Alternative View: Will Google's Prior Art Finder Become An 'Infringement Finder' For Trolls?
from the technology-is-neutral dept
Take, for example, Amazon's infamous "one click" patent, 5,960,411. Pop that into the prior art finder and you get a bunch of results with an end date of 9/12/1997:
Patrick (jokingly?) suggests that Google's intention here is to actually help the trolls. As he notes:
Google’s motivation to create this new feature are not entirely clear, but they have provided what should be a useful advancement in patent analysis. By speeding up access to information that may lead to evidence of infringement, Google puts more power back into the hands of inventors and patent owners. Perhaps they hope to gain a little positive patent karma after taking ownership of a large patent portfolio from the former Motorola.Of course as has been noted dozens if not hundreds of times, technology is "neutral" and can be used for both good and bad purposes (which is good and which is bad may depend on whether or not you view shaking down innovators for cash "good" or "bad"). That said, I actually think that the tool is probably not quite as useful for finding infringement as Patrick seems to think it will be. That's because most of the results are things that tend to be useful in showing prior art, but less so in showing what's being used in the actual market. That is, it shows things like scholarly articles and previous patents -- which is what patent examiners tend to like to see. While that also limits some of the usage as a true "prior art" finder, it does focus on the types of things that tend to be compelling for prior art... but not so useful for infringement.