Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google Extends Patent Search To Prior Art

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the what-came-before dept.

Google 81

mikejuk writes "As well as buying up patents to defend itself against the coming Apple attack on Android, Google is also readying its own technology. It has extended its Patent Search facility to include European patents and has added a Prior Art facility. The new Prior Art facility seems to be valuable both to inventors and to the legal profession. In order to be granted a patent the inventor has to establish that it is a novel idea — and in the current litigious environment companies and their lawyers might want to show that patents should not have been granted."

cancel ×

81 comments

FIRST PRIOR ART POST (-1)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | about 2 years ago | (#41213441)

... bitches

Doesn't Matter (4, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#41213479)

In order to be granted a patent the inventor has to establish that it is a novel idea — and in the current litigious environment companies and their lawyers might want to show that patents should not have been granted.

Can someone explain how this matters when google is 1) Not the patent office, and 2) the courts blatantly ignore prior art anyway?

It seems to me that you can patent just about anything now with the right wording and money.

I am filing a patent on "Upright Locomotion for Bipedal Hominids using Two Appendages."

Re:Doesn't Matter (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213579)

Can someone explain how this matters when google is 1) Not the patent office, and 2) the courts blatantly ignore prior art anyway?

By making this news, maybe Google wants to let Apple know that they're going to have one hell of fight if they go after Android? And maybe prime the legal system (i.e. maybe judges will see this)?

Just guessing.

Re:Doesn't Matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213631)

It's cheaper for Google to do the work assigned to the patent office(s) then to pay lawyers for the onslaught of trials from Apple. Attack the problem before they reach Apple legal. Google knows good indexing and searching so why not apply it to patents if it can help the patent clerks making the right decisons.

Re:Doesn't Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41215035)

can they patent this?

Re:Doesn't Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213643)

Presumably there are patent clerks who don't have easy access to prior art, and it is simply easier to rubber stamp the patent than go through the hard work of finding good prior art. This tool may make their life easier (in finding prior art, and therefore never granting stupid patents).

Re:Doesn't Matter (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41213803)

"...with the aid of a mobile device."

Re:Doesn't Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41215587)

"...with the aid of rounded corners."

FTFY.

Re:Doesn't Matter (1)

SuperSlacker64 (1918650) | about 2 years ago | (#41215681)

...on the Internet.

Re:Doesn't Matter (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#41213841)

I am filing a patent on "Upright Locomotion for Bipedal Hominids using Two Appendages."

Obviously because arm movement is not used in your process, you idea shows unique innovation. BROVO!

Somewhere in Texas, there is a judge and jury already lined up behind your blockbuster patent!

Re:Doesn't Matter (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#41214605)

yes, but I am patenting "upright locomotion for Bipedal Hominids using Two Appendages covered in a cloth or other enclosing material for the purposes of protection from a) rain, snow, wind and other elemental effects, b) sub-optimal temperature in the localised area, c) unwanted stares from other hominids towards the parts colloquially referred to as 'junk' or similar descriptions"

so no worries, get your patent licence from me and get your arse covered!

Re:Doesn't Matter You're infringing on my patent (1)

postofreason (1305523) | about 2 years ago | (#41214689)

I have already patented: Locomatory mechanism utilizing alternating suspensory structures for planar translation. Note: My patent also describes its use in momentary spacial translation without suspension based on trajectory-like movements (e.g. running) so all of you are in trouble with the law mister.

Re:Doesn't Matter You're infringing on my patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41216021)

Cunt.

Re:Doesn't Matter (3, Funny)

polyp2000 (444682) | about 2 years ago | (#41215225)

I think there is Prior Art on that (Irish Dancing)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W22gpBv00gg [youtube.com]

Re:Doesn't Matter (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41213881)

The whole thing can be considered a Nuclear Option by Google.

1 Google is known for Search
2 they have massive datafarms (note the Plural there)
3 Like Everybody can use this

and do you wanna bet that the normal search will provide results for this???

I think a bunch of Paralegals just stood up and yelled AMEN!!

Re:Doesn't Matter (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41214079)

Google's not just playing the game. Google's out to master it and make it their bitch.

Things are about to get very very public. Very very high profile. Judges out there will have to do it right or recuse themselves. No more mistrials and crap. The way Google trounced Oracle, I think there is no doubt in my mind that they will do the same to Apple. Apple got away with their Samsung assault because someone let a bad juror through. Google will not make the same mistake.

Google beat Oracle because they tore down their patents and left them with only some extremely weak arguments that didn't fly in the end. Apple's patents are also crap and Google will, no doubt, preemptively seek to have them invalidated even before they are used against Google or another Android device maker.

Re:Doesn't Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41216423)

Apple got away with their Samsung assault because someone let a bad juror through.

The number one reason why Apple got away with their Samsung assault is because Samsung's design method was "look at what Apple's doing and copy it." It's easy to paint all patent claims with the same brush. Many patents are on vaporware. You couldn't copy them if you tried, because they never developed a product. This is one of the cases where there is a real product and it was copied. Samsung's only hopes were to invalidate all of Apple's patents or to win some of their own.

A lesser reason for Apple's success is that the format favored them. It's much easier to give twenty-five hours of evidence of Samsung's deliberate copying than to establish obviousness of multiple patents (seven from Apple, plus three "trade dress") in twenty-five hours.

Re:Doesn't Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41216535)

Yeah, I know. I mean, look at iPad and Galaxy Tab next to each other and see how they're completely... Oh, wait, jury found no infringement on trade dress there. Seems like you fanbois were wrong. Damages in the end are mostly for utility patents which jury didn't find obvious because prior art was "loaded on a different processor. That changes everything right there."

So yeah, having easing effect on overscroll is now "blatantly copying". Because that's what most people look at, overscroll effects.

Re:Doesn't Matter (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41217481)

If the product contains nothing that should be patentable, it should be OK to copy it.

Re:Doesn't Matter (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 2 years ago | (#41220879)

A lot of people forget this. What is illegal with copying? Why should it be illegal? Patents, copyrights and trademarks are give narrow situations where its illegal to copy. Not broad "copying is wrong" rubbish.

Wishful thinking (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#41217671)

The most likely outcome is that the two companies settle out of court, even now. All this litigation is merely foreplay, in terms of moving the final settlement slightly one way or the other.

Nothing to see here, move along...

Re:Doesn't Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41214785)

You should probably add "and simultaneously masticating a rubbery substance"... :-)

Re:Doesn't Matter (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 2 years ago | (#41215155)

1) Simple : the patents office "research for prior art" consists of little more than thinking of something obvious they have already seen and making a few Google search.

2) The courts don't ignore it, but they consider a patent valid until a court has ruled otherwise.

Re:Doesn't Matter (3, Insightful)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 2 years ago | (#41215335)

"Can someone explain how this matters when google is 1) Not the patent office, and 2) the courts blatantly ignore prior art anyway?"

It's not that the courts ignore prior art, but that they defer to the patent office. If the courts have to determine whether a patent is valid, what's the point of having a patent office? The proper place to challenge the validity of a patent is at the Patent Office, first, and then the courts if you think you might get lucky.

Ignoring prior art (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41216115)

It's not that the courts ignore prior art, but that they defer to the patent office.

Deferring to the patent office when the decisions of the patent office are being challenged on the grounds of evidence of prior art is ignoring prior art, so the distinction you make is one without a difference.

If the courts have to determine whether a patent is valid, what's the point of having a patent office?

If the courts aren't going to enforce the law, including acting to assure that acts of executive branch agencies like the Department of Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office conform to the law, what is the point of having courts?

Re:Doesn't Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41219187)

... and then the courts if you think you might get lucky.

Unfortunately, over the previous 2 years, SlashDot has run several stories of the US courts over-riding USPTO's rejection of a obvious idea. It appears that going to court guarantees a patent and allows everyone else to file similar patents for 'the internet' or 'a mobile phone', etc.

Re:Doesn't Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41218227)

Google is desperate to keep Apple from rolling over them.

WHAT THE FUCK SLASHDOT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41221491)

"As well as buying up patents to defend itself against the coming Apple attack on Android"

Fucking hell. Google obviously bought Motorola Mobility to go on the patent offensive.

For fuck's sake Slashdot.

You know how that ends... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213489)

Why bother? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213501)

Why bother inventing anything? There are billions (probably an exaggeration) of patents and if you so happen to use a method developed by someone else (or even if you don't, if you take patent trolls into account), you're very likely to get sued. It's just too risky.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213653)

You can invent things. You just need a few dozen pounds of your own patents to protect yourself. This works well until a psychopath like Apple decides to start the IP-law equivalent of a nuclear war, or against rogue states like patent trolls;

Re:Why bother? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 2 years ago | (#41213765)

My suggested aproach to the problem is to kill the patent troll with a headshot (heavy weapons is better) if he tries to sue. The "normal" court way is too flawed (and worst, by design flawed) and rigged to work.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41214389)

If this works out the way Google wants it to, it'll be essentially the same thing, If a business model is based on exploiting bad patents, invalidating them all is more effective then a headshot at destroying that business.

Re:Why bother? (5, Insightful)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 2 years ago | (#41213997)

What patent law has effectively become, in practice, is a law against inventing (for anyone except the the big entrenched players.)

Re:Why bother? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 2 years ago | (#41214023)

There are only millions (and not even tens of millions) of patents, so a 1000X exaggeration.

Re:Why bother? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41214425)

sell your patent to intellectual ventures and make money off it, simple

the problem is that there are so many patents for similar things you'll get pennies for your patent. you have to invent a lot of different things. standards like mp4, wifi and wireless are hundreds or thousands of patents in a single product.

the days of making a mint of a single patent are long gone

Google Extends Patent Search To Prior Art (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213557)

Time to do away with patents.

Re:Google Extends Patent Search To Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41214813)

Time to do away with Google, since Google will be able to steal ideas after sifting through the search terms.

Tin foil ethernet shielding for sale (3, Interesting)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 2 years ago | (#41213583)

Presumably prior art results for patents held by Google will be excluded?

I doubt they'd really do this, at least not until something embarassing happened, but the point is, how would you know, since it's their engine? (Obviously, only an incompetent would interpret the absence of prior art in Google's database as an absence of prior art.)

Re:Tin foil ethernet shielding for sale (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 2 years ago | (#41213833)

Why would they, can you name a situation where google attacked with a patent? So far I've only seen them used by google defensively. If google were to have used the patents entirely defensively. If google could invalidate all of the offensive patents coming at them on a regular basis, they would have virtually no use for patents at all.

Re:Tin foil ethernet shielding for sale (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41216207)

Why would they, can you name a situation where google attacked with a patent?

There recent lawsuit and ITC complaint against Apple would be an obvious example.

So far I've only seen them used by google defensively.

The usual definition of "defensive" use of a patent is to assert infringement only in a counterclaim against a party claiming patent infringement against the "defensive" user. Google's recent use of its patents against Apple has been offensive by that definition. Its often construed as a special case of "defensive" use of patents because Apple's lawsuits against Samsung, HTC, and others related to their Android-using devices are painted as proxy attacks on Google, so the Google-initiated lawsuit is painted as analogous to a set of counterclaims against Apple though it, strictly speaking, is not.

Really, the offensive/defensive divide is rather artificial, anyhow. If you want to portray Google as different, its probably better to look at their repeated opposition to the present software patent regime as a whole rather than to how they use the patents they have.

Re:Tin foil ethernet shielding for sale (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 2 years ago | (#41216873)

Perhaps the morals are still boarderline, as is the definition of defensive/offensive, but based on their current business model, google would prefer all sides losing their weapons even at the cost of their own weapons. IMO the losses far outweigh the gains for google, invalidating the entire war is far more in googles intents.

Re:Tin foil ethernet shielding for sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41220171)

Google has remained very hesitant to use patents offensively because it simply did not have a need. Apple similarly faced no need, but it kept true to its late CEO's foolish dying wish to go "thermonuclear" on Google.

Nobody claims Google is pure or right. But they have not been overly litigious. Apple more than crossed that line a long time ago.

Custom search results (3, Interesting)

kanweg (771128) | about 2 years ago | (#41213671)

Cool. As "Do no evil" Google provides customized search results (like Fox telling people only what they want to hear), they surely could provide Apple or the Patent office with search results that don't include prior art to Google's patents. Quite convenient. Hypothetically.

More seriously, as a patent attorney I already find Google's search facility very worthwhile, as it allows me to do an advance search before a particular date (the priority date or the filing date, to be more specific). This did result in finding prior art that is currently used in opposition proceedings to have a patent revoked. The system works (it is not copyright).

Bert
Patent law: Making inventions open source long before the term was coined.
http://worldwide.espacenet.com/?locale=en_EP [espacenet.com]

Re:Custom search results (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41213811)

Right ... like Apple cares about prior art.

Re:Custom search results (2)

kanweg (771128) | about 2 years ago | (#41214975)

Of course, they care about the prior art. Every applicant does. Ignoring it may mean spending thousands of dollars without a patent in return. Don't forget, patent applications are published after 18 months. That means that if you can't secure a patent, the published application may still contain information of value and you get nothing in return. Plus, the invention may not be necessarily on the market, so filing for the application will tell your competitors in any case what line of thinking/research you're following and what products may be in the pipeline.

Patent applications are open source avant la lettre, with applicants paying thousands of dollars to give an accurate written description that is shared with the whole wide world, available in free access databases.

Bert

All smartphone and tablet guys are using prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213691)

All of these smartphone and tablet guys are using prior art invented by sci-fi authors and audio/visual media such as Star Trek.

What the heck are they doing?! They need to grow up!

That's a good strategy (4, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 2 years ago | (#41213777)

Google has never been a fan of the patent wars. If Google sets up a search engine for prior art, they will be providing a resource with which many patents can be invalidated. Competitors will fear bias in that the prior art database may give results that are in Google's favor, and perhaps start providing resources that index prior art themselves. Hopefully the whole thing will snowball and show the failure of the current system. However if doubt would be cast on the quality and validity of the results then perhaps nobody will pay attention to this initiative.

Or ... they can screw themselves ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41217349)

... which is the more likely scenario.

By building a search engine, they can no longer claim ignorance about any patent and that will give a green light to the real patent trolls to sued the company to the wazoo.

Lets face facts, Google is a copycat company. None of their products are original. Google will be spending more money and time defending themselves than actually doing any work.

Re:Or ... they can screw themselves ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41226603)

:P and by copy cat you mean?

So I suppose you are comparing it to Apple who invented ... O .. what? What Apple did most was optimisation (which is made easier by their obsessive control) but innovation? It is truly far and in between. And really, I blame them for running the minimalist style to the ground.

Pssh nice prior art dude (4, Insightful)

cratermoon (765155) | about 2 years ago | (#41213843)

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (1)

tooyoung (853621) | about 2 years ago | (#41214589)

It makes a really good sound bite, especially when you leave out the consideration that the 'prior art' used a completely different methodology. Yes, that's right, the patent describes a method for achieving the desired result. You are free to implement the same perceived behavior, you just need to do it in a different way. Now, you can debate that no software algorithms should be patentable, but that is another discussion. There seems to be a big misunderstanding on slashdot that Apple patented things like tap-to-zoom in the abstract. Rather, they patented specific methodologies for achieving tap-to-zoom.

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (5, Insightful)

cratermoon (765155) | about 2 years ago | (#41214705)

A method "obvious to a person that is well-versed in an art" is not supposed to be patentable either. Except Apple added "on a mobile phone", and THEN, well, it changed everything!

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (1)

tooyoung (853621) | about 2 years ago | (#41216579)

If it is so obvious, then without reading the patent, please explain how it is done.

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41217363)

Hmm, let me stretch my brain here - detect where the user double tapped, then zoom into the area. Do I get my patent?

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41217543)

Not enough tech speak. You should spice it up with phrases like "Detecting a tactile contact event" and "Determining the position of event" and "Computing view transformation for positioning affected object in the center of the display" and "Detecting a second contact event" and "Restoring the previous view transformation" and "...".

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41217625)

1. Listen for two tap motions within a 1 second interval.
2. Compute rectangle around tapped area
3. Zoom to rectangle
4. ????
5. Patent!

Oh, wait, I know what #4 is..."on a mobile phone".

Seriously, any freshman CS major could come up with this.

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (1)

tooyoung (853621) | about 2 years ago | (#41217971)

Compute rectangle around tapped area

Care to elaborate on that rectangle computation? Remember, this isn't just zoom to tap, this is zoom to content.

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41219219)

Since almost all AppKit UI elements are rectangular, the obvious approach is to select the first enclosing object of a specified list of classes, or the first block-structured element meeting certain constraints in HTML content. The clever bit is deciding what the content the user is trying to select is, which is obviously trickier for HTML than for XIBs, since you have to try to guess which level of nested divs is the deepest one containing something interesting.

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about 2 years ago | (#41221233)

onEvent do something

Essentially it's Ctrl+ Increase font size or image size or both of the underlying Div. Not much more than incrementing values in the pages css and re rendering the page with the Div being the focus of the viewport.

Ok that is just a web page but even so you can modify the methods according to the object that is being tapped.

There is nothing new about zooming content or rendering a desktop that is larger than the physical screen.

With cinnamon if I mouse to the top left i get an overview of my desktops side by side if there are 2 it renders them to fit 2 acrosss the screen and if there are 3 then it renders all 3, when I mouse over 1 of them the open windows are displayed and which ever window I click on is brought to the front and that screen is displayed.

The display of the screens is a little flawed to be honest if I have 4 Desktops the rendering is smaller, It would be better to increase the size of the screen i am focusing on so I can see the contents easier.

There is nothing revolutionary about thinking, It gets hard to make stuff out when it's small on the screen. Ok make it bigger. but we can't make it bigger the window is as big as the screen already. Well just show them the part of the window which has the bits they want to see.

It's not even a new problem the guy with impaired vision and the huge screen had two windows one that rendered all the content and another which gave a magnified view of what was under the pointer that was in windows 95/98 Clunky but it worked. Maybe you don't remember moving the outline of a window to position it on the screen, full window rendering was an option but with the limitations of Ram and processing speed meant that you needed a powerful, for the time system to be able to do it smoothly. It's not much of a problem with the current generation of computers.

If anything now we are held back by the existing windowing systems as they were designed for older systems which couldn't do what we can today. That Smart phones can have impressive GUI's shouldn't be a surprise there is no legacy hardware holding the devs back.

Your method of implementation will probably vary from mine but they would both be achieving the same thing.
  compositing views dynamic views e.g coverflow all possible in realtime as we have the processor power to do it now in the past we had preset animations because it just wasn't practical to render the images dynamically.

The idea's are not really new, programmers have wanted to be able to do more since forever. About the first game I played on the zx81 was called bomber you had a blocky aircraft made of a pre-rendered block moving across the screen a cityscape more blocks piled on each other and a button to drop bombs which on contact with the city block replaced the top black block with a white block if you removed all the city blocks before you ran into one you won. These days it would be 3d and ray traced... Doom was an early example of the 3d shoot em up, using some neat tricks to get round the problem it wasn't really 3d. We had to get over the problem that there wasn't any detail if we got close to things. The only thing which is new is the capability of the hardware to do the stuff programmers wanted to do but couldn't due to the limitations of the existing hardware.

Re:Pssh nice prior art dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41226657)

Nice argument. But for something to be patented, it needs to be non obvious and include something novel. However ... can any programming code be considered non-obvious since it is all embedded in the language itself? If all programmers can patent their own version of codes, imagine the chaos this can cause!

Easy Job for Patent Trolls (3, Funny)

fatp (1171151) | about 2 years ago | (#41213857)

1) Copy whatever Returned by Google Patent Search returns 2) Add several "on a mobile device" 3) File a patent 4) ??? 5) Profit!!

Patent Search duh... (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about 2 years ago | (#41213863)

Prior Art an extension into archaic, analog and archival, the worth of which now has been monetized in the $Billions.

GOOG is in the search business!

Google can do us all amuch bigger favor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213871)

Work towards the abolishment of patents. I mean, hey, if all their patents are 'defensive', they would save gobs of money by tearing down the wall instead. But I get the feeling they'll soon be on the attack, just like Apple, if their advertising and government spying businesses turns sour.

New ammo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41213899)

Let's do this for every feature of an iPhone. Let's see who really owns the patents.

European patents? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41214163)

How do you search for european patents? I'm irritated by espacenet.

Re:European patents? (1)

kanweg (771128) | about 2 years ago | (#41215003)

I use it frequently. What's your problem? Perhaps I can give a tip that helps (or it may indeed suck).

Bert

Re:European patents? (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41215195)

No, I seriously prefer google-- how might I use google patents to search for, say "all british patents issued between 1890 and 1923 with these full text search terms?". All I seem to be getting are the US patents, which I've already seen.

The problems with espace range from "your search returned more than 500 results. Though you probably are interested in result 502,only the first 500 results are shown," to issues with adobe pdf,incompatibilities with tabs, and a host of other niggling issues."

Re:European patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41216005)

European patents are a regional patent covering Great Britain. You will not get GB patents in a database that only curates EP patents. A British patent is a national patent http://www.ipo.gov.uk/p-find.htm . For the broadest search, I would always search published international applications (PCT) at WIPO http://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/search.jsf

Re:European patents? (1)

hankwang (413283) | about 2 years ago | (#41215153)

How do you search for european patents?

I wondered about that, too. I don't get any EP results, even if I search for an EP number. For example the patents listed on some Espacenet query [espacenet.com] , do not return any results on google. [google.com]

So, that's why they have few patents? (4, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41214285)

Google being a search engine company -- Could you imagine the Google patent lawyers going around asking engineers if they had implemented anything that they could try to patent (as most places do -- not that patents are actually needed to innovate), but unlike other companies the lawyers can't ignore the results from searching the damn "invention" up using their own Google product. Every time I hear about some "innovation" I search up patent claims and find out they omitted prior art -- Sometimes it's my own software -- That prior art may have swayed a patent examiner to label the "invention" as merely iteration, but they only really search what's already patented...

I'm not arrogant enough to believe in inventions, only discoveries. There is so much that is created and not patented that I'm positive there's prior art for every patent claim, and most are simply obvious (for which there's no test for). See above: Lawyers asking what ordinary individuals skilled in the arts may have created that they can try to patent... not genius inventors saying: "Look at what truly innovative thing I invented! Now if only I can find someone to license it from me!" -- don't have $$$ for regularly scheduled patent lawyer visits? Don't get software patents, don't win in court -- Patents are a tax on innovation. The bar for "genius" has been lowered to any common engineering idea; The bar for "non obvious" has been lowered to "anything not already on file".

Wouldn't it be fun if Google's "prior art" search just bounced you through LetMeGoogleThatForYou.com? :-P See also: The Drake equation... One answer to the Fermi Paradox is: We still have the primitive idea of a Patent system. If alien life contacted us, the government & corporations would withhold the information from the public and tell ET to fuck right off -- Statistically, Aliens already have "prior art" for every thing! They would destroy our patent system just by existing!

Patent Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41214439)

Like Google, the patent office itself has apparently realized that there is too much information - and even some knowledge - out there in traditional (patents in other territories) and non-traditional forms. That is, not in other patents, peer-reviewed journals or non-reviewed trade publications. The "Peer to Patent" or Peer Review Pilot FY2011 program is a joint project of the USPTO and NY Law School and something like USPTO's own "crowd sourcing" initiative. The 1-year expanded pilot program ended Dec. 2011. Another initiative is "Article One Partners" where a bounty is posted by the client for the best researched prior art. Most of the rewards being posted seem to be for electronics cases. These all seem like good efforts to get new forms of "art" known to those experts most knowledgable about the subject matter involved in patenting process.
As far as the courts, judges are not subject matter experts nor do they always understand the differences between the patent statutes (e.g. a law of nature vs.information about the interaction of man-made substances with genetically diverse organism suffering from complex pathologies and living on the 3rd rock and where prior art obviousness prevails), so seem to often be swayed by popular sentiments.
Yes, you can patent anything provided you are the true inventor and that it has novelty, utility and is non-obvious and is not a law of nature. See 35 U.S. Code, especially sections 101-103 plus 112. Go ahead jump into the fray!

I see it now... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41214613)

Google will archive all queries and say they show someone had the same ideas before, and therefore they're not patentable.

what could possibly go wrong (4, Insightful)

zrelativity (963547) | about 2 years ago | (#41214707)

Prior arts are patents also, and they may not have expired.

Let Google engineers go do Prior Art Search, or lookup prior patents and start developing in those area.

Even better is that Google keep a history of such search results performed by their engineers.

When they are sued for patent infringement, and asked to handover the search results, it would be fun to watch.

As an engineer, the advice I have always received, "Do not do any patent or prior art search". Leave that to the lawyer. Avoid getting tainted. Avoid doing what Samsung been caught doing.

Re:what could possibly go wrong (1)

kanweg (771128) | about 2 years ago | (#41215067)

"Prior arts are patents also, and they may not have expired."
Prior art can be anything, including a web page (I used one as such, I was pleased that it contained a date), a product sold, in short anything available to the public (irrespective of whether it was actually accessed) anywhere in the world.

Bert

Re:what could possibly go wrong (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 2 years ago | (#41215547)

As an engineer, the advice I have always received, "Do not do any patent or prior art search". Leave that to the lawyer. Avoid getting tainted. Avoid doing what Samsung been caught doing.

The patent trolls will harass you anyway, no matter how much you try to avoid breaking the "imaginary patents" of them. How will you avoid infringing a patent on "rectangular objects with rounded corners"? You can make a square object, right? Then another troll will try to sue you for infringing his patent on square objects.

The only way to win this "game" is to ignore the troll and and kick him from the 14th floor if he insists. It's just stupid to spend millions of dollars to defend itself against a ridiculous patent.

Obs: Is OK to respect real, valid and non-obvious patents. The problem is the dumb obvious ones, like "i patented the wheel".

Re:what could possibly go wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41215881)

Willfull infringement is triple damages. Therefore it's much more advantageous to not know about any previous patents first, as there's no risk of being accused of it. That's why lawyers always advise engineers to keep well out of patent searches.

Google may be digging their own grave .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41217295)

Lets pretend that Google doesn't copy anything.

Imagine a case where Google is being sued for infringement on some obscure patent ..... with Google being the creators of a search engine for patents, can they claim that they didn't know about it and therefor did not purposely infringe on it?

About Bloody Time!!! (1)

brianmorrison (648329) | about 2 years ago | (#41243547)

While there is much dissent about the broken status of the patents systems - everywhere - this initiative just MIGHT start to shed some light on the ridiculousness of many patents. Who knows, even the idiot judges, who are supposed to represent the mythical "reasonable man", may finally come to the realization that - despite who has the most money, or the lawyers with the biggest fangs - many patents which have been granted are ridiculously obvious and the ideas had existed, and been in common use, for centuries.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...