All Questions

10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
372 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 (...
4
votes
2answers
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
335 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
826 views

USPTO examiner/staff financial background check and disclaimers

I've always wondered if there was a financial background check on the examiner and all other USPTO staff that work on a patent application. Or if there is a disclaimer section for those who worked on ...
78
votes
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
718 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?
8
votes
1answer
457 views

Would software written in a country without software patents constitute prior art in the USA?

If I write an application here in Europe, where we don't have software patents, would an American company be able to apply for a US patent on a technique or algorithm used in the application? What ...
15
votes
5answers
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 ...
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 ....
32
votes
5answers
10k views

How long are patents valid?

As an independent software programmer it is very tricky and time consuming to understand these patents. I would say it is impossible for me. Do software patents have a lifetime? If they do, it would ...
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Which patents were involved in Apple v. Samsung?

Can someone list which patents Apple sued Samsung over? I believe one of them was rounded corners on a mobile device. I could be wrong though, but if I am correct about that one, then any mobile ...
1
vote
4answers
377 views

How patentable are Fine Art products?

Fine Art is heavily dependent upon per-piece uniqueness. However, sometimes a good style / form comes along that excites people. Does this fall under the category of a design patent (on a specific ...
4
votes
1answer
381 views

How much does US patent law affect international development?

I am originally from Canada, and I live in Asia, but, like a lot of software developers, software code I develop on the web is hosted and used within the United States. Like many, I've heard lots of ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Should certain concepts be avoided/included when searching for fluid dynamics patents?

I'm interested to find the range of patented art for apparatus / systems that control the shape/structure of fluid motion. I'm interested in fluid separations, but dis-interested in screens media ...
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 ...
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: ...
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?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Benefits of Software Patents for the software developer (freelancer, companies…)

As the current software patents stand, is there a need for software patents in regards to software development, and what benefits do they bring to the software developer in general? My question is ...
3
votes
1answer
263 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
503 views

Is it worth patenting something before submitting to the W3C?

Is it worth patenting something before submitting to the W3C, even if it's a royalty free patent?
9
votes
3answers
12k views

How do we check if a patent already exists for our idea?

The idea in question is for a gardening tool.
1
vote
1answer
361 views

General primer on what's patentable in the United States?

I know "it depends..." But what are some general principles on what is patentable and what isn't? I have various ideas, as do we all, some of them good, as do we all, but I don't want to keep running ...
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....
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Prior art for double-tap to zoom in a structured document / web browser

Apple has patented (US7864163) the behaviour in Mobile Safari whereby double-tapping zooms in just enough to fit on the screen the particular box of content that was tapped. A computer-implemented ...
4
votes
1answer
699 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
553 views

Prior art for Dual Air Drying Arrangement

Many people in the commercial vehicle industry use a "twin" air drying arrangement. Patent #us8118911, originally filed Nov. 10, 2006, and was granted on Feb 21, 2012, seems ridiculous to me. For ...
8
votes
1answer
745 views

What is the layman's definition of 'prior art' in the US and other countries?

Every now and then I hear and read about 'prior art'. Is that a US specific thing or is a global thing regardless of where you are based in, if and when wanting to apply a patent. Any answers would ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
945 views

Does prior art need to cover all claims in a patent application in order to invalidate it?

If there are several Claims in a patent application, can prior art for one of them invalidate the entire patent application since all the other claims are dependent claims? Or does that just mean the ...
8
votes
10answers
1k views

Prior art for Graphical Instance Instantiation

Microsoft filed US20120227028 Graphical programming object population user interface autogeneration, which describes the automatic generation of GUIs to instantiate objects. I vaguely recall seeing a ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Prior art on Microsoft patents asserted against Barnes & Noble and Motorola

I was wondering whether there was sufficient prior art for some of the patents that Microsoft is with Android device manufacturers? Most of those seem to have been resolved under NDA, but here's some ...
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
14answers
2k views

Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space (Worlds Inc) - Issued Patent - PRIOR ART REQUEST

As an example back around April a company called World Inc. started suing major video game companies like Blizzard, regarding patents 8,082,501, 7,493,558, 7,945,856 and 7,181,690 "System and Method ...
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 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Prior art for “Style and layout caching of web content”

Microsoft's application aims to patent: Methods and systems for style and/or layout caching of Web content are usable to build reusable style caching trees and cacheable layout calculations. ...
12
votes
3answers
990 views

Prior art for SEO

Patent Application #20120016857 appears to be for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Here is its claim 1: A computer-readable medium comprising computer-readable instructions for providing search ...
21
votes
2answers
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
906 views

Prior art for ice cream maker insulated with inflatable cushion

US Patent Application US20120207901: INFLATABLE CUSHION Claim #1 describes an ice cream maker assembly comprising of an inflatable cushion to insulate a an ice cream maker apparatus inside. The rest ...
12
votes
4answers
899 views

CALL FOR PRIOR ART: “Method and System for Weight Management” (13/466,661)

This Patent Application was given a "final rejection" by the US Patent Office. An applicant has several ways to keep an application in this state alive. They include a request for continuing ...
15
votes
2answers
834 views

Can the non-obviousness of an invention be challenged if the difference to prior art is only the mathematical-statistical approach?

TL;DR Given a patent application describing a calculation using a maximum likelihood approach, and a piece of prior art that has the same goal but uses Monte Carlo simulation, is this sufficient to ...
6
votes
3answers
534 views

Prior art for wear-focusing of non-volatile memories

Patent application #20120226962 makes the claim: A computer implemented method for storing data in memory, the method comprising: receiving write data to be written into a memory that is ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Prior art for Vehicle Air Conditioner

Patent application #20120222429 claims: A vehicle air conditioner for a passenger compartment of a vehicle, comprising: a power source for driving the vehicle; a radiator provided ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Prior art for using a camera in self-driving cars

Toyota has filed a patent (#20120226392) for a "Driving support apparatus and driving support method". Its main claim: A driving support apparatus that performs a driving support for causing a ...
8
votes
1answer
425 views

Prior art for athletic gear with padded seat area

Patent application #20120222191 titled "Sports garment with a seat pad, in particular for cycling" claims to have a unique method for attaching a padded section to a spandex cycling short. Here's ...
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 (...

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