January 15, 2006
The Open Source as Prior Art Discussion Begins
The US patent system is broken. Everyone knows it. It's a runaway train. And in my opinion, it's heading toward FOSS, not because it should, but because some have SCO-like desires to work the system to target it, to slow down Linux and FOSS adoption. There haven't been enough trained USPTO examiners. And it's hard for them to find prior art, for reasons I'll explain. And patents dangerous to FOSS have issued and more will, if we do nothing. Exhibit A: The FAT patent. (And by the way, Steven J Vaughan-Nichols has it right. That fight is not over.) The Prior Art Project is designed to address those kinds of issues by preventing them in the first place.