Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Shorts

How Low is Too Low for Patent Prosecution? Last week Gene Quinn published a post titled "Open Source Race to Zero May Destroy Software Industry", where he asked the question "does anyone really think that paying $1,400 for an allegedly complete patent application is a wise business decision?" Needless to say, the post generated a flurry of controversy.

Interestingly, Jackie Hutter from the IP Asset Maximizer Blog published a post titled "How a Patent Strategy Focused Only on Obtaining the Lowest Cost Patents May Reveal a Company's Future Inability to Remain Viable" just a month earlier, where she revealed in considerable detail how she was approached by "a large printer manufacturing company" to draft patent applications from scratch for $1,300. According to the managing patent attorney, he expected to obtain patents from this process that could be the subject of future litigation. Jackie declined the work. Read more here (link).

Moving PACER to a Free Service - speaking of free software, the 2002 E-Government Act had instructed the agencies and the courts to move toward free public access to court records. Despite numerous taxpayer-funded agencies setting up free portals, PACER continues to lock public documents behind a paywall, lacks a reasonable search engine, and has an interface that's inscrutable to non-lawyers.

While the courts try to address these flaws, RSS pioneer Aaron Swartz and open government activist Carl Malamud took matters into their own hands The courts had launched a pilot program that gave free PACER access to patrons of selected libraries, so Swartz and Malamud went to the libraries with thumb drives and used a Perl script to download as many documents as they could. They got about 20 million documents before the courts abruptly canceled the trial. The documents—about 700 GB in total—are now available from Malamud's website, but there are still terabytes of public documents locked behind PACER's paywall. To access Malmud's website, click here (link).

See Ars Technica, "The case against PACER: tearing down the courts' paywall" (link)

Patent Reform Amendments Approvded By Senate Judiciary committee - to download a copy of the amended bill, click here (link)

3 Comentários:

Unknown said...

Thanks for mentioning my post at IP Asset Maximizer about being offered $1300 to draft supposedly valid and enforceable patents by a big Printer company. On the 271 blog, I can also put on my (former) litigator hat and say how much fun it would be to depose the plaintiff's managers and patent attorneys about their cheapness in the patent procurement process. When basic patent litigations are costing as much as $5 MM through trial for EACH PARTY, how can patent managers think subjecting a patent drafted for $1300 to such no-holds-barred litigation could ever be a smart thing to do? Every patent defendant's counsel should be figuring out how to determine the average cost of the patent that is being asserted against their client and have a good time with the resulting inquiries.

Anonymous said...

I'm not able to download the free pacer. Has anyone else had this problem?

Apostille said...

Your blog has good content


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