Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

And those things aren't supposed to be patentable. How you get from "not supposed to be patentable" to "does not exist" is beyond me.

May I also observe it isn't me making a normative claim that such things that are easily re-constructed by anyone should not be patented. It is descriptive, right in the legal definition of patent; it should be not obvious to one skilled in the art. Again, the very fact such a clause is necessary is evidence that there is a set of things obvious to one skilled in the art that exists, or why bring it up?

Calculus and RSA -- two things that I think most of us would agree are "non-obvious" and were invented independently.. and may I add that the documented independent inventions were generally with a few years of each other? The evidence suggests that despite modern romantic notions of creative inspiration springing from individual genius, invention usually owes a lot to societal need and the current intellectual milieu.

That's stretching it a bit. Just because more than one person hits upon something doesn't mean it's obvious; and as we know, it's much easier to understand a working instance of something than to discover/invent it.

So we need something to get around the problem of 'see new thing - figure it out - declare it obvious - sue to overturn patent'. Maybe the proposed first-to-file requirement will help that by taking the patent office out of the history-investigation business and just acting as a recording service, letting the parties fight out their dispute in court; I hope so. But it's hard to come up with some catch-all definition of what constitutes 'obviousness' because that will always be open to both honest and mercenary dispute.

I'm not sure what you mean. Did you really intend to reply to me?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact