And as for BountyQuest, I saw one article mentioned the founder used to be part of the earlier company, so that covers reaching out to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    dinnerbell, 19 Nov 2008 @ 7:54am

    stop the shilling!!!

    it strikes me they could just pay for the inventions they are using...perish the thought!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    angry dude, 19 Nov 2008 @ 10:26am

    another horseshit from Mikey

    Oh, the "wisdom of the crowd"...
    or "the hive mind of slashbot"...
    or "the combined intelligence of techdirt lemming-punks"

    I woudn't trust you guys to clean my toilets, much less to dig up prior art on patents...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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