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.


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If you're attending, please add yourself to the "Attendees" section below, and create your own page for yourself. From this page we can see who's going to be attending, and what topics we each care about.

Software Tagging Workshop - Open Invitation, outline, details, register


This page is talking about a proposal.

Here I will very soon publish a framework for an official timestamping service, which I regard as essential for assigning legally provable publication dates, which are also needed for free and open source software publications.


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"Web-based System Supporting Remixing and Collaboration on Media"


If you have questions that aren't answered here, please either login and add a question, or join the discussion.

Q. What qualifies as Prior Art?

A. See Prior Art .



<< Public Timestamp

List of timestamping services

Other timestamping services, that we plan to use all together automatically for each timestamped file on publictimestamp.org



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"Tags are a short-hand for documentation. People really want documentation."





SCCS (Source Code Control System) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCCS
It was originally developed at Bell Labs in 1972 by Marc Rochkind for an IBM System/370 computer running OS/MVT. (cited)




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



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