JMRI Defense: Helping with Prior ArtPatents can be challenged with "prior art". What's needed is a clear demonstration to the court that the claimed invention had been made earlier by somebody else. Best is a published example, but it's also useful to have examples from people who had built and demonstrated the claimed invention.
People have suggested a number of examples of prior art which we can use, but we are still looking for more.
A key part, however, is that prior art be exactly covered by the claim: Each part and step has to be present. For example, consider claim 1 of the 6,530,329 patent:
1. A method of operating a digitally controlled model railroad comprising the steps of:
(a) transmitting a first command from a first program to an interface;
(b) transmitting a second command from a second program to said interface; and
(c) sending third and fourth commands from said interface representative of said first and second commands, respectively, to a digital command station.
To be useful, prior art needs to demonstrate those three steps, in that order. To make it a clear demonstration, we need a comparison written down for presentation to the court. And that's where we need help.
If you can spend some time writing one of these comparisons, please contact us by email. We'll provide you with some examples and help getting started.