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Patent data available. So what?

From O’Reilly Radar post entitled: Unlikely Group Working Happily Together To Solve Patent Problem:

In September, the Patent Office announced a rather strange “Request for Information” (RFI). Under this proposed scheme, the Patent Office would receive a substantial (upwards of $10 million!) donation of equipment from a vendor. In return, the vendor would get to be the official distributor of the patent database to the public, and would get to sell “value-added products.” Among other things, the vendor would get access to the patents before the public does, allowing them to mine the database, and would be allowed to sell a variety of bulk products.

My initial reaction was “cool, the more data the better”. However after a while, I’ve turned into feeling “so what?”. The more data available the more value in secretly developed algorithms that can analyze, mine or assemble the data. I doubt even large and bursty group effort can compete with dedicated teams at Google or Intellectual Ventures.