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Is it Patentable?
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   Unused Technology Being Patented for New Usages
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   Author  Topic: Unused Technology Being Patented for New Usages  (Read 1719 times)
Photonjohn
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Unused Technology Being Patented for New Usages
« on: Jul 15th, 2004, 10:37am »
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Is it possible to patent the unused portion of a technology that has never been used, i.e. the technical specifications include some parameters of which only 80% are used in the public domain.  There have been cases when the remaining 20% have been used in small sectors not available to the public, but these are extremely remote or have been abandoned.  The usage of the 20% would be for new purposes unavailable in the past.  
 
Physically, everybody would see the 80% with the remaining 20% viewed along side.  The 80% would be used as in past history, but new purposes exist for the 20%.
 
 
You might think of it as a knob with 80% used when turning it.  The electrical technology supports 100% but the physical limitations have stopped the usage to 80% due to cost saving or no-purpose reasons.  The patent would be for new usages of the unused 20% portion with new physical appearances.  And the knob has been used for decades.
 
Thanks
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Richard Tanzer
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Re: Unused Technology Being Patented for New Usage
« Reply #1 on: Jul 15th, 2004, 11:14am »
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Your question is:  "Is it possible to patent the unused portion of a technology that has never been used, i.e. the technical specifications include some parameters of which only 80% are used in the public domain"?
 
I'm not sure I understand the question.  Are you stating that a broad technology has been disclosed and an improvement has been developed; and you're asking if the improvement can be patented?
 
Generally, improvements to existing technologies may be patented, assuming that the improvement is novel and non-obvious.
 
For example, in 1834 Cyrus McCormick was granted a US patent for a mechanical reaper.  Nevertheless, since 1976 there have been 4 US utility patents issued with the word "reaper" in the title.  Each of these patents (presumably) represent novel, non-obvious improvements on reaping technology.
 
 
 
  - Richard
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Tara
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Re: Unused Technology Being Patented for New Usage
« Reply #2 on: Dec 4th, 2004, 3:58pm »
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Can you get a patent for a new usage on an item that has already been patented? In other words, there is a form of technology that has been targeted toward businesses, but I have an idea how to use the same technology for a different purpose and market it towards the everyday consumer. Can I protect my idea?
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JimIvey
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Re: Unused Technology Being Patented for New Usage
« Reply #3 on: Dec 6th, 2004, 6:14pm »
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If your idea is merely to market the product to a different consumer type, I'd say it's pretty clearly not patentable.  However, new and non-obvious uses for known products are patentable.  The use has to be new and non-obvious, not just to whom you direct your advertising.
 
An example I saw years ago was the use of those soap holders with many little suction cups to lift stencils from paper to which they tend to cling.  
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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Re: Unused Technology Being Patented for New Usage
« Reply #4 on: Jan 11th, 2005, 4:03pm »
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in your suction cup example, your patent would only protect you in preventing other in selling the suction cup to lift stencils.  
the only thing you have rights to is to use the suction cup to lift stencils.  so in this case, your only advantage is in marketing, as others can sell suction cups, but can not claim to lift stencils.
is my understanding correct?
 
thanks
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