What types of questions should I avoid asking?
To keep the Q&A productive, please try to avoid asking questions that…
- Are argumentative or overly opinionated
- Provoke endless discussion or ongoing back-and-forth
- Provide prior art without explanation of relevance
- Seek prior art, but show little effort trying to find it
Other questions you should avoid are those…
relating to trademarks, service marks or copyrights — unless your question relates specifically to how those topics influence the patent system.
with unreasonably broad scope. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.
with unreasonably narrow scope (‘too localized’), e.g. “Is the sippycup my neighbor’s kid has at my picnic right now covered by any design patents?”
that are requests for legal or governmental advice. If you want to know how something related to patents works, you’re in the right place. If you’re looking for a legal opinion or formal assurances, you’re not.
that are subjective. Subjective questions include those where…
every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite utility patent?”
your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use Balsamiq for mocking up my application illustrations; what do you use?”
there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like Mark Cuban does about patents.”
your question is open-ended, or hypothetical: “What if they banned software patents outright?”
your post is a rant disguised as a question: “Wouldn’t we all be better off if there was no such thing as fishing lure patents?”