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Is it Patentable?
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   Patent an e-business idea
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   Author  Topic: Patent an e-business idea  (Read 718 times)
JOYK
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Patent an e-business idea
« on: Sep 1st, 2006, 11:06pm »
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Hi.  I would like to present my e-business idea to investors.  Since it's based on internet, I thought that it might not be secure enough to file patent only in US.  Is it possible if a person in out-of-US can copy the idea and do the business to US from out of the country without infringing my patent?  How much would it cost if I file patent on major countries?
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Isaac
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Re: Patent an e-business idea
« Reply #1 on: Sep 2nd, 2006, 7:07am »
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on Sep 1st, 2006, 11:06pm, JOYK wrote:
Is it possible if a person in out-of-US can copy the idea and do the business to US from out of the country without infringing my patent?

 
It may be possible, but it depends heavily on the details.  Given the expense required to obtain patents in every country in which your idea might be viable, I'd suggest that you have an experienced patent practitioner evaluate the question of whether your invention could be practiced outside of the country to deliver inside the US.    
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Isaac
JimIvey
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  jamesdivey  
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Re: Patent an e-business idea
« Reply #2 on: Sep 2nd, 2006, 8:36am »
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Well, there are a number of things you can look at to solve your problem.  First is to remember that there are two sides to the e-business -- the server side and the client side.  While you may like to have claims that cover the whole system, you really should have claims that are infringed by the client and/or the server alone -- to the extent what the client and/or server does is novel and non-obvious.  If something novel and non-obvious happens in the client, you can get solid protection in the US -- even if the server is "overseas" (which I mean to include Canada and Mexico).
 
Second, in some instances, you might be able to capture things coming through wires into the US via the Internet.  A clear example is an applet that is downloaded from the server and executed by the client.  If the applet itself infringes, downloading it could be importing it which is an act of infringement.  In addition, a network could be considered a "computer readable medium" in a Beauregard claim (A computer readable medium on which is stored computer instructions which, when executed by a computer, cause the computer to <do nifty stuff> by: <method steps>.)
 
Lastly, whole system claims have some value even if the server is overseas.  A recent example of that is the famous NTP v. RIM case in which their server was in Canada.  The piece down by the server in the claim, from what I recall, was a relatively small piece.  So having one piece of the puzzle done outside the US didn't escape liability.
 
There are ways to handle what you're describing just in the US.  
 
The cost to file outside the US is about $3,000-5,000 per country (double that for Europe as a whole).  That's just to file.  Many countries require that you pay an "annuity" of about $300-1,000 per year while the application is pending and may require a fee to be paid when you ask them to examine your application -- yes, that's a separate step in many places.  Pursuing patent protection in just a modest number of countries for a single application can easily top six figures within a few years.
 
Regards.
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Bill Richards
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Re: Patent an e-business idea
« Reply #3 on: Sep 2nd, 2006, 8:45am »
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I would only add that translation costs can mount up quickly, too.  It's pretty common to pay ca. $100/page.
« Last Edit: Sep 2nd, 2006, 8:46am by Bill Richards » IP Logged

William B. Richards, P.E.
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Sudhir Aswal
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Re: Patent an e-business idea
« Reply #4 on: Sep 20th, 2006, 3:38am »
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Yes there is possibility of infringement against which you wont be able to take any action. First of all you need to also understand that laws of many countires still dont recognise patent in relation to softwares, that can only be copyrighted. But if software can be shown in such a way that it appears to intrinsic part of the hardware it is patentable.  
 
Cost of obtianing worldwide patnet varies and depends upon your country selection. For that you have to identify the countires where you will be benefited commercially by exploiting your invention.
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Sudhir Kumar Aswal
Patent Attorney, India
Aswal Associates
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