I see Article One Partners has a research study for US5491834. Why would anyone post prior art at Ask Patents for granted patents?
That's easy. Because you are not comfortable with the Researcher Agreement that you would have to sign when you register at Article One Partners and instead prefer to publish your findings under a Creative Commons license here.
I suggest you check the paragraphs titled "Confidentiality" and "Non-Disclosure Requirements" in the Researcher Agreement.
The "Confidentiality" provisions basically designate all information provided by Article One or its clients to be confidential regardless of whether such information is explicitly marked "Confidential" or "Proprietary". Vice versa the "Confidentiality" provisions also put the work that you provide in relation to a prior art request under an exclusive license to Article One.
The confidentiality of Studies posted on our Site and the work that you may provide in relation to a Study (together Study Material) is of paramount importance to us and to our clients.
The "Non-Disclosure Requirements" command you not to disclose the fact that you are working for "Article One". The provisions also state that any material produced by you relating to your work for Article One will be the exclusive property of Article One.
you will not, without our prior written consent, disclose to anyone that you are performing or considering performing work for a Study or any other non-public information regarding a Study or any activity on our Site.
I'd summerize the differences between Ask Patents and Article One as follows:
- If you want to work as a free researcher, publish your work at Ask Patents.
- If you want to be employed and work under strict confidentility and non-disclosure regulations, get a job at Article One.
This site is not about pre-issuance searches. See the others questions on the topic. It is only concerned with invalidating issued patents. You have a legitimate point, why give away a free search? Probably explains the utter dearth of responses to calls for prior art. Most appear to be nothing than so someone using google patent's prior art feature.
The concept that the site makes the examination process better means it has to deal with pre-issuance inventions. That takes away from work though for people who want to get paid to file bad applications.