Questions tagged [law]

Questions about patent laws and their implementation

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53 votes
8 answers
10k views

Can a YouTube video be submitted as prior art?

I'm trying to determine whether there is evidence that definitively confirms that a YouTube video can be submitted as prior art. If there is an example of one being used as the grounds for rejecting ...
samthebrand's user avatar
  • 1,189
25 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can software or a block of code under the GPL or a similar license be patented?

Regarding software, can an application or block of code licensed under the GPL (pre version 3), or a similar license requiring the source to be made available under the terms of the license after ...
RolandiXor's user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
9k views

What does "patent pending" mean?

After reading an answer to this question, I realized how often I see the term used in marketing. What kind of security level does a pending patent give you? Why do so many companies use them? And ...
Jerzmacow's user avatar
  • 331
22 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can we not invalidate older patents? - i.e. World Inc vs Blizzard Entertainment

I saw down below where someone was asking how long we have to invalidate or send in a submission of a patent up to 6 months after it is published. Does that mean that 3rd parties can not go back and ...
geeksweep's user avatar
  • 423
19 votes
4 answers
727 views

Is there a way to achieve protections similar to "Copyleft" under the patent system?

I have heard about "Copyleft" and was wondering if there is an equivalent for works which fall under Patent law rather than Copyright law. Specifically, is there a way I ensure that someone cannot ...
Dale's user avatar
  • 303
16 votes
5 answers
2k views

Does looking at prior art searches pose a risk for engineers?

Due to triple damage provisions of patent law, for knowingly violating a patent, many companies bar engineers from visiting the USPTO site or looking at any patents. Do these sites which help with ...
Jim Wallace's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
788 views

If a patent has been issued, can it still be invalidated by prior art?

Assuming the invention disclosed in a patent issued by the USPTO has been described in a book two years before it was submitted, can this patent still be invalidated by this prior art? If yes what is ...
Jérôme Verstrynge's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
764 views

Does a public discussion related to a patent invalidate the patent

If I discuss or seek advice from others on portions of a patent on public sites such as SO, does that invalidate the patent? For example, lets say I have an idea in mind of a software patent which ...
Peter Grill's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
27k views

Can someone patent someone else's invention?

In the history, invention conflicts were on who has patented an invention sooner. This is the subject of stealing an invention. Consider one has published an invention in any kind of media, can this ...
Googlebot's user avatar
  • 263
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What should I know before using "Patent Pending" in my products/ website?

Some years ago I read that you should not use the phrase "Patent Pending" in connection to products or marketing materials that do not actually feature or describe technology that is actually claimed ...
John Assymptoth's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
764 views

How are damages calculated if found guilty of infringement?

If I am found guilty of a software patent infringement how does the court determine how much damage is done and how much I should pay?
ahenderson's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
919 views

Prior art for new treatment for anxiety disorder

Consider this WIPO: METHODS FOR TREATING SOCIAL DISORDERS and its current 3 entries at national levels: #US20110027765 -> Reviewer has requested some changes in the claims but it's going forward. UK: ...
John Crawford's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can a master's thesis be used as prior art?

I wrote software in 1973 under Federal grant for my MS. While studing at CWRU, one of the early ARPA net sites, I wrote graphics display software for Project LOGOS, a government supported effort and ...
dnhuff's user avatar
  • 191
9 votes
2 answers
954 views

Repatenting someone else's dropped provisionals

My question is, can anybody provide any part of the US patent law proving or disproving the statement that: Dropped and unpublished provisionals do not impede novelty of other inventions? And how ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
589 views

Over time, which patent legislation applies, current or past?

Let's imagine a patent is filed in 2003 and later approved by the USPTO. Let's imagine someone wants to challenge it with valid prior art (year 2000 for example). Which legislation applies? The one ...
Jérôme Verstrynge's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
665 views

Can software be patented after being made public?

Let's say I made software initially publicly available, but some time in the future I decided I wish to patent it. Could I? Is there any time limit on how long after making software publicly available ...
ahenderson's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
314 views

How rigorous are examiners

A business competitor is claiming "patent pending" on a product I know they did not originally create. The product is manufactured by us, the competitor in question, as well as at least 15 other ...
ludlow's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
3 answers
449 views

Are there any advantages to making your first filing in one country vs. another?

Is it always better to file a patent in United States first before extending it to other countries? What if we do the reverse: file patent in a small country then only extend it to the United States. ...
cometta's user avatar
  • 175
6 votes
1 answer
5k views

Can some explain "inter partes review" and "ex parte reexamination"?

Can someone explain what "inter partes review" and "ex parte reexamination" are when challenging patents with prior art?
Jérôme Verstrynge's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
130 views

SHIELD Act progress

I had recently heard about the SHIELD act that was meant to help curb the lawsuits initiated by patent trolls, particularly those that are highly unlikely to succeed. I haven't seen any newer posts ...
aed's user avatar
  • 460
5 votes
1 answer
381 views

Patent agreements, over-charging & consumer protection (Microsoft "Android tax")

TL;DR: if a majority of companies in an industry have entered into a patent licensing agreement with a patent troll on exhorbitant terms, and I as a consumer of their products am directly affected (...
Sam's user avatar
  • 225
4 votes
6 answers
3k views

Who is allowed to sue for patent infringement?

In the creation of the patent, you have two entities that are tied to it: the inventor and the assignee. Many times the patent inventor hands off the patent to a company as the assignee. Pertaining ...
Anthony Miller's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Here is what I see as an invalid patent. US6563040

I demonstrated a solar tracking mount I built at a Renewable Energy Fair, MREA Midwest Renewable Energy Association. in Custer. Wisconsin. Several thousand people saw it on or about June 21st 2001. A ...
Duane C. Johnson's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is functional claiming, and how does it affect the interpretation of a claim?

I've seen the term, and it seems to influence how claims are interpreted, but most of what I've read on the subject (IANAL!) rapidly gets confusing. Can anyone provide a good definition of what it is ...
carmogy's user avatar
  • 281
4 votes
3 answers
351 views

How can I best aid in keeping the patents system at bay?

I have become convinced that the patent system is inherently unfair and hurting the well-being of people all over the world. Trivial patents are just one well-known pain and I want them gone as much ...
Erwin Brandstetter's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
8k views

How best to patent idea while working for company?

I have an idea I would like to patent. I have not started working on the idea yet (and I'll swear to that in court). How best to keep my job without losing my intellectual property rights? The idea ...
SecretSquirrel's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
381 views

How does one start patenting an idea in the United States?

I have an idea to do with visual projection systems. I'm not versed on the subject but I am technically inclined (I study computer science and engineering). How would I go about obtaining a patent for ...
Cliff's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are standard-essential patents?

How do patents become "essential patents"? Do the companies submit them to become standards or are they deemed "standard" based on their nature? Are peripheral patents more powerful than essential ...
Ari's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to use expired patents when designing a product?

Patent 5,636,276 will be expiring in 2015, assuming my math is correct. The patent, which covers distributing music digitally, has been used very effectively to get royalties from many companies, ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 175
4 votes
2 answers
346 views

D/285,860 and D/253,629 - These look like an ordinary skateboards

The two styles shown are standard skateboard shapes that have been around for decades (surfboard-shaped and "fishtail"). There's lots of varieties of both these shapes in production everywhere. The ...
Rachel B's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
205 views

How can I protect my invention after applying for a patent?

I have developed a new device used in automobiles and applied for a patent (as personal, not from a company). After producing commercially and releasing into the market, what may I do if someone ...
venkat's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
888 views

If a patent claims a method, is a subset of the method's steps also covered?

Assume there is a patent that has a claim for a method, the method comprising 5 steps: Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Two questions: If I drop Step 5 and use a method consisting of Steps 1 ...
Tony's user avatar
  • 43
4 votes
1 answer
720 views

How specific must prior art be to invalidate a patent?

Following on from #191, I looked at http://www.google.com/patents/US8082501. - "System and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space" This was granted in Nov 2009 and claims: 1. A ...
lifeisstillgood's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
483 views

Can one file a patent application amicus brief to protest granting of the patent?

If one were to have information concerning a patent application that would refute the claim of no prior art (goes to originality), is there a process and/or obligation to submit this information to ...
Bill's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
2 answers
252 views

In a patent notice, is the name you use to refer the patented product important?

When patenting software, is it important the name you use to qualify the product? Example: Software product protected by US Patent No. XXXX. Technology protected by US Patent No. XXXX. I prefer to ...
John Assymptoth's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
261 views

What patents do I need to buy or lease to make and sell an electric guitar to the public?

I want to make and sell my own electric guitars. However, I have not invented the instrument, nor was I the inventor of any of the major advances in the field. However, I have some changes (mostly ...
OneFabric's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
253 views

What kind of penalties should I expect when having text about patents that expired in my products?

What kind of penalties should I expect when text about patents patents that expired in my products? (e.g. "This product is protected by Patent No. XXXX" -> This was true at one time, but not anymore, ...
John Assymptoth's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
152 views

What does "discretionary inquiry" mean?

What is the meaning of "simple discretionary inquiry" in supreme court opinion: Finally, the Court rejected the appellate court’s “clear and convincing evidence” standard that successful patent ...
john's user avatar
  • 410
3 votes
3 answers
304 views

Finding prior art rejects an independent claim

Suppose I find a patent (A1) with claims 1, 2 and 3. Claim 2 is dependent from claim 1. If I find a prior reference that rejects claim 1. What happens with claim 2? Is still valid? Should they ...
llrs's user avatar
  • 153
3 votes
1 answer
169 views

A patent specifies 'music', which is really 'packaged digital information', but how would a court interpret it?

Patent 5,636,276 describes a process for digitally distributing 'music' - it specifically uses that word. Does this mean that the patent applies exclusively to the distribution of music? Would it not ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 175
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can XML/JSON structure formats be patented?

Is it possible to patent or trademark XML/JSON data structures? If Company A had a service that requested common data and Company B chose to use an identical structure for their clients, could Company ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
183 views

Is there a fast route to worldwide patent acquisition?

A product is expected to be deployed to 12 countries on 3 continents, with more to follow on successful launch. Would it be better to aim for worldwide patent registration (as a matter of safety) or ...
Forkrul Assail's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
273 views

Are examination and re-examination proceedings publicly available?

Is there any way to read the proceedings of a patent prosecution or a re-examination? Public would be great of course, but so far I have not found even a fee-based resource so I wonder if proceedings ...
user702's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
2 answers
27k views

Can I produce and sell an already patented product?

Let's say that I had an idea, which I soon turned into reality but then discovered that it is patented already... So the question is: Can I still legally sell my product although it is patented by ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
2 answers
167 views

I'd like to make a digital watch with it's case similar to this one. How much different does my design need to be in order for it to be legal?

In regards to Patent USD637920, I'd like to make a digital watch with it's case similar to this one. How much different does my design need to be in order for it to be legal? Mine would be completly ...
Kingston Steele's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
139 views

If the the SHIELD Act passes how will it impact the licensing and patent litigation worlds?

The SHIELD Act was reintroduced into Congress recently (this question previously addressed SHIELD), and I'm wondering if every single would be "licensee/defendant" instead of engaging in licensing ...
ihtkwot's user avatar
  • 1,001
3 votes
1 answer
321 views

What are the major take-aways on the first-(inventor)-to-file rules that go into effect March 16, 2013?

The last and possibly most significant change to the U.S. patent system from the AIA goes into effect in less than a month. What will it mean for inventors and for prior art submitters?
George White's user avatar
  • 28.9k
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

"On a computer"?

In reference to the patent: US 6,368,268 Wouldn't the Alice decision render this patent invalid and unenforceable?
DFF's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
213 views

What is the difference between Patent agent and Patent lawyer?

I understand that agent doesn't have a law degree, but can she represent the inventor? I am writing my patent application by myself but want a professional to look it over and make corrections, ...
Pol99's user avatar
  • 543
3 votes
1 answer
179 views

Should I do a freedom to operate search if I suspect parts of my product infringe [US]?

Let's say I am building on a high-tech, novel product but that combines several techniques, components and/or innovations that I suspect may be patented (though those may have expired). I would like ...
aed's user avatar
  • 460