Staking Claims: Patent Pamphleteer; December 2001; Scientific American Magazine; by Gary Stix; 1 Page(s)
He has been called the Matt Drudge of the patent community-and Greg Erroneous. Since 1993 Gregory Aharonian has distributed a freewheeling e-newsletter several times a week that both irks and tantalizes with its mix of information, invective and gossip. Aharonian makes his living by doing literature searches on the originality of patent applications. But he has made his reputation from his newsletter. Paying the publication costs himself, he attracts 4,500 subscribers, among them patent attorneys, inventors and even some patent examiners. Aharonian talked to Scientific American's Gary Stix about how he has taken on the stodgy world of patenting.
How did you develop a reputation as a gadfly? Before the mid-1990s, the PTO [Patent and Trademark Office] was really an obscure bureau that nobody paid much attention to other than patent lawyers. Then along comes the Internet, and gadflies like me are talking publicly about the patent world's dirty laundry. The patent office never had to deal with the public. Then here's this Greg Aharonian who was saying that patents were issued without looking at the literature for prior art [previous inventions]. Well, no one ever publicized these things before.