Overturning bad patents does not happen at Internet speed, and if you need evidence for that thesis, consider the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Patent Busting Project. The group set out to overturn 10 hugely broad patents back in 2004; four years later, only six of the patent reexamination requests have even been written, much less acted on. But the good news for the EFF is that it is batting 1.000 with its filings, as the US Patent & Trademark Office has just granted the EFF's sixth patent reexam request...

As Michael Kwun explained to me, "The other five are at various stages in the reexam process. Each of those five reexams is a so-called ex parte reexamination. That means, for the most part, that the rest of the reexamination is conducted between the PTO and the patentee. There is another form of reexamination, called an inter partes reexamination, in which the requester [EFF] can continue to participate in the reexamination proceedings on an ongoing basis, but that type of reexamination can only take place with respect to newer patents."

Thursday, January 8, 2009
Ars Technica

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