The Beginning of the End of the Internet?

Written by Bill Platt

Continued from page 1

Martin Willcox, an IT Manager from Manchester, United Kingdom cut torepparttar chase:

"The McAfee case clearly demonstrates just how absurd and anti-competitiverepparttar 119306 notion of patenting software really is. Very little software is genuinely new or novel - in reality, most of us inrepparttar 119307 development community spend our lives either refining and extending ideas that go back years or porting those ideas to new technologies."

Martin Willcox's assessment ofrepparttar 119308 situation is right onrepparttar 119309 mark. Companies are now usingrepparttar 119310 Patent system to try and bury their competition.

Think about Amazon for a moment. Two months after Amazon received their Patent, they filed suit against --- their number one competitor. If BarnesandNoble had not been as strong as they were financially when this suit began,repparttar 119311 legal fees could have buried them! "This nonsense raisesrepparttar 119312 cost of doing business, since it takes years and costs $1 million or so to break these junk patents."

( Quoted from: )

What if BarnesandNoble had been a young upstart? Could they have survived if they had little cash and a million dollar legal bill? How many small companies could have afforded this attack? How many small companies could have survivedrepparttar 119313 litigation process even when they were inrepparttar 119314 right?

To obtain a patent under our system, an inventor must file an application describing and claimingrepparttar 119315 invention (which must be -- inrepparttar 119316 broadest sense ofrepparttar 119317 word -- new, non-obvious, and useful) withrepparttar 119318 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The PTO assignsrepparttar 119319 application to an examiner who conducts a search of existing inventions (known as "prior art") and then issues a patent if nothing fishy turns up.

Under this system, which was last modified in 1999,repparttar 119320 only real method for weeding outrepparttar 119321 bad patent is through costly litigation.

There are indications that there are actually several factors at play inrepparttar 119322 problems that exist within our Patent system:

* The PTO examiners are not givenrepparttar 119323 kinds of tools they need to complete their jobs as they would wish, as indicated by this story:

A September, 1999 letter fromrepparttar 119324 Patent Examiner's Union Chief torepparttar 119325 Patent Advisory Committee stated in part, "What examiners are asked to do, and what impact those directed activities will have onrepparttar 119326 quality of patents, are clearly matters of great concern...." PTO examiners are being pressured to solely use a system called WEST for their patent searches, an "information retrieval system with debilitating flaws; not only isrepparttar 119327 system frequently incapable of performing even simple word searches,repparttar 119328 results are often woefully incomplete and even inaccurate," and that "searches usingrepparttar 119329 new system take longer to perform, produce fewer results thanrepparttar 119330 systems that they replaced, and thus prevent us from doing our jobs."

(Source: Washington Post, November 19, 1999).

* The staff atrepparttar 119331 Patent and Trademark Office is understaffed and under prepared to meetrepparttar 119332 challenges ofrepparttar 119333 system in today's rapidly expanding technology sector and technological knowledge base.

Consider this. If a net-savvy programmer worked forrepparttar 119334 PTO, then none of these patents would have occurred, as he would haverepparttar 119335 knowledge available to him to make sound judgements.

* Unscrupulous companies are taking advantage ofrepparttar 119336 inadequacies of our Patent system to position themselves in such a way that they can legally extort their competitors throughrepparttar 119337 use of repparttar 119338 U.S. Patent and legal systems.

* The only recourse available, to those who feel that a bad Patent has been imposed, is expensive litigation or submission torepparttar 119339 legal Patent holder.

By signing our petition today, you can contribute to our project to bringrepparttar 119340 U.S. Congress to considerrepparttar 119341 possibility of repealingrepparttar 119342 application of Patents torepparttar 119343 software industry, or to investigaterepparttar 119344 processes and procedures ofrepparttar 119345 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to discover and solve repparttar 119346 inherent problems that are allowing forrepparttar 119347 system to be abused.


Bill Platt is the founder of http://www.PatentTrail.Org , a non-profit website dedicated to bringing the U.S. Congress to take action to remedy the situation that has developed at the U.S. Patents Office concerning Software Patents.

Site and Email Disclaimers - A necessary evil

Written by Michael Bloch

Continued from page 1

A disclaimer notice atrepparttar bottom of each email can provide some reassurance torepparttar 119305 recipient and state very clearlyrepparttar 119306 purposes and representation ofrepparttar 119307 communication and any warranties implied. Inrepparttar 119308 case of submission of ideas and proposals etc;repparttar 119309 subject line should read "commercial in confidence ATT: RECIPIENTS NAME". As for any legal protection, this is still yet to be tested in many countries. An email disclaimer example: Disclaimer - This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and contain privileged or copyright information. You must not present this message to another party without gaining permission fromrepparttar 119310 sender. If you are notrepparttar 119311 intended recipient you must not copy, distribute or use this email orrepparttar 119312 information contained in it for any purpose other than to notify us.

If you have received this message in error, please notifyrepparttar 119313 sender immediately, and delete this email from your system. We do not guarantee that this material is free from viruses or any other defects although due care has been taken to minimiserepparttar 119314 risk.

Any views expressed in this message are those ofrepparttar 119315 individual sender, except whererepparttar 119316 sender specifically states them to berepparttar 119317 views of YOUR COMPANY NAME. A suggested size for this email disclaimer notice is 8 point and it should be placed immediately afterrepparttar 119318 signature line.


Because ofrepparttar 119319 great variance in Internet laws from country to country, I strongly advise that you consult legal counsel in regards to drafting your own disclaimers and site policies. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be regarded as professional counsel.. there you go.. I've just used a disclaimer for this article - ;0)

Michael Bloch Tutorials, web content and tools, software and community. Web Marketing, eCommerce & Development solutions. _____________________________________________ 

Copyright information....If you wish to reproduce this article, please acknowledge "Tamingrepparttar 119320 Beast" by including a hyperlink or reference torepparttar 119321 website ( & send me an email letting me know. The article must be reproduced in it's entirety & this copyright statement must be included. Thanks. Visit to view other great articles FREE for reproduction!

Michael is an Australian Information Technologies trainer and web developer. Many other free web design, ecommerce development and Internet articles, tutorials, tools and resources are available from his award winning site; Taming the (

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