Re: patently frustrated

From: Bob Maxey ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/11/05-03:50:10 PM Z
Message-id: <BAY3-DAV214CC9FD998725CA0FC2E2E6100@phx.gbl>

> Yes, quite a puzzle sometimes. I have been wondering, when a recipie is
> listed, is this usually the best result they have achieved for the
> purpose or intentionally a bit off target to confuse things ?
> I suppose different authors and periods have different levels of
> "obscuring techniques", the modern ones beeing the worst, but ...

Yes, quite a puzzle indeed. I have never encountered any patents in which
"obscuring techniques" were used to hide essential details. If you reference
"Material X" you might be required to define the characteristics of
"Material X." Once we know the characteristics of this magical material, we
can figure out what it is. Material X could be defined in a highly technical
manner, and might be referenced in other patents, however.

Naturally, I have not reviewed every patent, but I can appreciate why it
might happen.

Perhaps the reader simply does not understand the process or technology
enough to determine if the formula is partial or not. Some people might
believe that essential details are "missing."

If I am patenting a formula for AZO dyes, I might not need to give specific
chemical brands or recipes/formulas. My patent might reference CLC inks, for
example, and another inventor or scientist would know what I am talking
about, so I do not need to give many details.

The reader might wonder what "CLC Inks" are and how they are made and they
might ask why are the essential details "missing." They simply do not need
to be included in every case.

I am currently researching polarizer patents and every "recipe" (formula) is
clear and understandable. The patents provide the (brand) names of the raw
materials, mixing instructions, manufacturer's address, who made the
dichroic dyes used by the inventor, and how the poly is stretched; how hot
to get the plastic and how much do I stretch the material is often given as

In some cases, a patent provides a step-by-step procedure for creating the
product that is patented. Polarizers can be easily made by following
#2,184,999 - "Light Filter," issued December 26, 1939 to E. H. Land ET AL.

I do not think it is good to hide details. It is possible that another
patent could unknowingly "infringe" upon an existing patent in which the
essential details are missing and the inventor of the infringing patent
would never know. Inventors need to understand every aspect of all prior
patents similar to their patent or invention.

This needs to be public information. If not, I could define my invention as
a data entry mechanism black box, a device for processing information black
box, and a method of display black box, thus securing a patent on every
desktop computer. Simplified and silly analogy to be sure, but you get the

I am not sure if it is legal to create a patent with hidden details because
it violates the spirit of the patent system. How could you possibly know if
your patent infringes on another patent if you do not intimately understand
the nature of those patents similar to the patent you are trying to obtain?
If I am patenting photographic film, I need to know every detail of every
previous film patent or I am wasting my time.

Harley-Davidson tried to protect the "Harley Sound." The same sound almost
every (non H-D) V-Twin engine makes. With differences in mufflers and how
mufflers affect sound, the protection is goofy because every bike makes a
different sound and their protection was not enforceable. A Japanese maker
tried to patent the sound of a jet engine so their bikes sound like jets
winding up and taking off.

While we are so off topic, did you know there are a series of existing
patents that cover selling products over the net and/or by every known
electronic method? These are legitimately issued and current patents.

One specific company claimed this and their claims are/were based upon
"legitimate" patents. As it stands now, anyone that sells using the web,
from Microsoft, to Amazon, to Barns and Noble, to eBay, violates one or more
existing patents.

What makes it worse is some sellers have (apparently) settled out of court.

So think about this situation for a moment. If you sell on the web, you are
in violation of one or more patents. Apparently, eBay and every eBay seller
violates a "legitimate" patent. Silly to be sure and I choose to ignore the
"legal rights" of one company.

So the bigger question is, do we have any right to ignore someone else's
legal rights, regardless of how silly we think they are?

Visit and read the bloody details. Warning, the site
might be down and the site is simply giving you the background of the patent
holder, patent numbers (or trademarks, I have not checked in some time) and
other essential details.

Bob (Not a Patent Attorney)

Received on Wed May 11 15:57:36 2005

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