lCA 2010 Friday
Tridge on ‘Patent defence for open source projects’. Watch it! Some key elements:
- prior art defence is very very hard – ‘non infringement’ is a much better defense because you only need to show you don’t do the independent claims.
- Reading a patent doesn’t really harm us because triple damages is no less fatal than single damages Reading patents to avoid them is a good idea.
- Dealing with patents is very technical. It needs training (and the talk has that training)
- Patents are hard to read.
- Claims are often interpreted much more specifically than engineers expect.
- Best prior art is our own source code, with VCS date records and the exact date often matters because of the riority date.
- Invalidation: dead patents are vampires… and when they come back they are harder to kill again. Read the file wrapper – audit log containing all correspondence <-> patent office and applicant.
- Patents are not code: judges can vary the meaning.
- Claim charts are what you use to talk to patent lawyers.
- Build workarounds *and publish them*. Encourage others to adopt them.