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Get paid for finding proof of an earlier use of a patented idea.

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This story appears in the March 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

This Web site pays real -and it cuts to the quick of and patent law-by offering bounties for proof of prior art (earlier instances of use of the concepts) related to specific searches. At a recent look, $10,000 was up for grabs to anyone who could prove a Web-based "one-click shopping" tool existed prior to September 28, 1997. Coming up with this kind of proof isn't easy-in most instances, have already tried-but find prior art, and the money is yours. Even if you don't land a big score, the site is worth a look because it reveals which patents are currently under scrutiny by lawyers and others interested in toppling claims made by major corporations. Good hunting!


Robert McGarvey is the author of How to Dotcom(Entrepreneur Press). To reach him online, e-mail rjm@mcgarvey.net.

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