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33
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 ...
8
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 ...
23
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
379 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
388 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
141 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 ...
22
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
911 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: ...
29
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?
7
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
266 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?
10
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 ...
6
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....
12
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
704 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
555 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
752 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
997 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
960 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 ...
9
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 ...
10
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
957 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 ...
9
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 ...
16
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 ...
16
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. ...
13
votes
3answers
996 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 ...
22
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
911 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
901 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
842 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
536 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 ...
9
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 ...
16
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
427 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 ...
33
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 (...
13
votes
5answers
702 views

Prior art for bed management in healthcare

While browsing freshpatents.com for software patents, I happened upon Patent Application #20120226507, which seeks to patent a system for moving patient beds from one room to another. The claims: ...
10
votes
3answers
524 views

Timeline Display for Vehicle Fleet Management - Patent Application - PRIOR ART REQUEST

US Patent Application US20120226390: History timeline display for vehicle fleet management A system for providing history information for a plurality of vehicles, the system comprising: a ...
17
votes
3answers
797 views

Prior art for a simple versioning system on a document database

US Patent Application US20120226658: Data model versioning for document databases Claim #1 describes an extremely simple versioning system for a document database: A method, comprising: ...
46
votes
10answers
6k views

Microsoft have submitted a patent for a whack to silence a phone ringer. How similar does prior art have to be?

Microsoft has filed for a patent on a new technique that allow users of mobile devices to silence them by delivering a firm whack. From The Register: Patent application 20120231838, aka CONTROLLING ...
7
votes
2answers
483 views

Amusement Game - Dice that return independent variables or a random color - Patent Application - PRIOR ART REQUEST

The "Die for use in game play" patent application describes a die that returns two independent (random) variables. According to the application, one is ("preferably") a color. The other, as you might ...
15
votes
2answers
717 views

What are the possible consequences of using software developed outside of the US that infringes a software patent?

Suppose I'm developing a software and I operate in the country that doesn't recognize Software Patents. I make my software available for users in several countries including the United States. What if ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

If a claimed invention can be described at a higher level of abstraction, is the claim not merely an abstract idea?

35 USC 101 as interpreted by the Supreme Court does not allow patent claims that merely describe abstract ideas to be examined for a patent. How would the Court's precedent apply in a case in which ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

When patenting in the United States, what impact does patenting in other countries too have?

I've seen where companies have filed for the same patent in multiple additional countries beyond the United States. What is the motivation for such extensive patenting? What impact (if any) do these ...
46
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it practical for a novice to successfully file a patent without hiring a patent lawyer?

I am an undergraduate student in the US, and have come up with a (hopefully) patentable idea independently of my studies. The upside of that is the university cannot claim any rights to my invention; ...
23
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

How to make an invention un-patentable easily?

It appears that the USPTO no longer does defensive publications, but instead you're supposed to abandon a patent application. But that will still incur filing fees, etc. I figure an obscure blog ...
33
votes
13answers
3k views

Prior art for video games played according to a selected value system such as the claimed “codes of honor”

US patent application 2012/0052930 is titled "System and method for the heros journey mythology code of honor video game engine and heros journey code of honor spy games wherein one must fake the ...

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