Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"The US patent process is 'ridiculously broken'"[?]

Techworld has an article on a WiFi patent which begins:

Nicholas Miller is hoping for a patent that he admits himself is "absurd". His advisors tell him he has a good chance of getting it, so he's going for it, even though it's essentially a minor tweak to block a wireless weakness in Windows.
In 2003, Miller, then at a tiny Wi-Fi company called Cirond, told us Wi-Fi switches were dead and that we could get more out of 2.4GHz by using four not-quite-so overlapping channels. None of that seemed to happen.

The article concludes:

AirSafe is a basic tweak that adjusts the settings in Windows XP, to turn off the automatic Wi-Fi connection - a tweak that everyone should make to their laptops by default. And Miller is applying for a patent for it.
"That's ludicrous," I said. "It's like applying for a patent for software that turns off the annoying Windows start-up chime."
"I agree 100 percent you shouldn't be able to patent this sort of thing," he replied. "I think it's completely absurd. But if you look at some of the patents filed by our competitors, they are ridiculously narrow. I filed this from a defensive standpoint."
The US patent process is "ridiculously broken" he said.

Elsewhere, note the existence of

"Patents made simple"


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