This patent is comprised of mainly open source technologies all put together. Can open source items be patent in this manner without a reference? The open source project I'm referencing is Kegbot (http://www.kegbot.org, https://github.com/Kegbot). This open source project does the exact same thing this patent specifies and has been in existence since 2010.

  • The applicants (using an IDS form, filed in their case - seen USPTO Public PAIR site) have informed the USPTO of 12 US patents, 6 US patent applications and 1 PCT application but do not seem to have listed anything from that open source project.
    – George White
    Jan 2, 2014 at 17:28
  • When you say "open source technologies all put together" do you mean that they actually seem to use the code or they do the same thing as the code? The code you link in gplv2 and there are patent terms in the license and preamble.
    – Elin
    Feb 1, 2014 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


To the question (paraphrasing) - Can open source technology all put together be patented ?

First, anything published before the date of filing or priority date can be used to show that a potential claim is not new, or if new, is obvious. Whether the earlier publication was a journal article, a patent, a rejected patent application or an open source project is generally immaterial. The earlier technology being open sourced doesn't make it any weaker or stronger prior art than if it were proprietary technology disclosed to the same level of detail.

Second, most new things are old things put together so that, itself, does not answer the question about non-obviousness. It is taken on a case-by-case basis.

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