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   Patent from 1961 Need Help!!
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   Author  Topic: Patent from 1961 Need Help!!  (Read 660 times)
dhaynes
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Patent from 1961 Need Help!!
« on: Dec 17th, 2006, 6:08am »
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Hi,
  I found this board and hope someone here can give me a lead to some answers. My father had a very important patent filed in 1961 and issued in 1963. I know this is like a time machine question......BUT, just how far back can you go to make claims on something that has become one of the big deals of TODAY. He was the INVENTOR and never made a penny from this one. Again, it is one of the huge things we use every day. My father however, passed away 5 years ago. My mother is still alive. Is there a way to go back to the date of the patent and look ahead 18 years ?? I know this is a very convoluted question.... Any feedback would be much appreciated.
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Bill Richards
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Re: Patent from 1961 Need Help!!
« Reply #1 on: Dec 19th, 2006, 1:06am »
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If it issued in 1963 and there are/were no continuations, then you're no doubt out of luck.  The patent has expired and no further rights exist.  (That's how the patent system works.  One receives a monopoly for a "limited time" in exchange for informing the public of one's invention.)  Another thing to look at is ownership.  If the patent was assigned, then your father gave up whatever rights he had.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
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ChrisWhewell
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Re: Patent from 1961 Need Help!!
« Reply #2 on: Dec 19th, 2006, 5:25am »
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That sounds a lot like the patent to the transistor, which was issued around the middle of the 20th century.  Transistors are definitely a big part of things everyone uses today; yet the basic first patent on the transistor has now expired, and the public is free to use it, without accounting to the inventors or their estates.   This is the nature of the patent system.  You tell the public your invention, in exchange for a limited monopoly.  Once the patent term has expired, then the contents of the expired patent are dedicated to the public.  Same is true for the light bulb, phonograph, and thousands of other inventions !
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Chris Whewell, M.S.
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