Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
patent office, patents, re-exam, subdomains

Companies:
eff



US Patent Office Does Initial Rejection On All Claims For Patent On Creating Subdomains

from the so-why-was-it-approved-in-the-first-place? dept

You may recall, a few years back, some news around a patent holding company getting a patent on virtual subdomains. As part of its Patent Busting project, the EFF submitted a ton of prior art to the Patent Office, who has now done an initial rejection of all of the patent's claims. The patent holder (and, it's worth pointing out that it's changed hands since this started) can now respond or just give up on the patent. Either way though, it highlights the silliness of considering any granted patent as automatically "valid." Considering how many patents that are reviews end up having claims (sometimes all of them) rejected, it seems pretty clear that the initial patent review is simply not even close to effective as a judge of patent-worthiness.

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  1. identicon
    trollificus, 22 Jan 2009 @ 7:00am

    @Dave

    That's a cool idea, but it flies in the face of the First Principle of American Law...which is, that whenever any action is taken that might generate a monetary flow, a lawyer must be paid.

    So the system or regulatory schema is always favored that requires the employment of the greatest number of lawyers. In the case of patents, the principle favors the system wherein someone hires a lawyer (or, as is more and more often the case, the someone IS a lawyer) to present some obvious-but-unpatented idea to the PO, which then blindly approves it, which then requires that other interested parties hire legal representation to fight the bad patent. And, as the system currently works, if no one has sufficient financial interest (i.e.: the harm done by the bad patent is sufficiently widespread and seemingly minor, like if no major corporation is harmed and no puppies/harp seals/winsome children die), bad patents survive, like so many remora without the added benefit of eating other parasites off the body politic.

    So God bless the EFF. Hopefully, they'll continue to identify where their good work is best directed.

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