[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [TowerTalk] Fractal Antennas, Chip Cohen (N1IR) on Nova

To: David Gilbert <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Fractal Antennas, Chip Cohen (N1IR) on Nova
From: jimlux <>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 06:05:08 -0800
List-post: <">>
David Gilbert wrote:
> A patent is no assurance of anything, least of all the technical 
> validity of the idea, except for possibly the opportunity to argue the 
> merits of it in front of a judge and/or jury comprised of people even 
> more technically ignorant than the folks at the patent office who 
> granted it.  For the most part, the only requirement for a patent is 
> that the idea be unique, not that it have any relationship to the laws 
> of science, and even that criteria fails absurdly often in actual practice.

I've met several examiners at the patent office.  They're generally 
fairly sharp folks, but they also have enormous piles in their in 
baskets.  The job of the examiner isn't really to evaluate whether the 
patent is useful or will even work as described.  It's more to see 
whether the applicant has adequately addressed the "novel" aspect and 
whether the claims are properly formulated, and don't "read on" some 
earlier work.

In the antenna area, I suspect that the examiners actually have a pretty 
good working knowledge of the field. There have been numerous times over 
the past 10 years when I've seen some newly issued patent on something 
that seems pretty obvious, and I think I remember the paper that 
described it, so I go and dig up the paper (IEEE xPlore is wonderful) 
but when you go look at the actual patent, they really do have something 
unique in the claims.

In some software areas, less so, because the literature isn't there to 
search.  People don't write archival journal articles about their latest 
whizbang database search application allowing pet store owners to find 
the perfect guinea pig for their client.  All you get is some marketing 
blurb in some trade magazine (ACME Corp today releases their new 
PigOMatic(r) search engine with patent pending phenotype disclosure 

So when someone later on wants a patent on gerbil searching, the 
PigOMatic doesn't really come up on the radar (and of course, no patent 
was ever actually issued, the examiner threw it out for being software, 
so it doesn't show up in the patent office's search of their own files)


TowerTalk mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>