Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Eli Kintisch still pursuing anti-patent agenda

In an article in the MIT Technology Review entitled "Putting Patent Trolls on the Defensive," Eli Kintisch begins:

Software companies say overbroad patents held by others are among their biggest problems, leading to wasteful lawsuits and skyrocketing costs. The way they see it, patents that cover broad, basic concepts have helped give rise to the so-called “patent troll” -- a company or individual who owns a patent and uses it not to make something but to sue innovators for infringement. Patent trolls sometimes win hefty damages or even, as in the BlackBerry case, try to shut down supposed infringers through court injunctions.

You may remember the "news of the week" story by Kintisch in the July 28 issue of the journal Science, in which he stated that patent applicants could add new facts to a patent application and still get the priority date of the parent application. His "news" story began with the years-old Chiron case, and mentioned the proposed rules changes for continuing applications which were published in the Federal Register in January. It's sad when an agenda for patent reform masquerades as news. I have an article coming out discussing the errors in the July 28 "news."

The current Kintisch article is a promo piece for Dan Ravicher, 31, who runs the Public Patent Foundation ["PubPat"]. Unmentioned in the article is PubPat's re-exam request on patents issued to Thomson relating to stem cells. The argument for "obviousness" therein is that creating a human stem cell line is obvious once there is a recipe for a mouse stem cell line. The argument for "anticipation" involves a patent that did not create a human stem cell line. Perhaps we need a word to describe those who file frivolous re-examination requests.


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