Design Con 2015
Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
RWatkins
User Rank
Rookie
re: Patents, innovation and misuse
RWatkins   10/14/2012 8:56:39 PM
NO RATINGS
It seems to me that large firms that are hiring several patent lawyers might do well to add temporary assignments that would cycle through engineering personnel to: 1. search for public disclosures that would invalidate competitors' patents, and 2. become more familiar with the patent system and what patents were present in their field of expertise. I could not even dream that ALL of the patents in a typical engineer's fields of expertise could be found and documented in such a manner or even just known to a given engineer. However, being familiar with the flaws and weaknesses in the patent system also allows an engineer to better understand what and why he is documenting in his work. It is my considered opinion that the problem today is that too much has been patented to allow patents to have anywhere near the effect they were intended by the US Constitution. Today, even the examiners are often just lucky if they can find the patent that would invalidate a given application. The use of inventor-specific terms and phrases, in a few cases that I observed while searching patents years ago, can and sometimes is abused to make the searcher's job more difficult by renaming a commonly described and otherwise commonly named item or process. This is in part why Microsoft's Design Patents, when coupled with Utility Patents, can be very helpful. Pictures or drawings that match are fairly easily correlated by examiners and juries. On the other hand, "manually operated ink applicator with spherical application element" is much more difficult to discern as a "ball-point pen". Further, features that are inherent in a prior patented design may be claimed in a different inventor's patent if the examiner cannot discern that he has been so manipulated. In this type of case, either the courts would sort it out or the assignee of the original patent might find it less expensive to pay the extortion of the manipulating inventor's assignee. Yep, far from perfect!



Top Comments of the Week
Flash Poll
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
<b><a href=Betajet">

The Circle – The Future's Imperfect in the Present Tense
Betajet
Post a comment
The Circle, a satirical, dystopian novel published in 2013 by San Francisco-based writer Dave Eggers, is about a large, very powerful technology company that combines aspects of Google, ...

Max Maxfield

Recommended Reads From the Engineer's Bookshelf
Max Maxfield
2 comments
I'm not sure if I read more than most folks or not, but I do I know that I spend quite a lot of time reading. I hate to be idle, so I always have a book or two somewhere about my person -- ...

Martin Rowe

No 2014 Punkin Chunkin, What Will You Do?
Martin Rowe
2 comments
American Thanksgiving is next week, and while some people watch (American) football all day, the real competition on TV has become Punkin Chunkin. But there will be no Punkin Chunkin on TV ...

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
15 comments
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

Special Video Section
The LT8640 is a 42V, 5A synchronous step-down regulator ...
The LTC2000 high-speed DAC has low noise and excellent ...
How do you protect the load and ensure output continues to ...
General-purpose DACs have applications in instrumentation, ...
Linear Technology demonstrates its latest measurement ...
10:29
Demos from Maxim Integrated at Electronica 2014 show ...
Bosch CEO Stefan Finkbeiner shows off latest combo and ...
STMicroelectronics demoed this simple gesture control ...
Keysight shows you what signals lurk in real-time at 510MHz ...
TE Connectivity's clear-plastic, full-size model car shows ...
Why culture makes Linear Tech a winner.
Recently formed Architects of Modern Power consortium ...
Specially modified Corvette C7 Stingray responds to ex Indy ...
Avago’s ACPL-K30T is the first solid-state driver qualified ...
NXP launches its line of multi-gate, multifunction, ...
Doug Bailey, VP of marketing at Power Integrations, gives a ...
See how to ease software bring-up with DesignWare IP ...
DesignWare IP Prototyping Kits enable fast software ...
This video explores the LT3086, a new member of our LDO+ ...
In today’s modern electronic systems, the need for power ...