back to article US patent reform clears House hurdle

A proposed law revolutionising US patent legislation has passed through a vital committee of the House of Representatives. The bill has got further than previous attempts at such reform. If enacted, the bill would change the way that patent damages are calculated and would bring the way in which US patents are awarded into line …

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Anonymous Coward

But will it outlaw the frivolous patents?

What's even more needed is to prevent silly patents for the trivial and patently obvious, like Amazon's one-click -- precisely the sort of things that should NOT under any circumstances have been awarded patents in the first place.

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Contact made

I've just contacted my Rep and Senators. This legislation is much needed. I won't name the company that cost me time and money developing my idea which they had invented first but never patented.

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Open source?

Does this mean that a discovery that I make that I publish online for free can be patented by someone else because I never filed for a patent? I don't think I like this idea.

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Just to clarify ...

... Connor Garvey:

No. Don't worry. If you publish it before filing by the third party, you're good.

"Publish frequently" is the recommendation.

The problem is the current 'first-to-invent' concept: If you invent A secretly in your garage, and X patents it, how do you prove that you actually invented it ?

'First-to-invent' is theoretically fairer, but 'First-to-file' is practically much less juridical hassle, *if you want the patent*.

Otherwise, just publish.

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Anonymous Coward

Secrecy is the answer

"If you invent A secretly in your garage, and X patents it, how do you prove that you actually invented it ?"

Simple, in the UK patents model you achieve that by NOT telling X about it until AFTER you've applied for the patent. Indeed, if you allowed X to know about it before applying for the patent, neither of you should be granted a patent.

To be valid, you have to apply for at least a *provisional* patent BEFORE anybody else knows about it.

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