Toerless Eckert wrote:
> > The problem is that a patent provides a presumption of validity. Thus,
> > even if the patent ignores prior non-patent art, the creator of that
> > prior (published) art has to spend time and money defending himself in
> > court. Ultimately, that favors the big corporation with a standing army
> > of lawyers over any small or not-for-profit outfit. I'm not worried
> > about the stupid ideas (yes, there's a patent on including a list of
> > destination network addresses in a packet header to do multicast), but
> > rather the previously published and slightly non-obvious results.
> True. Which still doesn't say that any "peers" would be the more favourable
> choice of review. What's needed is a prior-art database run by the PTO
> into which people can submit their pointers. Without that the PTO can really
> only well look up prior art that has been filed for patent. And the
> knowledge of prior art by "peers" is very selective too.

These databases are readily available and have been for years (inter
alia, the ISI (the other one) and databases licensable from IEEE and
ACM). If a patent examiner working in the area of networks does not
consult ITU, IETF and standard research conference publications, there
is no excuse. We expect any graduate student to know these sources. Peer
review will not identify all prior art, but more than it does now. As
far as I can tell (having been involved with a number of conferences), I
don't remember ever seeing an employee of the PTO show up at one of
these major conferences. Why not?

Henning Schulzrinne

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