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6 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
982 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 ...
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  • 231
9 votes
10 answers
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 ...
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  • 193
10 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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  • 203
16 votes
4 answers
17k 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 ...
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12 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
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  • 221
9 votes
14 answers
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 ...
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  • 423
17 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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  • 271
16 votes
3 answers
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. Such ...
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  • 261
13 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 423
17 votes
1 answer
921 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 ...
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13 votes
4 answers
906 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 ...
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  • 231
16 votes
2 answers
876 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 ...
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  • 261
7 votes
3 answers
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 logically ...
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9 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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16 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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  • 264
9 votes
1 answer
428 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 ...
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  • 191
34 votes
3 answers
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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  • 443
13 votes
5 answers
709 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: ...
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10 votes
3 answers
533 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 ...
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17 votes
3 answers
809 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: ...
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47 votes
10 answers
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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
498 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 ...
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  • 359
15 votes
2 answers
785 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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  • 29
14 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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  • 243
49 votes
6 answers
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; ...
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  • 590
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 ...
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18 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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  • 287
33 votes
13 answers
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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  • 751
14 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
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  • 751
18 votes
2 answers
878 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 ...
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  • 751
11 votes
1 answer
441 views

Can willful patent infringement exist without prior notification?

In order for a company to accuse an organization of willful infringement, or allege that they are actively and knowingly infringing on a patent, must the patent holder first send the allegedly ...
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  • 702
12 votes
2 answers
691 views

Consequences of unwilful US patent infringment by a foreign legal entity when establishing US presence

Suppose the following situation: A company is incorporated in a country other than U.S.A., which does not allow software patents (e.g. EU member countries). This company produces an invention as a ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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35 votes
7 answers
17k views

Are text and images in the patent copyrighted?

Sometimes, during a patent research, I found patents which comprise one or more similar images and/or text paragraphs. Are text and images in the patent copyrighted? Does any 3rd party, other than ...
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20 votes
4 answers
810 views

Can a granted patent be deeded to the public?

Please note, I'm not speaking in the context of a land patent, I just could not think of a better word than deed. Let's say that: I have a concrete implementation of something that can be patented I ...
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  • 702
17 votes
3 answers
776 views

What does the term 'commodity' mean in patent 7,222,078?

Patent 7,222,078 (USPTO) (one of the Lodsys patents), uses the term 'commodity' repeatedly throughout the patent, for example: In an exemplary system, information is received at a central location ...
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18 votes
1 answer
3k views

What should I do if my name is missing from a patent?

While working for a company, I contributed inventions that eventually became issued patents. While all other members of the team I worked on are named on those patents, my name is missing. What ...
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  • 1,106
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Revising a poor English translation of a US national phase application based on a foreign language PCT application

A patent application was originally drafted in a language other than English and filed in a country other than the US. It was subsequently translated into English and made a PCT application and ...
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27 votes
5 answers
2k views

What can I do about an infringer if I'm a small independent inventor?

I'm a small-scale independent inventor with few resources and have a patent that I believe is being infringed by a large company. I fear that if I approach the company on my own, I will have little ...
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  • 1,106
12 votes
3 answers
595 views

Should I file a provisional application?

In the past I've been discouraged from filing provisional applications (in the US), but the new "first to file" provisions of the "America Invents Act" would seem to make a provisional application a ...
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  • 1,106
13 votes
2 answers
295 views

Is there a specified route to convert UK patents to US patents?

If I have an existing UK patent, is there a way to get it recognised in the US, or to convert it to be a US patent? My guess is that there must be agreements between countries on how they handle ...
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19 votes
4 answers
695 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 ...
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  • 303
12 votes
1 answer
5k views

How long does it take a patent application to appear in the USPTO database?

I have several patents that I have filed which have been received by the USPTO, but have yet to appear when I search the USPTO online database. How long is the delay between filing and appearance on ...
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  • 1,106
25 votes
8 answers
5k views

How can I perform a global patent search for free?

I'm aware of several resources for searching the national or regional (e.g. EU) patent databases, but have found no tool for searching patents in all (or even several) countries at the same time. Is ...
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  • 1,106
33 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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  • 447
53 votes
8 answers
9k 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 ...
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