[cryptography] patents and stuff (Re: NSA's position in the dominance stakes)

Steven Bellovin smb at cs.columbia.edu
Sat Nov 20 12:11:25 EST 2010

On Nov 20, 2010, at 6:37 15AM, James A. Donald wrote:

> On 2010-11-20 8:03 PM, Adam Back wrote:
>> In an attempt to reduce this patent revolt among the technical people, they
>> shipped in a patent attorney expert guy to give us a talk on patents.
>> Apparently the test for "novelty" is so poor as to make you cry.  > So while I don't think the legal people are morons, ...
> Patent lawyers are quite smart and knowledgeable.  But there is no such thing as a patent judge or a patent jury and never has been.  They are just regular judges judging matters in which they have no relevant expertise, and it shows.  BPAI judges are supposed to have relevant expertise, but they don't, and even if they did, when you are accused of infringing a patent, you don't go before a BPAI judge.

Let me repeat a previous question: do you have *any* first-hand experience with patent litigation?  There are a fair number of people on this list who have such experience.  There is at least one attorney on this list (who hasn't posted publicly).  Might I *strongly* suggest that people confine their assertions of fact to things that they've experienced, rather than read on a blog or mailing list somewhere?

As for your specific question: opposing counsel can deal with such issues with good questioning, either during a deposition or during cross-examination on the stand.  If you get the opposing expert contradicting him or herself in front of the jury, or unable to explain to the jury the bad answers in a (videotaped) deposition, the jury will come to the proper conclusions.

		--Steve Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb

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