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  1. #21
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZDP-189 View Post
    My intention is not to profit, but to have fun. It's now in the public domain and that means anyone can make one to own or sell without worrying about someone subsequently patenting it. There are too many patents in this industry.
    Just because it is in the public domain doesn't mean it cannot be patented. People have patented that which is in the public domain before, are probably doing it right now and will do it in the future.

    Some do it because they "re-invent the wheel" and don't know about the public domain stuff.

    Some do it because they know about the public domain stuff and think it is a great idea they want exclusively for themselves.

    Either way, "public domain" doesn't really protect against patents.

  2. #22
    I once posted something in another forum and I think it was used to bust a British Telecom patent.

  3. #23
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZDP-189 View Post
    I once posted something in another forum and I think it was used to bust a British Telecom patent.
    As I wrote ....

  4. #24
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    But it did render the money, time and effort spent on the patent a waste...

    After the lawyers got their share of course....

  5. #25
    This link is an invaluable resource and must-read for anyone planning on filing, challenging or circumventing a patent:

    http://www.usiplaw.com/pdf/PatentLaw...Strategies.pdf

  6. #26
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapt View Post
    But it did render the money, time and effort spent on the patent a waste...

    After the lawyers got their share of course....
    Not necessarily, if you mean that patenting something in the public domain makes the patent invalid.

    I'm not a patent attorney, but I do know that people patent that which is in the public domain. They have, they are currently doing so and will in the future.

    I have heard something about prior art, but don't know enough about that to comment.

    My girl friend is an engineer and has much more practical experience. She isn't a patent attorney either, but in her experience patenting something in the public domain is as easy as patenting something you originated. Just make out the application in either case, pay the fees and wait for the patent (simplifing a long process ).

    After the patent is issued, if it is invalid because of prior art or something else, the person challenging the patent has to prove the invalidity. The patent office assumes the patent is valid since it was issued. The person challanging has the burden, not the patent holder. This becomes expensive in time and/or money.

    Most businesses would just rather obtain a license if they don't already have a cross license agreement (if they do they would rather not challange anyway). A large company will challange a patent only when it really puts a crimp in their profit margin and getting the patent declared invalid is much more profitable than getting a license from the holder.

    If you are a small business or an individual, you are essentially at the mercy of the patent holder whether it is valid or not. If the holder was unethical enough to knowingly patent something somebody else developed, then they will probably have no mercy.

    In her experience, the easiest time to challange an invalid patent is when the application is being processed and before the patent is issued. After that you would have to be exceptionally dedicated to challange a patent if it is really invalid.

    So, if an unethical person applies for a patent for something in public domain, is quiet about the application and just waits for the patent to be issued, they may be very unethical and, in my opinion immoral, but they then have the upper hand.

    Of course, not everybody considers such behavior unethical or immoral. JMO.

  7. #27
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZDP-189 View Post
    This link is an invaluable resource and must-read for anyone planning on filing, challenging or circumventing a patent:

    http://www.usiplaw.com/pdf/PatentLaw...Strategies.pdf
    Yes - that is all very well if you have the money to make sure such principles are followed.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiredFeet View Post
    Not necessarily, if you mean that patenting something in the public domain makes the patent invalid.

    I'm not a patent attorney, but I do know that people patent that which is in the public domain. They have, they are currently doing so and will in the future.

    I have heard something about prior art, but don't know enough about that to comment.

    My girl friend is an engineer and has much more practical experience. She isn't a patent attorney either, but in her experience patenting something in the public domain is as easy as patenting something you originated. Just make out the application in either case, pay the fees and wait for the patent (simplifing a long process ).

    After the patent is issued, if it is invalid because of prior art or something else, the person challenging the patent has to prove the invalidity. The patent office assumes the patent is valid since it was issued. The person challanging has the burden, not the patent holder. This becomes expensive in time and/or money.

    Most businesses would just rather obtain a license if they don't already have a cross license agreement (if they do they would rather not challange anyway). A large company will challange a patent only when it really puts a crimp in their profit margin and getting the patent declared invalid is much more profitable than getting a license from the holder.

    If you are a small business or an individual, you are essentially at the mercy of the patent holder whether it is valid or not. If the holder was unethical enough to knowingly patent something somebody else developed, then they will probably have no mercy.

    In her experience, the easiest time to challange an invalid patent is when the application is being processed and before the patent is issued. After that you would have to be exceptionally dedicated to challange a patent if it is really invalid.

    So, if an unethical person applies for a patent for something in public domain, is quiet about the application and just waits for the patent to be issued, they may be very unethical and, in my opinion immoral, but they then have the upper hand.

    Of course, not everybody considers such behavior unethical or immoral. JMO.
    You just said what I said but in a long winded way... No one questions that its possible to do things that are against the rules AND get away with it, just that it doesn't make doing it right, or change the rules.

    RANT on

    Its still possible to make a patent invalid by demonstrating it was in the public domain. And of course its possible to patent something inappropriately by lying or through ignorance. That USED to the the point of having lawyers and patent examiners, involved in the process, to AVOID that situation. Also to determine if it was "obvious" to someone skilled in the art.

    Its the demonstration that the material was in the public domain or published to the public prior to the filing that is potentially the challenge. And of course its not simple or cheap to do this. Nothing involving a lawyer is. And its become even MORE so since the revisions to the standards have been dropped in favour of simply making it much easier to grant the patent. For instance the removal of the "non-obvious to those skilled in the art" and the reduced stringency with regards to public domain.

    Thus making sure that A) more patents will be granted, potentially inappropriately and B) more lawyers will make more money both defending and challenging questionable patents.

    At least that's my perspective as an engineer with some experience and training in the subject matter and quite a few years in the field of design and manufacture.

    The only way of course to be definitive about anything involving the law anymore is to go to court and have a judge rule on each individual case. Thats WHY the legal system has become the complete disaster it is (for everyone except the lawyers.)

    end RANT
    ****************************
    So many projects, So little time....
    ****************************

  9. #29
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapt View Post
    You just said what I said but in a long winded way... No one questions that its possible to do things that are against the rules AND get away with it, just that it doesn't make doing it right, or change the rules.
    Sorry - I guess I didn't really understand your short post.

    I'm in total agreement on the remainder of what you say.

  10. #30
    I'm working on something at my business that involves a USA Patent. There is a publication period and anyone can write in and complain or bring prior art to the attention of the Patent Office.

    Let say someone was less than scrupulous and I wanted to exclusively market something, say a kind of bridge hammock in the USA, despite it being widely discussed on the forums, and maybe even patented in another obscure country.

    He has the right to pay for and commence a patent process and announce "Patents Applied For" and that process may take as long as two years to be rejected and even longer for him to get round to taking down his notice or for people to cotton on that the application was worthless. In that time, he would have gained a first-mover advantage in the market.

    I would expect another country's patent to show up in the priority search. Even if it is not found in the priority search, interested parties that see the "Patents Applied For" notice or spot the patent application can bring the prior art to the attention of the US Patent Office.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_application

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