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I am about to apply for a patent.

The invention is an advertising sign. It consists of four components that when assembled, create a frame, in which an advertising media/medium is inserted into.

The joints at which the four components are assembled is unique to my invention although the parts that make up each of the four components are not my invention and are freely available to everyone (they are nothing new, unique or current patents).

The way these components are joined/connected/assembled is my idea, and as far as I know has not been patented. Each component has a groove that facilitates the holding/placing of advertising media/medium, and together with the other four components makes up the system, which is unique.

The way I want to commercially exploit my invention is the complete system. I have no intention of commercially exploiting the joint/connection/assembly of the two/four frame components. Obviously I would love to hold the patent for this particular connection in all applications, in all industries, worldwide, however it is not my primary concern or business to exploit owning the patent for this joint/connection/assembly.

So my question is... Should I patent the joint/connection/assembly of these two/four components, or Should I patent the system of the joint/connection/assembly of these four components with the inserted support for media component, or Should I patent the system of the joint/connection/assembly of these four components with the inserted media/medium for the application of advertising signage only?

Also, if I was to successfully be granted the patent for this joint/connection/assembly or successfully get the patent for the system as a whole, is another person then able to simply alter the dimensions of the product, such as make the groove thinner and insert a thinner advertising board, and therefore not infringe on my specific patent?

  • Anyone? Would love to hear everyone's thoughts... – Stephen Croft Sep 28 '15 at 6:23
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as far as I know has not been patented

Can the reason be that it could be considered obvious?

I have no intention of commercially exploiting the joint/connection/assembly of the two/four frame components.

Why not? (sorry for the rhetorical question). I think you should, because you wrote the joints are unique. The more of your invention is captured as a novelty the better your patents are likely to be granted. If you do not own the patent on the novel way to the joints - it might make it harder to push/prosecute the patent app.

What is known as the components just become part of your claim- your patent attorney/ agent you will draft the claims accordingly.

Should I patent the joint/connection/assembly of these two/four components, or

yes

Should I patent the system of the joint/connection/assembly of these four components with the inserted support for media component, or

yes

Should I patent the system of the joint/connection/assembly of these four components with the inserted media/medium for the application of advertising signage only?

No, it should be broader than that - the attorney/agent will guide on framing the relevant language to keep it reasonably broad. For example it can be used to convey information too - such as maybe an exhibit in a museum.

is another person then able to simply alter the dimensions of the product, such as make the groove thinner and insert a thinner advertising board, and therefore not infringe on my specific patent?

Under typical circumstances that cannot be done because it is a utility patent that you will be granted. utility patent protects the way article of manufacture based on your invention / novelty functions. care must be taken to grant the best / appropriate claim - I would recommend you take your invention to a registered patent attorney or patent agent and work with him/her. It is possible the attorney/agent might recommend that even a design patent to be filed. A design patent will protect the way the article of manufacture looks (whereas the utility patent protects the way it functions).

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The short answer is that you should do BOTH. Talk with your patent attorney about how to do this - it's relatively simple.

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