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SubjectRe: Tux 2 patents
On Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 07:14:44AM +0200, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> "Jeff V. Merkey" wrote:
> >
> > The patent attorneys at Malinkrodt received the materials Daniel sent
> > yesterday on the Tux 2 patents via courier and are working on the
> > analysis. They said they would have something for us to post on LKML
> > next week.
>
> I'll calm down and work on my magicpoint slides for now.
>

I think you are ok based on our preliminary review, but the patent lawyers
will go down each claim granted by the USPTO in related patents, and
analyze them relative to your proposed methods. Patents are granted for
specific "methods" or ways of implementing stuff, and to infringe, you
have to copy the methods described in the claims of the patent and be
using them in the same basic combinations. The patent process in the US
is a lot like filing a lawsuit. The patent application contains a series
of "claims" for the invention, just as a petition for relief in a lawsuit
contains "claims" of issues of fact.

The patent lawyers have this fancy software (that costs a lot of $$$) that
can cross reference your invention with thousands of patents quickly,
and look for similiar "methods". The three you identified was very
light -- there's probably going to be a larger number identified by
these guys since patent attorneys have access to patents pending and
provisional patent applications, which are not available to the
general public. There's no telling how many provisional patents might
be around with something like this.

I would be unconcerned. 95% of getting around patents is just having
patent lawyers to handle the politics at the USPTO. Most of the
patent process in the US is very much a political process as much
as a legal one. Think of a patent lawyer as someone in Congress
lobbying for your interests, and you will have kind of the right
picture of the "patent racket" in the US. Most patent infringment
lawsuits end up in mediation with the USPTO with one side or the
other having specific patent claims revoked because one side or
the other gets their patent lawyers sending letters to the USPTO
challenging prior art claims. Novell in their lawsuit with Roger
Billings over the Network Operating System patents in 1993 convinced
the patent office to invalidate his patents by shear force in
numbers of legions of patent lawyers and a mountain of research
and prior art claims -- they could not have gotten out of the
infringement suit otherwise....

:-)

Jeff

>
> --
> Daniel
> -
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