I do realize this is a nice little treasure-trove of patent Q&As, but so far it's the only IP-related Q&A site on SE. I see there are proposals in Area 51 for a Copyrights Q&A site and an Open source licensing Q&A site, but I'm skeptical that they will ever make it out of beta, if even that far.

I think that a more general "IP Law" Q&A site covering patents, trademarks, copyrights, and licensing would make for a well-rounded, yet still fairly specific and topical Q&A site.

2 Answers 2


The first step is to see if there's any interest in creating a site with a broader "IP law" scope at all. Prior efforts to find an audience for these subjects have fallen flat, and the overly-narrow Open Source proposal is only gaining momentum because it is pointed directly at the programmer-heavy end users of our technology sites.

The Patents site was created out of a specific need. It doesn't seem likely we would simply create a site of broader appeal without the audience needed to support it. If you want to expand Stack Exchange's coverage into the IP space, it would need to go through our site-creation process (Area 51) see if there is an audience willing to support it. I don't know Patents SE would ever become part of that space — this site has become increasingly focused on "patent busting" — but the only way to know if there's any interest in this subject at all is to go through the site-creation process.

  • 1
    So, the answer is "no, Ask Patents would not support it."
    – Paul
    Feb 4, 2014 at 20:11

I think Robert Cartaino is right. I think a general IP Law stack would dilute the focus of Ask Patents.

Additionally, a general IP Law stack would be problematic, because you will have difficulty attracting attorneys to the site to contribute the necessary subject matter expertise to produce meaningful answers for people. Lawyers are notoriously risk adverse, and the rules of professional conduct for attorneys are very broad with respect to the establishment of attorney-client relationships.

So, a general IP Law stack is going to have difficulties, and I'm not sure Ask Patents would directly support it by merging with it, but the user bases may overlap.

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