I have a product I would like to patent which is a process to achieve a repair. A similar process has previously been patented and has since lapsed. My patent is an improvement on the previous patent and has 3 distinct areas of improvement. One of these areas is an instructional video to show how to apply the process. Without the DVD I don’t think the process would be of any use to the greater number of people as it is too difficult to teach the process from written instructions. The previous patent never had the video instructions. I want to stop someone from using the previous patent with video instructions.

Can I protect the video teaching as part of the patent?

  • The use of DVDs to provide instructions is unlikely to be patentable. Lots of other products have used DVDs and other forms of video like YouTube to provide instructions. You are very unlikely to be able to stop other people from using videos as instruction. – Eric S Dec 10 '16 at 18:08

Without specifics (such as a patent number) this can only be speculative answer. If the prior patented process, expired or not, already provides for use of "DVD instructions" or the use of such instructions is "obvious" enough that someone is already doing so - it could be considered Prior Art. If this is the only improvement over the existing patented process, your invention would be considered obvious in light of the prior art and a patent may not be approved.


You say you have three areas of improvemt. I would focus on the other two. As a practical matter if the repair is done as a business the people doing it might not need a video. If it is being done by individuals it might be hard to enforce. This is a subtle area and the answer may not be simple.

  • Really appreciate your time, I never made the point clear. The previous patent to learn how to do the proccess you had to pay thousands of dollars to be trained. That patent has lapsed. I have simplified the original concept (WHICH THE PREVIOUS PATENT HOLDERS MADE DIFFICULT SO AS TO GET THE CASH) The point is without the DVD the kit is useless so it is the DVD I need to protect most. THANKS AGAIN.... – john Sep 11 '13 at 21:01
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    The DVD can be protected by copyright. That does not stop someone from making a new video that also teaches how to do an old method or a new video on a new method. If you have a new simpler method for the repair, that method itself may be patentable and protectable independent of how the instructions are delivered. – George White Sep 12 '13 at 16:51
  • George,The main difference between the lapsed patent/s and my new process is; As a result of the ceased patent the patent holder sold expensive franchises for the repair process to be carried out in domestic dwellings. My invention would use the first part of the process in the ceased patent then my process is different. It is designed for the D.I.Y. person to do the repair themselves with an inexpensive kit hence the instructional DVD which the ceased patent never had as the franchised purchasers were trained in house to carry out the work. Does this sound as though it is patentable? John – john Sep 12 '13 at 21:07
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    If your improved process is new and not obvious I would try to patent the process, however it is taught. The DVD makes your offering better but may not relate to patentability. This is getting detailed enough that I need to remind you I don't really know your situation and my educational here information may not be applicable. I'm not your patent guy and your mileage may vary. – George White Sep 13 '13 at 0:36

If the DVD only provides instructions about how to do the process described in an expired patent, nothing can or should be done (at least based on patent law). The whole idea of patents is that the inventor gets a monopoly in exchange for showing the world how to build the invention, so that once the patent expires, anybody can do it, teach it, build it, etc.

However, if somebody is distributing a video that shows people how to do the patented portions of the process that you invented and that are still in force, you should ask a patent litigator about potential claims for inducing infringement.

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