"known or used by others in this country, or was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country"
Which made me think. If every time we have an idea that we think is "obvious" but not done before, or something we think would be interesting (e.g. Using a PVR for targeted ads) but don't have the money to create, then we should always blog about that idea, tag it as "prior art" via Technorati thus giving people an RSS feed.
My argument is that by doing this we can, rightly claim, that the ideas have been described in the 21st Century version of a printed publication, and even if that is challenged, it is undeniable that by using the RSS feed it can be proven that people in a given country could have "known" about it.
I'm fed up thinking "bloody hell I did that ten years ago" or "I thought about doing that, its a bit obvious" when companies with as little intention as I had in developing the idea up start putting the squeeze on businesses and developers. What I've always lacked is the visible proof to submit against a claim. This is a simple suggestion about using the power of the web to create a massive prior art database. IANAL, but surely it can't be this simple?"