Subject: Re: patent on fix and continue
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: 1998/12/02
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <7435p5$>
Bradley Yearwood <> wrote:
| I can be irritated at what appears to be a woeful ignorance by the PTO of
| non-patent prior art in software.  One might also question whether the
| apparent similar ignorance of attorneys and agents is real and whether
| applicants are themselves either similarly ignorant of prior art, or
| fail to recognize their duty (37 CFR 1.56) to disclose it.

Unfortunately, the notion of "prior art", while legally unchanged if it
gets to a lawsuit, in recent years seems to have degenerated in the patent
*application* phase to being interpreted as meaning only "prior patents". 
So there's *LOTS* of totally-obvious garbage being patented these days,
some of which was old *decades* ago!!!  But since patent-mania didn't rule
back then [people were more interested in *shipping* stuff than patenting
it], it wasn't patented, and doesn't show up in a cursory "prior art" search.

Of course, if it ever gets to court, the non-patent-holder *may* be able
to produce adequate evidence that the thing in question is really "prior
art", but that's only if the defendant has enough money to survive that


Rob Warnock, 8L-855
Applied Networking
Silicon Graphics, Inc.		Phone: 650-933-1673
2011 N. Shoreline Blvd.		FAX: 650-964-0811
Mountain View, CA  94043	PP-ASEL-IA