Ask Patents is a question and answer site for people interested in improving and participating in the patent system. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm a french college student having a school project where we have to build an existing data glove from a public domain patent. We chose US5280265 which has been published in 1990 using strain gauges (as most of affordable data gloves available on market).

However, one of my team member showed us the patent: US20080129694 which has been published in 1994, and is almost identical to the previous one. We can't figure out the differences between both, and we are allowed to use only public domain technologies in our project, and can't understand how such broad patent (US20080129694) can be accepted.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The newer document is not a granted patent. It is the publication of an application for a patent. Applications are published with no regard for their substantive content and no implication that they will or will not lead to a granted patent. In this case it did not. The application went abandoned. US patent numbers look like an number in the millions while published application numbers look like a year followed by a number.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.