OT: Digital Sundial

From: Bob Shannon <bshannon_at_tiac.net>
Date: Sun Aug 4 08:50:01 2002

On the subject of patents...

You don't need an original idea to get a patent. All you need is an
original application,
or more technically a unique set of claims for an idea.

If you file a patent on an invention, but make an error of omission and
leave out some key
claim for your device, its perfectly leagal for someone else to see your
patent, recognise the
missing claims and then file an improvement patent.

In reality, a good fraction of all patents appear to be patents on prior
art. If you want to
better understand the U.S. patent system, don't think like an engineer.
 There is a method
to the apparent maddness, and it works.

Sellam Ismail wrote:

>On Sat, 3 Aug 2002, Eric Dittman wrote:
>>Neat. I'd like one, too, but I noticed that two people came
>>up with the idea (written up in Scientific American and some
>>other place), and three others took the idea and patented
>>it. That sounds like an abuse of the patent system.
>How can someone have patented prior art? That's a neat trick.
>Well, I understand how they could have patented it, but how can that
>possibly be enforced if it was based on someone elses prior published
>work? Unless they tweaked it a little, but anyway...
>Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
>International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org
> * Old computing resources for business and academia at www.VintageTech.com *

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