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83 votes
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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?

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 ...
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  • 9,065
59 votes

Can I forbid the government from using my patented invention?

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 ...
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53 votes
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Can I forbid the government from using my patented invention?

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. ...
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39 votes

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?

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 ...
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37 votes
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Is it illegal to implement a patented algorithm or method and take advantage from it?

You cannot use a patented invention without permission A patent gives the owner exclusive rights to use it: not just profit from it. The only way you can use their patent is by licensing it. You ...
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31 votes
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If mathematical equations are not patentable, why are algorithms patentable?

Aren't computer programs mathematical equations? Any program can be represented mathematically. . . . But how are programs different from mathematical equations? . . . Don't encryption algorithms ...
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28 votes

Could a charity manufacture patented medications for free?

No, they could not. The conditions of violating a patent don't revolve around monetary gain, so regardless of compensation they would be in violation of the patent.
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  • 9,065
24 votes
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What is the status of this patent?

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: ...
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22 votes
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How to prevent others from getting a patent on my idea?

If I make a working prototype and upload it on youtube will it prevent others from getting a patent on the idea? Generally yes. If the core information is accessible to the public, it becomes "...
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  • 1,149
19 votes

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?

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 ...
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  • 1,670
18 votes

How to prevent others from getting a patent on my idea?

I would like to prevent other companies or individuals from getting a patent on the idea, so that someday I can continue the idea without a patent problem. Publication. One of the best forms of ...
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17 votes
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What is the effect of lost and recovered prior art on patent validity?

The patent is invalid From 35 U.S.C. 102 A person shall be entitled to a patent unless — (a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed ...
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  • 147k
15 votes

Do patent holders have an obligation to make their patents available? To what extent?

In the US, a patent holder has no obligation at all to use their patent. They can charge as much for their patented product as they want, and if there are no alternatives then they're in a pretty good ...
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  • 20.6k
13 votes

Advantage in being first to copyleft a new algorithm?

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 ...
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  • 20.6k
12 votes

To what extent, and by what legal authority, do patent holders have a duty to share their patents

The constitutional basis for all US patents is Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the US Constitution, which grants Congress the power: To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing ...
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10 votes

Can I forbid the government from using my patented invention?

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 ...
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  • 1,156
10 votes

Is it illegal to implement a patented algorithm or method and take advantage from it?

Software patents are illegal! In all Western patent-laws, it is clearly stated that software is not patentable. For Europe, here's the EPC, article 52: https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/...
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  • 127
9 votes
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What if I don't patent my invention?

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 ...
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  • 20.6k
9 votes

Can an unfinished product be patented?

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 ...
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  • 7,044
9 votes

What to do after an employee leaked our algorithm?

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, ...
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8 votes

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

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

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 ...
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8 votes
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Applying for a patent in one country using a patented invention beloning to some else from another country

No Because it’s patented in country A, it is not novel anywhere in the world. That is, the patent in country A is “prior art” that would disqualify it from being patented anywhere else. The original ...
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  • 147k
7 votes
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Can I work on patent-infringing software in private, then release it when said patent expires?

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 ...
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7 votes
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Can I build something for personal use if it is patented?

The title of your question suggests that a patent is involved, but it isn't clear from the rest of your question if that is really the case. Simply seeing a product on the internet does not mean that ...
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7 votes
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Can you patent something that is an implementation of another patent?

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 ...
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7 votes
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Licensing an idea to public?

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 ...
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