from the fight-fight-fight dept
While it's rare that you'll find me agreeing with the patent bar on very much, on this one, I'm on their side. The lawsuit, lead by publisher John Wiley, is kind of crazy. We're not talking about people who are getting copies of the journal for free. These are generally people who have a legitimate subscription to the journals, and are submitting copies of the information as part of the patent process -- as they're required to do by law. This is just yet another attempt by the publishers to get paid for every single possible use, even for those who already have legitimate access. And, of course, these journals don't have the best reputation these days, with their attempts to block open access requirements. While there may be some appeal in making it more difficult to get a patent (something where I believe the bar needs to be much, much, much higher), I don't think this is as reasonable way to do so.
In nearly every way, it seems like submitting such a journal article as part of a patent application process should be seen as fair use. It really does fit the kind of key "spirit" of the fair use rule.