Monday, August 28, 2006


From CNET:

WikiPatents is not the first site to take aim at what some deem an epidemic of undeserving patents, although with its more than 3 million patent listings and more to come, it appears to be the most ambitious. The open-source software community, which has sounded alarms in recent years over what it calls a rash of "bad patents," has also devised systems aimed at allowing the public to view patent applications and prior art more readily.


But what about the inevitable concern that such sites will fall prey to the sort of tomfoolery that has plagued postings at the Web's best-known wiki site?

"As long as prior art is put into the system where it's readily available to search ahead of (filing for a patent), and it's properly vetted, it's not every harebrained thing somebody throws out, then I think that's great," Riley said. "But I've looked at Wikipedia, and it's a real mixed bag."

WikiPatents, for one, said it will attempt to weed out spam and abusive comments, but the reliability of its content remains a use-at-your-own-risk proposition.

"Even though a reference may have been voted to the top by 10 users as a five-star reference, the patent examiner ultimately has to determine whether it's a five-star reference for him," Johnson said. "The same thing goes for licensees, applicants and litigants."

Of content issues, one notes that the good folks at the Sacramento Bee completely misunderstood an invalidity issue in the stem cell area, apparently with the assistance of a Stanford Law Professor. If well-meaning people can screw up on invalidity, think about what competitors can do.


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