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"a Wiki citation is toilet paper"

According to the September 6 issue of Business Week (Citings: Kicking Wiki Out Of The Patent Office) the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office will no longer be using Wikipedia to check a patent's validity.

"I've been complaining about this for years," says Greg Aharonian, publisher of a patent newsletter and a longtime agency gadfly. "From a legal point of view, a Wiki citation is toilet paper."

According the BW, Wikipedia was cited in many patent decisions. Now, I don't know a lot about patent law, but I would think that Wikipedia's history would be a very good place to look for references to ideas or creations. Even if the wiki entry itself was changed, the history will still be able to show the course of changes. So, if I write about an idea and someone comes along and edits my entry, the history will still show my earlier version. Hmm...

(The current issue is not yet free online. The subscriber's link is here.)