[oshug] [OH Updates] the issue of patents

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Mon Oct 3 20:28:47 UTC 2011

On Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 3:23 PM, Mike Hord <mike.hord at gmail.com> wrote:

> A patent is really (AIUI) just a license to sue an infringing party. A
> patent won't be
> granted if prior art on the matter exists; OSHW is, by it's very nature,
> prior art.
> That means Mega-corp, LLC, can't file a patent on a design released by
> SparkFun
> and then sue SparkFun, since SparkFun's release of the design into the OSHW
> community is pretty solid prior art.

Not precisely. It's my understanding that the litigation can still occur
even in situations of prior art. There's also a process to invalidate a
patent by submitting prior art (I think), but then again some people choose
to invalidate patents through the defense litigation process or something?
It's more complicated than just "yo dude, prior art" because- even if there
is prior art- the patent is still in effect, even if some of the claims
might seem invalid, etc. IANAL.

- Bryan
1 512 203 0507
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