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Questions tagged [patentability]

For questions relating to the legal requirements necessary for applications to be granted a patent. Please include a tag relating to the relevant type of intellectual property protection you are asking about. There are invention patents, design patents and utility models. For an explanation of the differences, read the full tag description.

78
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6answers
10k views

How to torpedo a bad patent my former large employer is filing?

I worked for a large software company recently and quit to go work a much better place. I thought I had a clean break, but apparently the company is filing to patent work I did there. The specific ...
32
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the window for finding prior art on a patent application?

I know that patents are not part of the public purview until months or years after the patent application is filed. Once these patent applications are made public, for how long can I submit prior art (...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

What constitutes an original patentable idea in software?

We regularly hear a lot of news about software patents and how certain companies own or are buying gobs of patents in order to stave off potential law suits. What constitutes an original patentable ...
28
votes
8answers
12k views

Should I patent my idea before posting it on the internet?

Should I patent my idea before posting it on public internet forums? Could someone who sees my post beat me to it?
21
votes
4answers
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Are US software patents enforceable in the UK?

The UK Patent Act 1977 clearly states that It is hereby declared that the following (among other things) are not inventions for the purposes of this Act, that is to say, anything which consists of ....
17
votes
2answers
799 views

Is use in foreign countries a bar to patentability?

If an invention is in use in a foreign country, but it is not patented in that country (or any other countries), and it is not the subject of a printed publication anywhere, could that invention be ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Prior art for Apple's Magsafe

Having read through the claims of Magsafe patent #7311526, I am not sure how it differs from previous examples of magnetic power connectors. What exactly is the novelty being claimed in that ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a very basic shape of a product be patented?

There have been recent patent fights (such as Apple v. Samsung) that seem to claim certain basic physical forms of devices, such as a smartphone, can be patented. Aren't there a limited number of ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it possible to quickly kill existing patents?

My biggest fear is that all the really valuable and very broad patents that qualify as crap have been granted, and we're merely in the midst of the "long tail" of patent applications. How can we fix ...
13
votes
4answers
10k views

Can game mechanics be patented?

There's a board game that I really like called Mystery Mansion. I want to make a similar digital version of the game for various mobile platforms, but I don't want to get sued by Milton Bradley (Now ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Was there a landmark controversial software patent of a trivial idea before the “XOR flashing cursor” patent?

Currently the majority of bad press about trivial software patents is all centred around Apple and other smartphone industry players. A few years ago it was the Amazon "1-click" patent everybody was ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Can one patent software if that software uses a library that is Apache License, BSD, or MIT?

I just read that under BSD, Apache, and MIT Licenses, one can use, modify and redistribute source code in a product as long as credit for the open source portion is given back to the the author. That ...
11
votes
3answers
915 views

Are Software Development Methods patentable?

For example, if something like a method of Agile programming practices were singularly developed before they were popularly used, could a company have patented the 'system' including the parts that ...
10
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
751 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
679 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
907 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: ...
8
votes
3answers
58k views

Can I patent a mobile application or protect the idea

I am about launching a mobile application soonest (in 5 days time) but I am really scared about others using the idea behind the whole system because the few people I have spoken to about investing in ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

To what extent is a Java Off-Heap management patent applicable?

I am looking for some details about a Patent Application #20120222005 submitted by Terracotta Inc. around Off-Heap (Direct Memory) data stores. Here are some of its claims: 7. A method of managing ...
7
votes
3answers
620 views

The SPDY protocol is not patented. Could it have been? Is there prior art?

Google's SPDY protocol is a way to reduce web page load time be smart-multiplexing of the content. It has gained a strong opening acceptance among high-traffic organizations. Despite armchair ...
7
votes
2answers
639 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Are data structures patentable?

US7028023 seems to be a patent for a data structure (a variation on a linked list with an extra pointer to the item after the next item). Are data structures generally considered patentable, if so, ...
7
votes
2answers
674 views

Good patent books for startups and inventors?

Does anyone have a suggestion for good books or other resources on patents for startups and inventors? It seems like most things are “do it yourself” guides or texts for attorneys that don’t have the ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to get around broad patents?

This is a concept question for my and hopefully others' benefit. I have recently developed a working prototype for a medical application. It is based on a principle that was developed in the 1960's ...
7
votes
2answers
756 views

Practicality of faster than light travel

How was a patent granted for a technology that violates basic physics? Hyper-light-speed antenna Patent number: 6025810 Filing date: Oct 2, 1997 Issue date: Feb 15, 2000 From the abstract: "A method ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Protecting a User Interface: Design Patent and/or Copyright

I have been reading that it is possible to file Design Patent(s) and Copyright applications on top of non-provisional utility filings. To my understanding (I am an engineer so please bear with me :) ...
7
votes
4answers
434 views

What's the best approach to document a claim?

I'm wondering what the best way to match prior art to a claim you feel is invalid. I have found examples applicants use with the USPTO, so I would imagine using that same format to invalidate a claim ...
6
votes
3answers
328 views

Where can I find best practices or guides for patent/SOTA research?

I work as an engineer (not software) and occasionally I have ideas that might make sense to follow through and maybe arive at some sort of invention. The first step would be, of course, to look up if ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How does one know if a patent was reexamined?

Is there a public database that show whether a US patent was reexamined or challenged in any other way? If so where is it?
6
votes
3answers
462 views

Are patents which are dependent on prior inventions valid?

Example: PersonA files a patent, such as a gesture, which depends on a touch screen. PersonB holds the patent for touch screens. PersonA is therefore patenting a use for touch screens. PersonA's ...
6
votes
5answers
519 views

Patent of specific financial structure

Can I patent a kind of financial structure? In particular I would like to patent a kind of ETF (exchange traded fund) with certain specific characteristics in terms of the structure. As many of you ...
6
votes
6answers
873 views

Do Patents cover the idea or the specific technology?

I have a friend who has as idea for a product based on technology he invented. The problem is that we have seen another company that basically does the same thing, although it works differently. The ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Can teaching methods be patented?

I plan to develop an open-source software application that speaks words in a foreign language while displaying pictures that represent the words. Can teaching methods (such as Rosetta Stone's language ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it really possible to patent neural networks?

In reference to the patent: US5933819 I think this is not patentable, but does need protection. Without knowing the details, applying a neural network algorithm to a problem is not even an idea, it ...
6
votes
1answer
574 views

Method for exercising a cat?

http://www.google.co.uk/patents/US5443036 Does anyone know the reason why this patent was filed and granted? In what way might this game have qualified as non-obvious and novel to the examiner? ...
5
votes
4answers
985 views

Can I patent my logic for a pantry management system?

Is it possible to patent my own logic for determining if pantry items have gone bad in a software system for managing items? I don't expect there to be a god-given algorithm for this logic, but if I ...
5
votes
4answers
558 views

Patent that references non-existing material

I have a concept for a technology that requires a currently non-existing material. I can describe the properties of this material. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a good real-life material ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Can a system for wirelessly charging a mouse battery be patented?

I'm a Engineering student in Canada. Me and a couple of my friends developed a simple inductive system for wirelessly charging a mouse's battery. The mouse pad has a grid of neodymium magnets built in....
5
votes
1answer
45 views

Can I broaden the scope of a claim w.r.t. prior art through the use of “other than”?

(This question is closely related to What practical requirements are there for unity of an invention with multiple independent claims?, in which I ask for details about the "unity" of an invention ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

What concrete lessons should software patent applicants learn from Alice vs CLS Bank?

Alice vs CLS Bank decided that implementing an abstract idea on a generic computer is not patentable. Most experts seem to believe that SCOTUS's decision invalidated some, but not all software ...
5
votes
3answers
165 views

Does this analyzer server meet the “full, clear, concise” terms of 35 USC 112?

Could you explain me how the 35 USC 112 rule is satisfied by the patent US5946647: The specification shall contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

What practical requirements are there for unity of an invention with multiple independent claims?

(This question is closely related to Can I broaden the scope of a claim w.r.t. prior art through the use of "other than"?, in which I ask about patentability in case I have to compress all ...
5
votes
3answers
147 views

Filing in foreign office before domestic one, will the patent be rejected?

I know that some countries have security concern, and patent must be filed at domestic office to check for security before filing at foreign office. The question is, what if I filed at foreign office ...
5
votes
1answer
585 views

Can I build a patented item (US 7,877,268) for personal use?

In reference to the patent: US 7,877,268 I would like to make this item for my grandmother. I would not be offering it to others or selling it for commercial use. Is this legal? What issues should I ...
5
votes
1answer
133 views

How can pseudo-science be patentable?

In reference to the patent: WO 2008/097922 A3 How can a patent office/examiner accept such pseudo-scientific literature? There is no rational basis here, thus no “intellectual” property. It looks ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it advisable to patent an open source project?

One year ago, I started an open source project, which is most popular in these days. This project is mostly used by my area's developers. I am expecting great future of this project. Is it advisable ...
5
votes
2answers
101 views

What is the inventive step in CA2726258A1?

In reference to the patent: CA2726258A1, "Anti-tumoural effects of cannabinoid combinations". It looks like this patent application was actually a report done on a study about the efficacy of using ...
5
votes
2answers
244 views

A license that prevents raising a software patent

Would it be possible, from a legal point of view, to create a software license that would prevent someone from patenting any part of software (source code) released under that license? I know there ...
5
votes
1answer
316 views

How to defend your work from patent vultures?

Many of us put our ideas in github or articles, hoping they will be just used. However, as I have currently a tough lesson, if your idea turns out successful, you can count on patent vultures trying ...