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William Steele made a patent application for some sort of polar coordinates 3d printer: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wjsteele/ultra-bot-3d-printer/posts/362886

How could I find this patent application so I can show prior art?.

We have a RepRap public mailing list and we believe we talked about this concept before the patent application.

As the patent application is not granted yet I can't find it searching for his name.

It is really a trivial patent that if granted will be very harmful.

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Patents are generally published at the 18 month point after initial filing. This is completely separate from a patent being awarded. If it hasn't been granted or pblished presumably you do not know what specifically the inventor is claiming as his new invention. Without seeing the claims it is very hard to form an informed position as the triviality of a patent application, one way or the other. –  George White Apr 20 '13 at 22:34

2 Answers 2

While I couldn't find the patent myself, it is indeed possible to search patent applications by name. If you go to the USPTO Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database (AppFT) website here, http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html, you can search their full text and image database which is specifically for pending applications.

Note: searching is not as straight forward as one might think.

If you want to search for the applicant's full name, you should format your query as follows: last name-first name-initial. Using the Boolean Search Page to search for an inventor named John E. Doe, you should enter Doe-John-E in the Term 1 text entry box and select the Inventor Name field from the drop-down menu.

If you prefer to use the advanced Search Page, http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.htm, to search for an inventor named John E. Doe, enter IN/Doe-John-E in the Query box.

In either case, if you are unsure of the exact name, you can also truncate in the following ways: Doe-$ or Doe-John$ or Doe-J$, etc.

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The repolarap looks the same


kind regs,


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