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'[OT] patent question - packaging enough to make a '
2007\08\27@163112 by alan smith

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Ive got this new client...who is just over the top excited about his "new" device.  Now, of course, I'd love to go ahead and design this thing for him, charge a bunch of money and then watch it go down in flames because....
 
 Its not that novel.  What maybe makes it different is how its packaged..ie...the method of having it installed.
 
 In simplistic terms...and this isnt it...I would be in violation of the NDA if it was of course...
 
 A LED lighting system that is smart enough to dim itself.  But....its recessed in the wall with a sensor system.  Thats probabaly a good analogy.  He has done patent searches and is convinced that because the way it gets installed and packaged....its worth patenting.   I really could care less other than I feel I am doing a dis-service if I don't try and ground him some.
 
 
 So...oh those who have been down the patent highway....what do you think?

     
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2007\08\27@164337 by Chris Smolinski

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{Quote hidden}

IANAL. However, I did work for a patent attorney
for 5 years.  Successful patent attorneys know
how the game is played.  I have no doubt that he
could get something as trivial (to us) as a
different form of packaging patented. As my boss
explained it to me once, the USPTO is a net cash
cow for the government. They allow the court
system to determine whether or not a patent is
valid.

The true cost is not getting a patent, but
*defending* your patent, that is, taking a
violator to court. Who has the deeper pockets?

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2007\08\27@165237 by David VanHorn

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He probably can get a patent for it.
The current USPTO seems to be rubber-stamping anything that will or
won't work, and if it's prior-arted back to Gallileio, then so much
the better.

The more interesting question is what he might be able to get out of
the patent, business-wise.

Can't answer that one.

2007\08\27@171806 by Tomas Larsson

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Here in Europé he wouldn't succed with a patent, because the do require a
certain height of the invention, a new patent isn't enough.
I US you can patent everything ant loose big-tme in courts.
A european Patent is much safer, because you can be pretty certain that the
stuff is unique, an a "real" invention, not just a mod of existing stuff.
How I know, well, going down thar road at the moment, got Swedish Patent,
which is probably the difficultiest thing in the world to get.
Waiting for the EU-patent to go through.

With best regards

Tomas Larsson
Sweden
http://www.tlec.se
http://www.ebaman.com

Verus Amicus Est Tamquam Alter Idem

> {Original Message removed}

2007\08\27@172700 by alan smith

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Well....his motivation for a patent is not so much to defend it from being violated as much as defending himself it someone comes after him for violation. If he has his own...less likely that it will happen...but of course if someone wants to...they will.
 
 And from a business perspective....thats his motivation. The fact there are patents for like items, but nobody is building it that he can find ( or that I can find either).  I wonder how many patents are issued for things that are never made.

David VanHorn <spam_OUTmicrobrixTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
 He probably can get a patent for it.
The current USPTO seems to be rubber-stamping anything that will or
won't work, and if it's prior-arted back to Gallileio, then so much
the better.

The more interesting question is what he might be able to get out of
the patent, business-wise.

Can't answer that one.

2007\08\27@172854 by Michael Dipperstein

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flavicon
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> From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu [piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of David VanHorn
>
> He probably can get a patent for it.
> The current USPTO seems to be rubber-stamping anything that will or
> won't work, and if it's prior-arted back to Gallileio, then so much
> the better.

I am about as far from being a lawyer as you can get (IAAAFFBALAYCG),
but I think the state of the USPTO has changed (or should soon change)
in the light a of recent U.S. Supreme Court case.  KSR Int'l Co. v.
Teleflex Inc., et al. changed the definition of what it means for an
invention to be obvious.  It's now much easier for an idea to qualify as
obvious and be unpatentable.

> The more interesting question is what he might be able to get out of
> the patent, business-wise.

If the OP's client managed to get a patent, would he have the resources
to defend it?  To win a patent suit you have to prove both that your
patent is valid, and that the other party is in violation of the patent.

I used to work for a company that took a competitor to court over a
patent violation.  The patent was found to be valid, but the competitor
was found not to be in violation of the patent.

-Mike

2007\08\27@174255 by alan smith

picon face
Good point.  I think he is just planning on keeping this in the US market for now (has to do NRTL but isnt too excited about doing CE certs)

Tomas Larsson <.....tomasKILLspamspam.....tlec.se> wrote:  Here in Europé he wouldn't succed with a patent, because the do require a
certain height of the invention, a new patent isn't enough.
I US you can patent everything ant loose big-tme in courts.
A european Patent is much safer, because you can be pretty certain that the
stuff is unique, an a "real" invention, not just a mod of existing stuff.
How I know, well, going down thar road at the moment, got Swedish Patent,
which is probably the difficultiest thing in the world to get.
Waiting for the EU-patent to go through.

With best regards

Tomas Larsson
Sweden
http://www.tlec.se
http://www.ebaman.com

Verus Amicus Est Tamquam Alter Idem

> {Original Message removed}

2007\08\27@190154 by Richard Prosser

picon face
And then, I guess if he can find an instance of the idea beng used
prior to the issue of the opposing patent, he might have a bit of
leverage.
But risky.

RP

On 28/08/07, alan smith <EraseMEmicro_eng2spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTyahoo.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2007\08\27@193439 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Chris Smolinski wrote:

>> Its not that novel.  What maybe makes it different is how its
>> packaged..ie...the method of having it installed.

>> He has done patent searches and is convinced that because the way it
>> gets installed and packaged....its worth patenting.  

You don't patent devices, you patent processes, solutions. So a different
packaging or installing method may definitely fall into that scope.

> The true cost is not getting a patent, but *defending* your patent, that
> is, taking a violator to court. Who has the deeper pockets?

True, true :)  Here's more reading on that:
<http://www.tinaja.com/patnt01.asp>

Gerhard

2007\08\27@200044 by Dave King

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1. It's his money
2. It doesn't seem to matter lately what gets covered anymore, I'm going to
patent air one of these days and get rich.
3. It doesn't stop anyone from making a slight change and going into
competition
4. If all it is based on is the packaging then at best it is one of the
lower classes of patents and harder to defend.
5. If he gets a patent he better be prepared to spend money on it over the
next 17-25 years just to maintain it.
6. If he has a patent the only way he can stop someone from copying it, to
maintain his rights is to take them to court.
  The government doesn't watch out or notify about these things so its up
to him to protect it.
7. If he has a patent as well as being copied anyone can take him to court
to squash it/invalidate it.
8. It's his money

Dave
(who has several patents)




{Original Message removed}

2007\08\27@204604 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Aug 27, 2007, at 1:56 PM, Dave King wrote:

> I'm going to patent air one of these days and get rich.

In all fairness to the USPO, I don't see many of those evil
companies "getting rich" off their frivolous patents.  They
seem to be mostly instances of "we'd better file this frivolous
patent before someone else does" and infringement issues are
generally handled via counter-suit and cross-licensing.  Not
great for the small guy, but not as bad as it could be.

The cases where some inventor and their lawyer(s) sit back and
try to collect royalties on patents without actually doing any
product development or other "work" (which I tend to find as
offensive as frivolous patents, all things considered) do seem
to involve patents that have some significant merit (though
that merit is perhaps not always applicable to the cases where
they try to collect royalties...)

BillW

2007\08\28@032541 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> Well....his motivation for a patent is not so much to defend
> it from being violated as much as defending himself it
> someone comes after him for violation.

A patent itself will do neither. I think there should be a rule of
thumb: apply for a patent only if you can spare the cost of the patent
*and* are willing to spend N times as much in court. My estimate of N is
from 10 to 1000.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2007\08\28@034850 by Alan B. Pearce

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>7. If he has a patent as well as being copied anyone
>can take him to court to squash it/invalidate it.

On that basis he is probably better off trade marking it, and making sure he
has good copyright filing.

2007\08\28@035107 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
And while we are talking patents, copyright, and such, has anyone here
caught up with this?

http://www.theregister.com/2007/08/24/open_source_railroad/ which bodes
badly for protecting open source software.

2007\08\28@085618 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
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Gerhard,

On Mon, 27 Aug 2007 20:34:20 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>...
> You don't patent devices, you patent processes, solutions.

Not in the UK, and I believe, Europe.  Over here it is precisely the device that you patent.  If someone manages to do the same thing but with a
different device, they are not in violation of your patent.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\08\28@120724 by Morgan Olsson

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Den 2007-08-28 13:14:44 skrev Howard Winter <@spam@HDRWKILLspamspamH2Org.demon.co.uk>:

> Gerhard,
>
> On Mon, 27 Aug 2007 20:34:20 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>
>> ...
>> You don't patent devices, you patent processes, solutions.
>
> Not in the UK, and I believe, Europe.  Over here it is precisely the  
> device that you patent.

No. The methods etc - how it works is what is patented.

The design in the meaning "look" is protected by design patents.

--
Morgan Olsson (Sweden,Europe)

2007\08\28@124018 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face

On 8/28/07, Howard Winter wrote:
> > You don't patent devices, you patent processes, solutions.
>
> Not in the UK, and I believe, Europe.  Over here it is precisely
> the device that you patent.  If someone manages to do the same
> thing but with a different device, they are not in violation of your
> patent.

You're sure on that? IANAL (as probably everybody knows by now :) but
most everything I read (nothing specific to the UK, though) says
otherwise.

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent>: "The term "patent" usually
refers to a right granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new
and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of
matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof."

Note that "process" is the first term.

<http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent>: "Patentierbare Erfindungen sind
technische Lehren zum planmäßigen Handeln, die einen kausal
übersehbaren Erfolg unter Einsatz beherrschbarer Naturkräfte ohne
Zwischenschaltung verstandesmäßiger Tätigkeiten reproduzierbar
herbeiführen."

The first term here is "technische Lehren zum planmäßigen Handeln",
something like "technical rules for proceeding orderly".

Nothing UK specific so far, though... But here it is: In
<http://www.ipo.gov.uk/practice-sec-001.pdf> Her Majesty's own lawyers
say about this quite a bit, among other things this: "It is not the
nature of an embodiment of an invention which is important when
determining patentability, but the nature of the central idea or
invention which is embodied." The "embodiment" would be the device,
one of the several possible devices that may realize the central idea,
the central idea would be the new process.

I think (for most jurisdictions) that you have to present the outlines
of an embodiment that is capable of realizing the new process, but you
don't patent that specific embodiment, you patent all embodiments that
work according to that new principle, that new process, that new way
of doing things that you describe in the patent claims.

Gerhard

2007\08\28@124754 by Harold Hallikainen

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> Den 2007-08-28 13:14:44 skrev Howard Winter <KILLspamHDRWKILLspamspamH2Org.demon.co.uk>:
>
>> Gerhard,
>>
>> On Mon, 27 Aug 2007 20:34:20 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>>
>>> ...
>>> You don't patent devices, you patent processes, solutions.
>>
>> Not in the UK, and I believe, Europe.  Over here it is precisely the
>> device that you patent.
>
> No. The methods etc - how it works is what is patented.
>
> The design in the meaning "look" is protected by design patents.
>
> --
> Morgan Olsson (Sweden,Europe)


"Design patents" are, to me, almost a trademark issue. The classic example
of the old Coca Cola bottle identifies the source of the product and does
not have a functional purpose beyond that.

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\08\28@140105 by Chris Smolinski

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>
>"Design patents" are, to me, almost a trademark issue. The classic example
>of the old Coca Cola bottle identifies the source of the product and does
>not have a functional purpose beyond that.

I seem to remember Intel got a design patent on the interface for one
of the Pentium CPUs, as an end run way of preventing competition.

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2007\08\28@152236 by Harold Hallikainen

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>>
>>"Design patents" are, to me, almost a trademark issue. The classic
>> example
>>of the old Coca Cola bottle identifies the source of the product and does
>>not have a functional purpose beyond that.
>
> I seem to remember Intel got a design patent on the interface for one
> of the Pentium CPUs, as an end run way of preventing competition.
>
> --
>
> ---
> Chris Smolinski


I dunno about that one, but I believe Intel named the chip "Pentium"
instead of "80586" because you can't trademark a number.

Harold

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FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\08\29@103859 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
picon face
Harold,

On Tue, 28 Aug 2007 12:22:10 -0700 (PDT), Harold Hallikainen wrote:

> > I seem to remember Intel got a design patent on the interface for one
> > of the Pentium CPUs, as an end run way of preventing competition.
> > ---
> > Chris Smolinski
>
>
> I dunno about that one, but I believe Intel named the chip "Pentium"
> instead of "80586" because you can't trademark a number.

Indeed - when the '486 was king, others produced CPUs that were pin-compatible, and called them things like X486.  Intel took them to court for
trademark violation, and lost because you can't trademark a number, so that's why the next generation had a name.  I'm not sure why they then
went to "Pentium Pro", "Pentium II" and so on, rather than Sexium.  But I think I can guess!  :-)

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\08\29@105229 by Dario Greggio

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Howard Winter wrote:
> ...rather than Sexium.  But I think I can guess!  :-)

"sextium" I'd say :)))

--
Ciao, Dario

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