[Computer-go] New paper by DeepMind

Erik van der Werf erikvanderwerf at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 02:13:42 PST 2018


Publishing a paper or making your work open source is fine for defensive
purposes. You just have to make sure you can prove the date. Filing a
patent application when you have no hope of getting it granted is silly
because there are cheaper (and IMO nicer) alternatives. Perhaps forcing
yourself to go through the patent application process helps to increase
confidence that you have freedom to operate (or find out that you don't),
but other than that, unless you (or anyone else) could expect to get the
patent granted it is a waste of time.

On Sun, Dec 9, 2018 at 8:27 PM uurtamo <uurtamo at gmail.com> wrote:

> So published prior art isn't a defense? It's pretty widely publicized what
> they did and how.
>
> The problem I have with most tech patents is when they're overly broad.
>
> s.
>
> On Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 9:11 AM David Doshay via Computer-go <
> computer-go at computer-go.org wrote:
>
>> Another very important aspect of this discussion is that the US patent
>> office changed to a ‘first to file’ method of prioritizing patent rights.
>> This encouraged several patent trolls to try to undercut the true
>> inventors. So, it is now more important to file for defensive purposes just
>> to assure that deep pockets like Alpha do not have to pay royalties to
>> others for their own inventions.
>>
>> Many years ago when I worked at NASA we were researching doing a patent
>> filing for an image processing technique so that we could release it for
>> public domain use. We found that someone successfully got a patent for
>> using a bitmap to represent a black-and-white image! It may indeed have
>> been possible and successful to argue in court that this is obvious to
>> anyone in the industry and thus should not be granted a patent, but it
>> would be costly and a bother to have to do so. Likewise for a deep pocket
>> like Alpha who would be an obvious target for patent trolling if they did
>> not get this technique labeled as public knowledge quickly enough.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> David
>>
>> On Dec 9, 2018, at 8:30 AM, Jim O'Flaherty <jim.oflaherty.jr at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> Tysvm for your excellent explanation.
>>
>> And now you can see why I mentioned Google's being a member of OIN as a
>> critical distinction. It strongly increases the weight of 2. And implicitly
>> reduces the motivation for 1.
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 8:51 PM 甲斐徳本 <tokumotokai at gmail.com wrote:
>>
>>> Those are the points not well understood commonly.
>>>
>>> A patent application does two things.  1. Apply for an eventual granting
>>> of the patent, 2. Makes what's described in it a public knowledge as of the
>>> date of the filing.
>>> Patent may be functionally meaningless.  There may be no one to sue.
>>> And these are huge issues for the point No.1.  However, a strategic patent
>>> applicants file patent applications for the point No.2 to deny any
>>> possibility of somebody else obtaining a patent.  (A public knowledge
>>> cannot be patented.)
>>>
>>> Many companies are trying to figure out how to patent DCNN based AI, and
>>> Google may be saying "Nope, as long as it is like the DeepMind method, you
>>> can't patent it."   Google is likely NOT saying "We are hoping to obtain
>>> the patent, and intend to enforce it."
>>>
>>> Despite many differences in patent law from a country to another, two
>>> basic purposes of patent are universal: 1. To protect the inventor, and 2.
>>> To promote the use of inventions by making the details a public knowledge.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 12:47 AM uurtamo <uurtamo at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> What I'm saying is that the patent is functionally meaningless. Who is
>>>> there to sue?
>>>>
>>>> Moreover, there is no enforceable patent on the broad class of
>>>> algorithms that could reproduce these results. No?
>>>>
>>>> s.
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 4:16 AM Jim O'Flaherty <jim.oflaherty.jr at gmail.com
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Tysvm for the clarification, Tokumoto.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Thu, Dec 6, 2018, 8:02 PM 甲斐徳本 <tokumotokai at gmail.com wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> What's insane about it?
>>>>>> To me, what Jim O'Flaherty stated is common sense in the field of
>>>>>> patents, and any patent attorney would attest to that.  If I may add, Jim's
>>>>>> last sentence should read "Google's patent application" instead of
>>>>>> "Google's patent".  The difference is huge, and this may be in the heart of
>>>>>> the issue, which is not well understood by the general public.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In other words, thousands of patent applications are filed in the
>>>>>> world without any hope of the patent eventually being granted, to establish
>>>>>> "prior art" thereby protecting what's described in it from being patented
>>>>>> by somebody else.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Or, am I responding to a troll?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Tokumoto
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 10:01 AM uurtamo <uurtamo at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> You're insane.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Thu, Dec 6, 2018, 4:13 PM Jim O'Flaherty <
>>>>>>> jim.oflaherty.jr at gmail.com wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Remember, patents are a STRATEGIC mechanism as well as a legal
>>>>>>>> mechanism. As soon as a patent is publically filed (for example, as
>>>>>>>> utility, and following provisional), the text and claims in the patent
>>>>>>>> immediately become prior art globally as of the original filing date
>>>>>>>> REGARDLESS of whether the patent is eventually approved or rejected. IOW, a
>>>>>>>> patent filing is a mechanism to ensure no one else can make a similar claim
>>>>>>>> without risking this filing being used as a possible prior art refutation.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I know this only because it is a strategy option my company is
>>>>>>>> using in an entirely different unrelated domain. The patent filing is
>>>>>>>> defensive such that someone else cannot make a claim and take
>>>>>>>> our inventions away from us just because the coincidentally hit near our
>>>>>>>> inventions.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> So considering Google's past and their participation in the OIN, it
>>>>>>>> is very likely Google's patent is ensuring the ground all around this area
>>>>>>>> is sufficiently salted to stop anyone from attempting to exploit nearby
>>>>>>>> patent claims.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Respectfully,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Jim O'Flaherty
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 5:44 PM Erik van der Werf <
>>>>>>>> erikvanderwerf at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> On Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 11:28 PM Rémi Coulom <remi.coulom at free.fr>
>>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Also, the AlphaZero algorithm is patented:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> https://patentscope2.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2018215665
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> So far it just looks like an application (and I don't think it
>>>>>>>>> will be be difficult to oppose, if you care about this)
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Erik
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>>> Computer-go at computer-go.org
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