Re: Interview with David Wetherell of CMGI

From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2001 - 05:35:01 PST

"Robert S. Thau" wrote:

> Stephen D. Williams writes:
> > They weren't spidering? What about all those dialouts to
> > magazines, newspapers, and court houses to download new data every
> > night?
> Missing at least one essential characteristic of web spidering; the
> use of the resources being indexed to discover the locations of
> *other* resources, which also get indexed, and so on, recursively.

True, although 'legal cites' function much as hyperlinks in terms of tying
documents together. That system however endeavored to have cites cataloged
before their reference.

> Veronica did that, I believe...
> > They didn't publish? After you paid $35 to do a search, you then
> > paid something for each document you viewed. Essentially they
> > republished every single thing they took in. Sort of like Google's
> > caching, only with spell checking and parts-of-document markup
> > added.
> I presume Kragen meant that they didn't publish their *methods*.
> One of the (nominal) purposes of the patent system is to encourage
> publication, so, IIRC, trade secret methods don't count as prior art.
> rst

Ahhhh. That is an important characteristic of prior art. Obviousness of
trade secret methods to 'a practioner in the field' will eventually rise to
the point of satisfying the 'obviousness' clause if not prior art.


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