if in my patent application machine includes a signal transfer through data cable can someone other can patent same machine that transfer signal through wifi or Bluetooth.

  • I would've thought the idea of transferring a signal through any of a data cable, wifi or Bluetooth would be extremely well known by now.
    – Maca
    Aug 29, 2016 at 6:48
  • A fundamental aspect of patents is that you can't patent something others are already doing and then prevent them from doing it.
    – Eric S
    Aug 30, 2016 at 2:08
  • @Ericd - actually no. Only if it is known by the public/ publisher. If you are keeping your invention secret and someone independently invents and patents it (your secret activities are not prior art) their patent can be used against you. The AIA has a carveout that may let you continue in a limited way.
    – George White
    Nov 11, 2022 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


Can I patent a machine incorporating a means of signal transfer?

In order to be eligible for a patent grant, an invention must meet the requirement of 1) novelty, 2) non-obviousness, and 3) utility.

A machine having a sensor, a means of signal transfer, an actuation arm, a motor, and a motor control is not patent-able because:

  1. such combination is well-known
  2. such combination doesn't yield any new or surprising result

Even if the machine incorporate a new type of signal transfer means, such use would likely be deemed "obvious-to-try" and therefore not a patent-able improvement.

In order for the machine to be patent-able, it must have an innovative improvement, e.g.

  1. a special user interface that reduces risk of human error
  2. means of continual operation when the communication with a central control unit is dropped
  3. means of suspending all wireless communication from other devices in the event of emergency using a line communication
  4. injury prevention (e.g. slow down operation) incorporating a "soft" alarm (e.g. motion sensor) and a "hard" alarm (e.g. laser screen)

If I claim a line signal transfer means, can someone else use WiFi?

Yes. But...

A competent lawyer would normally not specify the type of signal transfer unless

  1. the client insists
  2. elements specified in other parts of the claim preclude the use of certain signal transfer means

So your question shouldn't exist in the first place.

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