[okfn-discuss] [Fwd: SumoBrain now free]

Saul Albert saul at theps.net
Wed Oct 15 23:23:30 BST 2008

Ianal, but I think prior publication does not prevent UK patents from  
being applied for by corporates. UK patent law is based on first  
application, rather than first invention.

Also bear in mind that patents protect specific applications of a  
device, not the device itself, and it's unusual that an inventor will  
hit upon the most profitable application of their device first,  
without necessarily having the tacit market knowledge or complimentary  
assets to exploit their invention themselves.

I recently attended a seminar on entrepreneurial strategy at Imperial  
college, which was pretty interesting because most of the advice from  
tutors was that patents were a waste of time and money outside if the  
biochemical industry where they do provide leverage to inventors.

It's not enough to have one patent, you have to have a whole patent  
strategy that lasts for the entire lifecycle of your product. One  
product may require 15 to 20 patents to circumscribe it's potential  
profitable uses. Each patent, if you wish to defend it worldwide -  
through courts if you have to, might cost an average of 100k over a  
products lifetime.

No wonder my friend - the last in a long line and family business of  
patent attourneys - quit. It's too boring these days. The corporates  
are the only people in the patent game. Apparrently everyone else does  
it solely because funders are unaccountably fond of the things.

The People Speak, 17-25 Cremer St. E2 8HD. 07941255210

On 15 Oct 2008, at 22:47, Julian Priest <julian at informal.org.uk> wrote:

> Hi there,
> here are some slightly related patent question.
> I was asked the other day by a local inventor about how one can
> release designs into the public domain without fear of another company
> patenting the invention and preventing others from exploiting it later
> on.
> After a little digging, I was pointed to the whole white paper
> industry. As I understand it patents are based on first publication
> and the normal format is a a white paper that consitutes publication
> and is sufficient to establish priority of invention for the
> publisher. This establishes the legal priority of the idea/design for
> the inventor and would be enough to defeat a later patent application
> by an imititator should they apply.
> Although patent offices prefer to have an actual patent application as
> proof of priority a white paper publication should be enough.
> Understandably the whole patent validation and search business is
> patchy at best as seen by the peertopatent[1] initiative that seeks to
> offload some of the work of patent validation from the patent office
> into the community.
> Should I advise the inventor to publish his invention/design under an
> open content license as a white paper?
> Is there an advantage in making a patent application over publishing a
> white paper?
> Is there an accepted format for patents that will not be enforced by
> the inventor?
> Is there an accepted format for stating that white papers will not
> generate patents, but prevent others from doing so?
> Are white papers supposed to be published in journals or does a url
> consitutute publication?
> What steps should he take to make sure that patent offices are aware
> of his paper so that they will not be patentable in future?
> Are there any services or meta data schemas that specifically aid
> white paper publishers in categorising work in ways that are easily
> integratable with patent office searches?
> Would an online journal of open designs be useful or does something  
> like it
> exist already?
> oops -  that's alot of questions. any fragments much appreciated.
> cheers
> /julian
> [1] http://www.peertopatent.org/
> On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 10:21:38PM +0200, Jonathan Gray wrote:
>> Shame its only free as in beer :-)
>> -------- Original Message -------
>> A little while ago I emailed you to let you know about a new patent
>> searching site, http://www.SumoBrain.com.  I thought the site might  
>> be
>> useful to your readers given
>> http://www.okfn.org/open%20knowledge%20trail/think_again/.
>> I wanted to let you know that since that time SumoBrain has gone from
>> being a subscription-based service to being a free service.
>> The features it offers are unprecedented for free patent searching
>> (e.g., world patent searching, alerts, collaboration tools, bulk PDF
>> downloading).  If you already linked to it or wrote anything about  
>> it, I
>> just wanted to let you know that you might want to update your
>> information to let people know that it is now free.
>> Sincerely,
>> James
>> _______________________________________________
>> okfn-discuss mailing list
>> okfn-discuss at lists.okfn.org
>> http://lists.okfn.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/okfn-discuss
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