Questions tagged [patents]

A patent is a right granted by a government entity for [intellectual-property] (IP), which excludes others from using that IP. Use this tag when asking specifically about patentability or patented matters.

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2answers
41 views

Invention ideas without a prototype?

If one had an idea for an invention, but had no ability to make such a device, can you make the "idea" legally yours, insofar as it is specific?
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21 views

When does an improvement patent require (or not require if that's easier) a license from the holder of the original patent?

first post here! I was curious when an improvement patent requires a licensing agreement with the holder of the original patent? I did some preliminary research, but everything I can find online is ...
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1answer
409 views

How to ensure that no one can copy my app design and name

Can an application developer from outside the USA prevent other developers in the US from copying the name and design of the application? How will this work? How can a developer who has published a ...
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1answer
168 views

Is it legal to patent an idea and then not use it?

In the HBO show Silicon Valley, a patent describing a technique that could replace paid services with free ones is an important plot point. The patent was never used and seems to have never had an ...
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1answer
75 views

Kellogg v National Biscuit Co

In Kellogg v National Biscuit Co it was ruled that once a utility patent expires the patentee can never make a trademark-like claim to the exclusive use of the source-identifying function of the shape ...
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2answers
97 views

Anticipating "novelty" in patent law

In its opinion the Court discusses earlier wire fence construction that, though somewhat similar to Glidden’s, did not “anticipate” the Glidden invention. “Anticipate” is a term of art in patent law. ...
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1answer
74 views

Patent law: What is the litmus test for 'inventive step' \'non obvious'?

As I understand it the EPC (Europe) requires 'inventive step' and the USPTO require claims to be 'non obvious'. An electronic measurement was designed and tested. What are the questions that one ...
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1answer
32 views

Is there a catch in signing patent request documents [closed]

This is a bit broad, I know. As I cannot share the documents it is meant as a general question regarding patent requests. The CEO of my company has put me on a patent request papers. I had nothing to ...
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50 views

How non-public could a disclosure/publication be, and still count as such for patent "prior art" and copyright purposes? [closed]

The essence of both patent and copyright is that a creator/inventor gets legal protection and exclusivity within broad limits, in exchange for some form of publication/public disclosure. Similarly a ...
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164 views

If an inventor were to create a top secret invention, does this person have a legal obligation to keep it secret?

In a scenario in which an inventor was able to invent something that the government would likely classify as 'Top Secret' or even 'Born Secret', and the inventor knows that it will be classified as ...
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1answer
97 views

Can a professor patent and license a technology if the development used software with non-commerical license?

Suppose a professor or student at a university uses software like Rosetta (a protein folding software) for their research. Rosetta has free academic licenses as well as paid commercial licenses ...
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What copyright terminology do I need to include in my thesis (for a new encryption algorithm)?

I'm about to publish a thesis on a new encryption algorithm I devised, and was told by my Committee Chair that I would need to include: A copyright page - to safeguard my work from being patented by ...
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2answers
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I live in Bulgaria. Should I worry about a patent that has been granted in the USA?

I want to implement, in my app, a technique that has been patented in the USA. I live in Bulgaria. Do I need permission from the patent owner?
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1answer
34 views

How to deal with patents that others hold? [closed]

I am an aspiring inventor and in the best case scenario I will be developing smartphones but something that is a huge hurdle for me are the patents that other people hold. I mean one company patented ...
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2answers
50 views

If someone resigns from a firm while their patent application is under processing, will their name be used in patent application

I couldn't find any law/rule stating that if a person resigns from a company after the company have filed for an patent by that person, whether his/her name will be considered in the patent if it is ...
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2answers
1k views

What does "Preferably", "Optionally" and "Advantageously" mean when used in patents?

I am currently reading through a standard Australian patent and in the "Summary" section, I have seen the use of "Preferably", "Advantageously" and "Optionally" used numerous times when beginning ...
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0answers
103 views

Oracle Java Patents Expiration

Is there a date where the Google v. Oracle situation will never occur again with Java? It is rather disappointing to me that there is no official date for their patents to expire; see Java and patents....
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2answers
2k views

What to do after an employee leaked our algorithm?

One of my company's internally developed algorithms was published online. It's a complex algorithm that took years to develop, I have a pretty good idea of which employee leaked it based on the team ...
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2answers
142 views

Commercial usage of photos of extreme close-up of popular electronics

Let's say I make a photo of iPhone screen through the microscope, so field of view of the photo is just several pixels and individual RGB components of the screen are visible - so it's not possible ...
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1answer
53 views

Is patent law still applicable if the breacher is doing so under a non-profit initiative?

If so is the law exactly the same in both instances?
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2k views

If I don't patent my invention, how closely can a competitor copy my product?

Introduction: I had an idea for how to make a certain product much better. I'm currently in the prototyping stage for a product based on that idea. That idea (the solution to the problem of improving ...
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1answer
24 views

Government Patent Licensing Rights

If a license is issued to the US Government to build and operate a patented measurement system, is it violation of the license if the government hires a contractor to build and operate the system? ...
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1answer
60 views

What are the copyright terms on patents?

Are patents (and the attached text, diagrams, images etc) covered by copyright? Or are they, by virtue of being published patents, in the public domain?
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1answer
253 views

Why does the US patent law have a section about inventions in outer space?

I came upon a curiously exorbitant statute, Inventions in outer space (35 USC 105). To summarize my question, what was the story and the rationale behind this law? The section reads, in part: Any ...
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1answer
88 views

Can someone invalidate my patent because others manufactured my product too?

If I designed a new product and began selling it without a patent in the United States, then other suppliers copied the design and began producing the design commercially before I filed for a patent, ...
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6answers
18k views

Can I forbid the government from using my patented invention?

(this is a purely hypothetical situation, for literary research) I've filed a patent on a certain technology for facial recognition/analysis, and as the patent holder I want to use my exclusivity to ...
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1answer
79 views

What happens if open hardware infringes existing patent?

For example, maker community builds a machine implying/related to technologies/concepts under patent, and licenses these under GPL. What are the consequences? Example: electronic beam welding patent ...
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1answer
936 views

Is it allowed to sell 3D models of existing brands?

Case: I make 3D models for architecture. Now I made a bundle of IKEA furniture to use in my interior scenes. I do this for clients to give them a visual representation of what a room can be. Because ...
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2answers
117 views

Afraid of Patent Troll for first app

I am writing my first mobile-app that teaches a foreign language in a "chat-like" manner. Means, the user enters a chat and you learn the language by having a bot sending you individual ...
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3answers
22k views

If I don't want to patent something, what can I do to ensure the patent office doesn't unintentionally grant the patent to someone else?

Say that I have created a hypothetical new invention. I would like for it to be used by as many people as possible without restrictions, so I deliberately choose not to pursue a patent on it. As ...
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1answer
190 views

Could one legally duplicate a commercial product's design for their own personal use?

John Doe lives in the United States and wants to create a machine that sorts fruit. Rather than design and build it himself, he finds a patented commercial product that sorts fruit, but he discovers ...
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3answers
135 views

If I sold my invention to a company, can I create a new version based on it?

Let's consider I have created a new robot it cleans the windows. A company gives me a tons! of money and I will sell it to the company and say goodbye and completely leave the project. Then after some ...
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0answers
45 views

Is the measurement for system characterization an "abstract idea"?

Patent #6,128,415 claims were reversed based on 'the claim is directed to an abstract idea' Example 5. Digital Image Processing (pp 13) provides a ineligible patent claim: A method of generating ...
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1answer
47 views

Patent Application Due-Diligence

When engaging an IP attorney, I would like to understand what the inventor can / should prepare before meeting with the attorney. Assume the context is a system and method utility patent application (...
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1answer
64 views

Patent Claims: software vs machine taxonomy classification

An invention consists of a system and method. The system component comprises an electronic measurement system, which is software configurable \ programmable. I would like to understand which of the ...
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1answer
34 views

Does modifying/improving a patented device extend the rights of the original patent in any way?

Let's say that I invent and patent something, a computer chip for example. Then over the next 15 years I add a whole bunch of new features to that invention and patent each of the modified designs. ...
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3answers
6k views

If mathematical equations are not patentable, why are algorithms patentable?

I'm new to the domain of understanding the law behind patenting, and I want to start a company that uses machine learning algorithms. Unfortunately, almost every concept is patented by the top ...
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1answer
247 views

How can you get back intellectual property from a bankrupt startup?

I have written some software for an American startup that has since gone bankrupt. The intellectual property consists of: Software code Patents that have me listed as their inventor, but that, ...
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3answers
266 views

What if after a patent is awarded, someone proves they invented it earlier?

I'm referring to a US patent. (USPTO non provisional Utility patent) And I'm referring to that first inventor not only proving they thought of it, of course, but that they published the idea or even ...
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1answer
45 views

Is it normal that a patent stipulate that an author must help with future patent development and establishment?

I am a first time patent co-author. The patent assignment contains the following: "the assignors hereby covenant with the Assignee that they shall, at the cost of the Assignee, execute all further ...
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1answer
165 views

Can you patent something that is an implementation of another patent?

In short, lets say I made a chair. A fully implemented chair with X, Y, Z features. I have a working prototype and details on how each part of the chair works, and what the features can do. However, ...
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1answer
384 views

Copyright on a physical object where no patent exists

Lets say my company make a new shape of Rubik's Cube (a round ball twisty puzzle) and we call it a "Ball Cube" (my company is called "Puzzles" so its a "Puzzles Ball Cube"). I patent the "Ball Cube" ...
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1answer
51 views

Scope and participants in the Oracle Contributor Agreement

Reading the Oracle Contributor Agreement (direct PDF link), there are some points which seem off, at least for me as someone with zero legal knowledge. The first paragraph defines: The term “...
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1answer
119 views

How to protect my IP

I'm a developer looking to create a startup. However, it's a very unique idea and something I want to protect not only as a "product idea" but also the business brand too. I'm guessing I would ...
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2answers
655 views

Can an unfinished product be patented?

Say two companies are working on some software that does essentially the same thing: Can one of the companies patent the idea before it's finished to prevent the other company from working on it, or ...
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1answer
93 views

Are inventions patentable AFTER they are published?

Dropout was a technique introduced publically in 2012 by Geoffrey Hinton. Notably, he and his research team filed for this patent in 2013. I'm not sure how this is allowed. They did invent it, but ...
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1answer
202 views

Can you sue a DAO that offers "software as a coin"?

Please help me evaluate the fictitious fact pattern below and understand whether there is a viable legal strategy for the prosecution. Note that this is somewhat futuristic and does not contemplate a ...
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2answers
182 views

Does a company own my company's product if I use their open source code?

Does a company own my company's product if I use their open source code? I am reading through the SDK License agreement of a company's code and it reads: ======================================== ...
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2answers
72 views

Is an overly generic patent claim for turning metadata into displayed web pages actually valid?

The first claim of this patent application is: An electronic content management and delivery platform, the platform comprising: An ingestion system configured to receive a document; a publishing ...
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1answer
39 views

Can someone wait before patenting something?

Let's say I invent something. I manufacture it without patenting it. 30 years later, someone reverse-engineered my invention. I see that he is a few months away from manufacturing it, can I rush in ...