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JimIvey
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Re: Implications of Prior Art
« Reply #5 on: Aug 11th, 2005, 8:41pm »
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I don't think I'd go so far as to suggest that Lemelson's patents inspired innovation.  I think his practice of keeping applications pending and secret for decades before allowing them to issue (a colleague was working on a 1991 Lemelson patent claiming priority back to 1954) was more targeted as stalking innovation rather than inspiring it.
 
I think the best examples of patent causing innovation (directly, not simply as a reward for innovating) are those in which a patent induces others to "design around" -- that urges the question, "how else could we do this?"  
 
Off the top of my head, I can't think of any really famous examples.  But it happens.  I'm sure somewhere the "design around" was more successful than the designed around original innovation.  But I can't think of an example right now.
 
Regards.
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ValueProducts
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Re: Implications of Prior Art
« Reply #6 on: Sep 6th, 2005, 3:25pm »
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Once more, in plain ever'day English?
 
Um, if I followed this question at all (not sure I did) the OP was asking: if there is prior art not acted upon (mfg'd, imported, sold, etc.) is a "new" inventor free to poach the idea?
 
My guess is no, but then patents expire don't they?  Unless renewed or some such?  I imagine there's an entire industry out there that does nothing but search old patents for expiration and viability.
 
More pertinent info might be: how does one determine if a patent has expired?
 
Mike
 
 
 
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Wiscagent
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Re: Implications of Prior Art
« Reply #7 on: Sep 6th, 2005, 4:12pm »
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If a (US) patent application date is more than 20 years ago, and/or the patent was granted more than 17 years ago, then it has expired.  There may be a few exceptions for pharmaceuticals, for which the patent term was extended.
 
A patent may also have expired for lack of payment for maintenance fees.  You can check for that on the US patent office web site.
 
Additionally a court may have ruled that the patent is invalid or unenforceable.  A patent attorney should be able to identify such patents.
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Richard Tanzer
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Re: Implications of Prior Art
« Reply #8 on: Sep 6th, 2005, 7:54pm »
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Term extension applies more liberally than it has in the past.  You are eligible for term extension when the PTO exceeds certain time guidelines.  The time guideline for the first office action is routinely exceeded in some technology areas.   Term extension is subtracted when the inventor or his representative delays prosecution.
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Isaac
JimIvey
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Re: Implications of Prior Art
« Reply #9 on: Sep 6th, 2005, 10:05pm »
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on Sep 6th, 2005, 3:25pm, ValueProducts wrote:
Once more, in plain ever'day English?
 
Um, if I followed this question at all (not sure I did) the OP was asking: if there is prior art not acted upon (mfg'd, imported, sold, etc.) is a "new" inventor free to poach the idea?

I believe you're asking about "poaching" expired patents.  If by "poach" you mean get another patent on the same idea, no, you can't do that.  If you mean infringe away without regard whatsoever to the previously claimed invention, yes, you can do that.
 
When patents expire, they become "public domain" -- in the possession and control of the public at large.
 
on Sep 6th, 2005, 3:25pm, ValueProducts wrote:
My guess is no, but then patents expire don't they?  Unless renewed or some such?  

No such thing  as renewal.  When a patent expires, it's gone.
 
on Sep 6th, 2005, 3:25pm, ValueProducts wrote:
I imagine there's an entire industry out there that does nothing but search old patents for expiration and viability.

That's what patents are there for.  When patents expire, the technology in the patent belongs to the public and everyone is free to use it.  The idea is to spur innovation and research and to put the results in a public forum for all to see.  If you comb through expired patents and see if any ideas tickle your fancy, you're using the patent system for its intended purpose.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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