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Stallman Criticizes OSDL's Open Source as Prior Art Project

Sep 18, 2006, 12:00 (3 Talkback[s])

NewsForge: Prior Art Won't Solve the Software Patent Problem

"The Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) has a project to educate the US Patent Office about ideas already known ('prior art') so as to prevent issuance of 'poor quality' software patents which would cover those known ideas. It works by annotating free software packages in free software repositories so that ideas in them can be found more easily. It sounds like a good thing because the problems are hidden. The GNU Project does not participate in the project, and you should think twice about it too.

"Such a project cannot really protect programmers from software patents, because it focuses only on absurd software patents--those that could be legally denied or invalidated based on prior art. However, the greatest danger comes from patents that are not absurd, those for which we have no prior art..."

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eWeek: OSDL Patent Project Under Attack

"Controversy has erupted over an initiative by the Open Source Development Labs, known as Open Source as Prior Art, which is designed to improve the quality of software patents and thereby reduce the number of patents that can be used to threaten open-source software developers and users.

"The goal of OSAPA is to reduce the number of poor-quality patents that are issued by increasing accessibility to open-source software code and documentation that can be used as prior art during the patent examination process..."

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