Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 23

  • Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights v. Craigslist, Inc., 2008 WL 681168 (7th Cir. March 14, 2008) (“Using the remarkably candid postings on Craigslist, the Lawyers’ Committee can identify many targets to investigate. It can dispatch testers and collect damages from any landlord or owner who engages in discrimination. . . . It can assemble a list of names to send to the Attorney General for prosecution. But given §230(c)(1) it cannot sue the messenger just because the message reveals a third party’s plan to engage in unlawful discrimination.”
  • Chicago Lawyers v. Craigslist: The point for Patently-O is that this case allows our comment lines to stay open without fear of substantial legal retribution. [Goldman has more]
  • International Aid (Through Technical Assistance): Prof Sokol recently analyzed how “donor countries” (such as the US) have increasingly been providing extensive technical assistance to other countries to help with antitrust law issues. Is there a similar need in the IP world?
  • PatentLawPic239Cited Prior Art: JAMES TOUPIN (PTO GC) makes the following statement: more than 50% of new patent applicants either cite no prior art references or cite more than 20 references.  The PTO Solution: require searches and penalize for too much cited art.
  • Abandonments are up: Former PTO power player Bruce Stoner presents data showing that both the number and proportion of of cases being abandoned is on the rise. [LINK]

5 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 23

  1. 5

    “This is basic stuff with decade old technology. Why isn’t the PTO helping itself? (That’s a rhetorical question – I know the answer.)”




  2. 4

    “It’s a burden to TYPE THEM INTO EAST.”

    Doh. That’s because SIRA has you use early 20th Century technology.

    OCR the 1449s and the literature as part of EFW, and import a text-searchable rendition of the cited literature into a literature database EAST (for future Examiner reference, using Adobe Capture for that, analogous to Examiners placing literature into the shoes in ye olde days). Then, auto-form a query for the Examiner that brings *all* the cited US Patents, foreign patents (with text-searchable full-text machine translations), and literature into his first L-number. That’s where he starts his search, because that’s what the attorney was trying to distinguish over. Then the Examiner can browse them, or text search them as he would any other L-number. (A lot easier than manualy skimming for some perfluoropolyether.)

    This is basic stuff with decade old technology. Why isn’t the PTO helping itself? (That’s a rhetorical question – I know the answer.)

  3. 2

    Hey, Dennis, when you’re quoting the office’s position on such things as requiring search and “penalizing” for citing too much art I’d like to tell you about the cases I get that have 700 references cited. Guess what? It’s a burden to TYPE THEM INTO EAST.

  4. 1

    My suggestion is to be careful on this one, Dennis. I am no expert in this area, but my understanding is that there is no middle ground with respect to either being a publisher or being a conduit. Craig’s List was a conduit because they did not exercise any editorial control over the submissions. Can you say the same with respect to Patently-O? My suggestion would be to either hold each and every submitted comment for approval, and publish only after careful consideration of the contents of each comment, or else take a completely hands-off approach. If you remove comments for an editorial purpose (and I know you have) then how can you say that you are merely a conduit like Craig’s List?

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