Re: IP: novel attack on bad patents

Date: Fri Jan 21 2000 - 17:17:07 MST

Mike Linksvayer forwards:
> <>.
> By raising
> enough money to implement such a strategy against multiple
> companies, a few are bound to hit for the big bucks, given
> the statistics of invalidity of most software patents.

What is he referring to here regarding statistics? Is it the case that
most patent suits against software patents go against the patent holder?
Or a substantial percentage? I had always heard that defeating patents
was a costly and highly uncertain process, since the presumption is on
the validity of the patent once it issues.

Of course, given the huge number of software patents and the tiny
percentage that could possibly be litigated, even if a considerable
percentage were overturned this could be because these are the weakest
.01% of all the software patents. It may not be easy to find patents
that can be defeated in this way.

In my field, cryptography, there are a lot of patents. But I wouldn't
say that many of them could be overturned on the basis of prior art.
Obviousness might be more questionable, utility even more so, but those
are relatively fuzzy criteria.

People are creative, and there is no shortage of new ideas coming out all
the time. There is no reason a priori to expect most software patents
to be invalid. Someone creative enough to get a paper published in a
refereed journal is capable of coming up with a patentable idea. There
are hundreds of thousands of people like this.


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