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Re: Amazon Patents Getting Numbers Off a Check

From: Tim Jackson
Subject: Re: Amazon Patents Getting Numbers Off a Check
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 01:40:16 +0100

Lee Hollaar wrote on Sat, 24 Jul 2004 13:48:31 +0000 (UTC)....
> Assuming that one is not immediately threatened by a patent, and needs
> to invalidate it, there is a way to make a patent likely unenforceable
> at the cost of some of your time and a little postage.
> 35 USC 301 provides for an interesting procedure:

[snipped details of how to place prior art in the Patent Office file]
> So, what good does that do?
> Well, any time somebody is treatened by the patent owner, they are going
> to review the file history of the patent (if they understand what they
> are doing).  And there they will find the prior art you submitted along
> with your explaination of why the patent is invalid in light of the
> prior art.  And now they will know how to defend against the patent
> and will take an appropriate response to the threat of the patent.

If you are commercially aware businessman, you would be unlikely to 
use this procedure.  Who does it help?  Only your other competitors, 
who otherwise might not know of your prior art and be scared of the 

It's better for you if only you and the patentee know that the patent 
is invalid, because that means that you will have less competition.

> And, if the patent owner does file suit, it may be liable for sanctions
> under Rule 11 for filing a suit when it knew (from the information that
> you sent them) that the patent was invalid.

You can achieve that effect merely by sending the prior art to the 
patentee, without also sending it to the Patent Office.

> At least, they may think
> twice about filing suit knowing that anybody reading the file history
> will know that they are aware of the prior art and why it invalidates
> the patent.

Again, that only benefits your other competitors.

Tim Jackson
(Change '.invalid' to '' to reply direct)
Absurd patents: visit

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