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I am monkeying around with a device that its uniqueness is a combination of hardware and software, but the software is the predominant feature.

The 'old' device is a hardware item that connects with a PC. Special software on the PC communicates out the USB to this device which then does stuff to other devices (sorry for the vagueness). Many people make the 'old' device in many flavors - it is very mature technology. The 'old' device is nothing but a dumb box, there is no interaction with it.

My thing is to have a 'new' device, that incorporates the generally well known communication methods of the 'old' device, but bundled into an electronic system that also contains the software that used to be run on the PC. Thus, with an interface system (LCD screen and buttons), the user no longer needs a PC and has an all-in-one device that merges the 'old' device concept with software creating a 'new' device.

So is this utility worthy?

  • I don't think you'll get an adequate answer here. You've been justifiably vague, but I would have to know much more to consider whether the added display feature is novel. Without specifics there is no way to assess prior art. Off hand, if your device is simply performing the same task as the old device, just avoiding he need for a PC, it doesn't jump out as particularly patent worthy. This doesn't mean it wouldn't be a great product. – Eric Shain Dec 26 '16 at 15:31
  • @Eric Thanks - I am hoping the combination of the two were the novelty. – carpboy Dec 26 '16 at 17:12
  • That might be patentable. I'd suggest a "normal" patent if ppssible. You should consider asking a patent attorney. – DonQuiKong Dec 26 '16 at 17:58
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    @carpboy - If the combination of the hardware and included software creates an "unexpected" advantage then that helps. In any case if you want to pursue a patent, you next step is to consult with an attorney. You can save some attorney time (and thus money) by doing a thorough search for prior art and writing up a patent like description. I'm a big believer that you should have a patent attorney do the actual patent writing. – Eric Shain Dec 26 '16 at 22:46
  • Thanks all for the advice. A moderate search yielded no cases in the US, a few in China. This is of (probable) limited marketability, so a full-blown professional attack is probably out of my reach. But "I know a guy who knows a guy..." – carpboy Dec 27 '16 at 16:08

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