If you see patent 20110286205 and 20110237152 you see patents for a near identical product.. save for minor differences in text and images.

Is this a nuisance patent to boost the ego of the authors or am I missing something?

Edit: here's an image from textdiff.com http://i.imgur.com/jdafsEo.jpg to show how similar the text is.


They are not patents. They are applications submitted to try to get a granted patent and are by the same inventors. By looking in the USPTO Public PAIR database I see that they were both rejected and both went abandoned. It isn't clear why they filed two similar applications in this case.

There are many reasons to file similar applications. Sometimes something was accidentally left out and since "new matter" can't be added once an application is filed you might need to file another application just a short time later to fix it. Also there are many continuation applications and divisional applications with identical content to their parent application except for the claims. This can happen because the initial application covered too much ground to be considered at the same time.

In order to file under the new prioritized, accelerated, pay-to-go-fast AIA option you need to request it at the time of filing. If you have already filed and then decide to go "track I" you would need to refile.

Sometimes a long specification is written to describe a complex system and then multiple applications are filed for different aspects of the system. The claims would be dirrected to the specific aspect and inventors might be the same, overlapping, or enirely distinct.

  • Thank you for explaining this. I was under the impression they were successful patents. Thank you for informing me about the USPTO (not being from the states, the Google result seemed fairly conclusive). – Paul May 27 '13 at 12:07
  • Patent publications have a number that start with the year it was published. Issued patents are sequential and are now in the 8 millions. They look the same but in the upper right corner it either says publication or patent. Google patents searches both by default but you can set it to only get one or the other. – George White May 27 '13 at 15:39

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