Welcome to the Open Source as Prior Art Project Wiki.

If you want to help please join the mailing list and/or contribute to this wiki: Things that can be done right now



The topic of this Project is: Open Source as Prior Art (should probably be renamed to FLOSS as Prior Art, just to be neutral about some political/social issues). Thus you need to know what FLOSS and Prior Art is. Here you can find some basic information:


Things that can be done right now

Use already existing publications as Prior Art

HowTo search for Prior Art in the Internet ( HowTo search for Prior Art in the Internet )
This HowTo is a step-by-step guide on how you could perform a coordinated search for Prior Art in the Internet.
Prior Art meta-search engine
(will be) a system to aid your search for Prior Art
Example Prior Art search
An example where the HowTo search for Prior Art is used on one specific patent
Publication Categorization
If you have no idea, what kind of software might be used as Prior Art for a specific patent, then look here. Basicly this is a mapping between USPTO categories and FLOSS categories.
Request for Prior Art Mailinglist
This might become a mailinglist where you can ask for associations to specific patents. So more people might help you to find appropriate starting-points for your Prior Art research.
Timestamping & Date Forensics

Make electronic data more valuable as Prior Art

Guideline for Developers
What can you do to ensure your program can be used as Prior Art in 20 years
Tagging Prototype
Easier searching for Prior Art (or for reusing appropriate code in your own project)
A Social Tagging Engine
Timestamping & Date Forensics

USPTO and Prior Art

  • Proposed Rule Changes to Focus the Patent Process in the 21st Century, Januar 2006 (link)


  • CAPAS - Computer Aided Prior Art Search
  • FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
  • Milestones - General Project goals -- what people can do to help
  • Glossary - Words, phrases, and acronyms explained
  • Out of Scope - Patent reform alternatives outside the scope of this project

Recent Events

Tagging Workshop September 2006

Tagging Workshop 2006 Sep - agenda + attendees + presentations + conclusions

See the Wiki User's Guide for help on using this Wiki.


For more information, please see the Open Source Software as Prior Art project details.



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Leaftag is a library and set of utilities for tagging files on the Linux desktop


set -e

if [ ! -d "$DESTDIR" ]; then
        echo "Extract documentation to which directory?" >&2
        exit 1

TEMPDIR=`mktemp -d -t doc-XXXXXX`

while [ -f "$1" ];

        echo "Checking $DEB ..."
        dpkg-deb -c "$DEB" | egrep ' \./usr/share/man/man.' >/dev/null || {
                echo "Skipping $DEB (no man pages)"
        echo "Extracting $DEB ..."


Feb 16, 2006

The USPTO will be hosting a public meeting in Alexandria, VA to continue to discuss the 3 Patent Quality Initiatives further. Once this has has been officially announced, we will have more information here.


  1. Office of Patent Classification
  2. The US Patent Office's classification, which is likely a must when dealing with US patents, with the following software-related classes:


  • FOSS - Free and Open Source Software
  • MPEP - Manual of Patent Examining Procedures
  • OSS - Open Source Software
  • USPTO - United States Patent and Trade Office


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Freetag is an easy tagging and folksonomy-enabled plugin for use with MySQL-PHP applications. It allows you to create tags on existing database schemas, and access and manage your tags through a robust API.


This is a very young project, so setting our milestones will help us maintain our direction.

Please stay constructive, treat everyone with respect -- no flaming or baiting

Communication: discussion





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This guideline is not a do all or nothing guideline, but the more of the things stated here you'll do, the better your program can be used as Prior Art.



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Here we try to collect Projects and Software-Categories, which are likely to be useful as Prior Art for patents in a specific USPTO Patent Classification. We also try to direct you to the evidence that such software has been published at some given date.

Basicly this is a mapping between USPTO categories and FLOSS categories.


David Mohring asked [1][2]

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