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This patent US 20200002361 is claiming the exact same thing as the common 4x4 locking hub. Furthermore, it is also a mechanical system widely used in motorized vehicle gearboxes. Why are there no references to that in the prior art?

  • The link to the application doesn’t work. – Eric Shain Feb 2 at 21:58
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This is a publication of a patent application, not an issued patent. It has not yet (as of 2/2/2020) been examined by the USPTO. A form (IDS) filed by the applicants lists many references of prior art that they are bringing to the attention of the examiner. You can see what those references are by looking this case up in USPTO's Public PAIR.

The invention protected by a patent is specified by its claims. They often change during the prosecution of the application as the examiner cites references that might show the initial claims to be not novel or obvious.

A pole for pole dancing might be claimed in a way that makes for a novel, non-obvious invention even though it contains a mechanism that is already known. Almost all inventions build upon existing technology.

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