Archive for February 14, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Internet Software Patents

Philip Greenspun:

It is tough to imagine how anyone could run a parts and supplies department without having done something similar, once they had made the observation that not all parts fit all models. But how to use this as prior art in a court case? You’d want to find a publication explaining this process in detail, but why would an employer do that since one would expect to be able to hire a temp worker and walk him or her through the process in 10 minutes. You can’t find an academic publication on how to answer a telephone, open a filing cabinet, and put some documents into a fax machine. Cookbooks don’t say “make sure to set the table with plates before serving this food; you don’t want to place the steak directly on the table or tablecloth.” Paradoxically, the more trivial the process the harder it will be to find prior art in a publication.