Thursday, February 28, 2008

you know, patently speaking, if you started now, the Internet would never happen

so fighting patents (defending and attacking) is very like fighting a PhD (examining or

There's a bunch of novelty required, and someone else has to be able to reproduce the results from the document (dissertation), and some of the intellectual tricks of the debate are similar - indeed, for people familiar with UK vivas (an almost uniquely sadistic approach to the game), one even sees people with documents full of yellow postits - the whole gladatorial style of experts in the dock being deposed (US terminology) or CXed (in UK) is also a bit like the Scandinavian defense where other peple than the actual examiner and candidate fight it out.

the process is simliar too, to an academic conference programme committee meeting - various people have reviwed a paper - not all are in the room - there are advocates of the paper and there are opponents = proponents (provendus in ductch PhD defenses) might argue novelty then an opponent will counter with insufficiency, or a proponent might argue sufficiency, and another oppoenent might argue prior art (unoriginal).

Here's an idea - why not HIRE programe committees to judge patents (see another posting on another blog on peer to patent) ? they have the skills and they have the time. and academics are so much cheaper than lawyers coz they love talking for free (my better half tells me som as do my kids).

Meanwhile, I quite like wikileak thing, but even more relevant is

Why? well people submit pointless papers to conferences (papers they know will be rejected) just to get feedback - for thoughts on this and related problems of checks and balances (and cheques and bank balances) see a forthcoming paper Keshav, I and Nick McKeown have been cooking up on aligning incentives in academic conferences - a lot of simular work is going on in trying to revise and reform patent law.

I can see a new conference (indeed I might apply for a patent on it)... ... ...

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home