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80

There is a history of "giving away patents", which allows the original grantor to foster innovation instead of stifle it. Here are some examples: Sealand Industries - ISO Shipping Container Patented the standard shipping container, then gave away the patent royalty free, allowing a revolution in ocean going shipping. Annually it is estimated that $440 ...


57

Can you prevent the government from using your patent? The opposite is actually true. If you patent something, and it is felt to be potentially of national security interest, then they can take your invention for the nation, produce it, and prevent you producing it or sharing the design indefinitely (though it will be reviewed annually). This has happened ...


51

You cannot deny the federal government the right to use your patent, but you can sue them for "recovery of [your] reasonable and entire compensation for such use and manufacture", see 28 USC 1498. Note that the statute refers to such use as being "without license of the owner thereof or lawful right to use or manufacture the same", that is, there is no ...


36

Producing or selling the invention are not the only ways to establish prior art. A simple publication detailing the invention would also suffice, from a strictly legal perspective (the publication qualifies as prior art under 35 USC 102). It is possible that the USPTO (specifically, the Examiner responsible for finding prior art to reject another ...


30

Aren't computer programs mathematical equations? Any program can be represented mathematically. . . . But how are programs different from mathematical equations? . . . Don't encryption algorithms precisely come under the definition of mathematical equations? In the context of patent law, the "mathematical equations" that aren't patentable are those ...


24

That is not at all what USPTO is telling you. Courts do not simply "dismiss" patents - that isn't a terminology you'd ever see used for a patent that was found to be invalid. Timeline of events: United Industries Corporation brought a suit against the owner of the patent, claiming unpatentability. That case went to trial, and the court found the claim to ...


17

Publish Your Invention In theory, any reasonably-findable publication should work just as well as actually getting a patent in terms of establishing prior art to prevent the issuance of another patent on the invention. Practice, however, is not always ideal. Judging from my experience patenting inventions, the patent examiners aren't always the best at ...


13

Algorithms are not subject to copyright. A particular implementation can be copyrighted, but an algorithm itself can't be copyrighted. Someone re-implementing the algorithm with their own code has done nothing to give you copyright claims against their work, and is not bound by any software license you use. That's what patents are for.


10

The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property allows countries to issue compulsory licences when patent holders abuse their patent rights. This specifically includes preventing the use of the invention or unduly limiting it's use. (2) Each country of the Union shall have the right to take legislative measures providing for the grant of ...


9

If you are producing and selling it, that is an absolute bar to patentability by anyone else (this is known as prior art). So if you are using it very publicly before they file, they can't get the patent.


9

Patenting does not require a working product in fields where the performance is predictable before hand. Chemistry and biology do have criteria regarding real results. The description in the patent application needs to be detailed enough that someone of ordinary skill in the field could make and use the invention. After company A gets a patent (might be 3 ...


9

Whether this is considered a trade secret (at least in the US) depends partly on whether you've taken reasonable action to keep it secret. If an employee thought it was OK to publish the algorithm, that's evidence that you didn't try very hard to keep it from getting out. Even if nobody's noticed it yet, getting the blog post taken down in't going to get ...


8

To add to the existing answer, what a company will patent is what they think will cost too much for a competitor to try to challenge. It does not have to be original, novel, or even discovered by them. It just has to be enough of an obstacle for competitors to defend their space - or (more commonly) to negotiate a mutual non-aggression pact with a competitor ...


8

Without a patent, your inventions are not protected (except as trade secrets). If you publish your findings, anyone can use them. It is possible to patent the specific design of your chassis. Design patents, which cover the specific aesthetic design of something, can be less expensive than utility patents, which cover functional aspects. Although your ...


7

The whole purpose of a patent is that the contents of the patent becomes public knowledge, in exchange for a time limited monopoly. Therefore you are allowed to do anything, since you are not just allowed but expected to examine the patent in order to improve on it, except that you need a license to sell or give away products implementing the patent as ...


7

You are correct that it is quite expensive to patent something in U.S. law. Under U.S. patent law, once an idea is publicly published, if no one else has a patent application for the same idea that is pending, the idea enters the public domain and no one can obtain a patent of that idea. The publication become "prior art" with respect to any future patent ...


6

Yes. The AusPat database is an excellent source for looking for Australian patents. I did a quick search for "card game" and came across 276 results fitting those keywords. Not all involve the classic generic-52-card-deck format, but some do. A good example - and one that seems similar to your idea - is "Modified blackjack game using non-standard blackjack ...


6

If the details of your implementation are not disclosed by the previous patent, and more generally, if they are novel and non-obvious in light of the entire body of prior art (including the previous patent), then you could obtain a patent whose claims are limited to implementations that include (some of) those details. That said, your patent would not ...


6

Let's go over the options: Copyright is out of the question as you cannot copyright an algorithm. No code is shared in this case anyway. Patent might be possible but the cons outweighs the pros in this case. Depending on the nature of your algorithm and your jurisdiction you may not succeed. And a patent by definition is going to disclose the algorithm to ...


6

A government, in this case the Brazilian government, cannot effectively control what people, particularly people who are not its citizens, do in other countries. If people are able to obtain and ship outside of Brazil supplies of the plant, then the Brazilian government cannot stop them doing research on it. However, the Brazilian government can largely ...


6

This refers to adding a putatively useful feature to the thing. For instance, a drug can have a certain active ingredient, and the patent on the active ingredient can expire, but you may discover a way to make the drug more effective or in some other way more useful (e.g. by reducing side-effects) by coating it with a purple wax. This product can be patented....


5

At least in theory an end user could be sued for infringing on a patent, especially a method claim. Given the cost of a patent lawsuit, this strikes me as extremely unlikely to happen though, unless the user in question were an extremely large company, or something on that order. Theoretically, the only difference between open-source software and ...


5

It's not software; it's a "method," which is a type of process. Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title. 35 USC §101 (Software would be a particular program ...


5

You will want to speak with a patent attorney, not a labor attorney. Some of the facts you are presenting are entirely wrong. Patents have inventors, copyrights have authors. Inventorship has strict rules. Inventorship cannot be denied without consequence in almost any jurisdiction, but you'll need to get local legal advice. In the US, "A patent is ...


5

If your friend was a salaried W2 full time exempt employee hired by the company to, among other things, write software like this, then the fact that it was developed "off the clock" with the employee's own resources means nothing once he gives it to the company. I mean if I give you a present and it blows up and breaks your arm, I'm still liable even if we ...


5

The reason for this is simple: You can’t install C or C++. C or C++ is just a programming language and C/C++ code compiles to machine code. Machine code can directly be executed by the processor (CPU) in your computer. Java, however, is normally compiled to byte-code only a Java Virtual Machine can execute. And this Java virtual machine is what you get ...


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