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Re: Weblet patent

From: Bob Wyman <bobwyman@medio.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 95 10:02:46 -0800
Message-Id: <199508221711.KAA21370@dns.medio.com>
To: "miked@eolas.com" <miked@eolas.com>, "www-talk@w3.org" <www-talk@w3.org>
-- [ From: Bob Wyman * EMC.Ver #2.5.02 ] --

Mike Doyle wrote:

> Please note from our Web site that, in almost all cases, 
> Eolas' Weblet-related technologies will be licensed free 
> of charge for noncommercial use. 

Who cares? From the description that's been posted to this group, the patent
couldn't possibly hold. However, anyone who accepts the license is going to
find themselves bound by the terms of the license whether or not the patent
holds.

I've got a number of software patents myself (software licensing stuff) thus
, I sympathize a bit with the Eolas folk and what they are trying to do.
However, the search for prior art is a very important part of the process
and you've simply got to put serious effort into it when you file. Finding
the prior art isn't easy. You've got to remember that there has been much
done in the world on operating systems other than Unix and MS-DOS. Since
much of the non-Unix stuff was done on commercial operating systems by folk
who were trying to make money -- not publish papers -- it wasn't documented
very well even though the work did meet the invention and publication
requirements of patent law. (i.e. the moment I demonstrated "Memex" or
"Sunshine" to CERN and ITT, it was "published" even though you won't find it
in any academic journal.) 

Finally, you've got to be careful about not going for patents on things that
are "obvious to one skilled in the art." 
As I stated, and others have as well, there is alot of "prior art" applying
to applets, weblets, etc. in wide-area-network distributed document
technologies. Some of that prior art is stuff I worked on. Even if the Eolas
patent is somehow bound to Web documents only, this won't do much good since
the techniques had become well understood in the general problem area prior
to the patent's filing. This makes it "obvious."

		bob wyman
Received on Tuesday, 22 August 1995 13:18:58 GMT

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