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A Simple Plan To Defeat Dumb Patents 234

Steve Jones writes "With the EU being rumored to look at software patents again I thought I'd have a look at the root of the problem — the US Patent Office — and work out if there is a simple way to defeat dumb patents. The big thing that defeats a patent is prior art. At the Patent Office they have the definition of Prior Art that includes the phrase: 'known or used by others in this country, or was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country.' Now suppose that every time we have an idea that we think is 'obvious' but that hasn't been done before, or something we think would be interesting but don't have the money to create — that we blogged about that idea, tagging it as 'prior art' via Technorati. This would give people an RSS feed of prior art." Read on for more details of Steve's proposal.

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... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks