A project to algorithmically generate all "prior art" and obviate the patent system

Yes, but only if you file. If you just create prior art then (presumably) someone else can file on it.

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No, they can’t because then it is no longer novel. The point of first-to-file is just that inventions are treated as original if nobody filed or published before, ignoring what may have happened behind closed doors.

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I see. That clarifies things for me.

So if one were to invent something they intended to patent, they should publish ahead of filing, so as to prevent another inventor from filing ahead of them?

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That’s where it gets tricky and you have to read the fine print for your jurisdiction because in principle your own prior art can count against your application, too.

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Interesting. Thanks for the explanation of the new system!

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Wouldn’t it be easier just to create a simulation of a world supporting the development intelligent life, then let the resulting beings invent everything…unless

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These samples disclose inventions that are so specifically described as to be easily circumvented.

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Unfortunately the burden is still on the court system to disprove illegitimate patents.

We really need a burden of proof for those who file, though I’m unsure how that would be achieved.

Perhaps go back to patenting actual inventions rather than ideas?

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Ah, but is it the right order of infinity?

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I would like to see far more ex parte reexaminations. You could even have a crowd sourced system to identify good targets.

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Patents are countable; in fact, text strings are also countable, and patents are a subset.

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Ah, but doesn’t it turn out that part of the well-orderedness requires them being first filed before being counted?

First-to-file just determines which application has priority. But it’s still evaluated by the same rules, including vulnerability to prior art. These descriptions read more like free verse, or the monologue of someone smoking cannabis; they’re not rational descriptions of inventions and I question whether they’d carry much weight, so I’m seeing these as a first-generation run at the concept. One thing that would have value is to treat all past publications as a database (maintenance manuals, instructions, marketing brochures, blogs, science fiction etc.) and generate “invention” descriptions for each feature and combination of features. Add anticipated technologies too, for additional combinations. There’s so much obviousness in applications that still get through, this would be a service to almost everyone.

I wonder if we could pipe the output of this to a 3d printer and have it make everything?

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Exactly. I could build a system in ten minutes that includes all prior art, immediately. It just takes a POST request with an identifier for the patent you’re looking for. The number is then rendered in BASE 64 encoding as letters, numbers & punctuation. Every possible set of letters, numbers and punctuation has some identifier that maps to it, so you every piece of prior art (as well as every book, scientific paper, etc.) is “in the system”. (As are all the gibberish sequences, and all the sequences that are almost right, but impossible in some subtle way.)

Using very low resolution, say 100 x 100 x 100 elements, every possible configuration is 2^1,000,000 or about 9.9006562292958982506979236163019032507336242417875 × 10^301029 different prints. Of course most of them will be a useless collection of loose bits of plastic. And we can divide that down further by eliminating symmetrical or rotational results, but still, that’s a LOT of PLA! :smile:

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The reverse actually. My understanding is that the general rule in the US is that if ANYBODY has published more than a year before filing, it is unpatentable, The creator* has a one year grace period after the time he publishes when he can still file. If he or she doesn’t make that deadline before filing, he has created prior art invalidating his own application.

*and who exactly can publish is apparently a poorly written part of the law.

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ISTR that about 20 years ago the USPTO made a conscious decision to deny fewer patents. They were getting sued by people who had been denied patents, and that gets expensive. However when they grant a patent that seems fairly obvious, they are not sued, the holder of the patent is. So suddenly the “strike zone” for patentability increased greatly.

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This project actually makes the patent process more expensive, since now patent applicants will have to argue that these generated “inventions” actually qualify as prior art. The invention here is to hinder start ups and small businesses who have a limited budget and depend on a patent portfolio to protect their business and get funding to stay in business

My understanding also, (from an expensive consult with a patent lawyer) once something is published,
(or manufactured and sold) it means there is prior art and not patentable.

So if you have an idea or product, have it patented first before selling or even showing it. Which is tricky since a design will likely have many changes and it is quite expensive getting a patent.