I ask this with the understanding that most patents are not worth the trouble to litigate and defend. However, going through the many decades of previous patents offers a rewarding trip through time while examining often wonderful previous technical achievements. I hope to add a few things to this singularly unique and well archived resource.

If my only real goal with the application for a design or utility patent is to insert its description into the rather amazing and very useful technical library of current patents... is that a bad thing?

1 Answer 1



That's actually, believe it or not, part of the goal of the patent system. It's a big part of it, in fact.

From the United States Constitution, with emphasis mine:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

The purpose of the patent system, built right into the constitution, lies in sharing information and inventions with others.

In other words, the patent system is built as a trade. You get protection for a number of years, in return for sharing your invention with the world. That's part of why improvements are patentable, under certain circumstances.

I am personally pro-patent, but in the interest of displaying other sides, many will point out that the internet and modern culture reduce the dependency on the patent system to share in that way. But it's definitely true that having a patent on something will inject it into a pretty cool library of innovation.

Speaking to your plans, some people also get patents with the express purpose of allowing their invention to be shared. In other words, if I invent something that I want everyone to have, I can stop anyone else from patenting it by getting the protection myself.

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