Re: Re: Electronic Schematics/Circuit Diagrams
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Posted by . Arthur Auslander on May 05, 2000 at 05:06:31:
In Reply to: Re: Electronic Schematics/Circuit Diagrams posted by THUGLIFE on May 04, 2000 at 10:02:52:
: : Hi,
: : Hope someone can help me. I need to know the law on published electronic schematic diagrams. In this instance the item is a novelty electronic device - the basic concepts behind the design have been well known for nearly 50 years, and it's not subject to a patent of any sort. Really, what I need to know is this: If a circuit diagram has been published with a copyright notification and someone then wanted to adapt it for their own purposes, how different to the original published design would their adaptation have to be to ensure that they were not in breach of the original copyright? Please would anyone email me with the answer to this. Is there an international agreement on this? Are there any web resources which could explain it?
: : Thanks,
: : Chris
: : Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org
The copyright law only protects the mode of expression, not the ideas disclosed. Thus reproducing the schematic would be infringement. A legitimate redrafting of the schematic would not be an infringement.
A patent search is one way to know if the technology is available. Improved technology may be patented. Mere variations of degrees may not avoid infringement. They may be patentable if they are new useful and unobvious.
I had a client that got over fifty years of protection by continuing to patent different improvements of their basic patent even after the original patent passed into the public domain.
M. Arthur Auslander
The Intellectual Property Law Server
Old Copyright Forum