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Is it Patentable?
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   can you improve a patent, then patent that?
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   Author  Topic: can you improve a patent, then patent that?  (Read 798 times)
mah10538
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can you improve a patent, then patent that?
« on: Oct 27th, 2006, 9:02pm »
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Hi,
 
Lets say someone patented the telephone.  Someone invented the video telephone, which is clearly based off "prior art."
 
Can this improvement warrant a patent with such a simple addition?
 
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Or, lets say someone patented the motor scooter in 1950, then someone wanted to patent a motor(cycle)... Its similar if you think about it.  The difference is solely in construction, but the idea of "transportation by 2 wheel vehicle by motor" is still same.
 
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I just want to know if small additions or changes in a prior art can be patentable,and if its worth patenting.  (put yourself in the shoes of the inventor of the improved item)
 
Your comments are greatly appreciated, thanks!
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Wiscagent
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Re: can you improve a patent, then patent that?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 28th, 2006, 9:27am »
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Nearly every patent is for an improvement over an already existing invention.  You mentioned the that someone patented the telephone - that was "just" an improvement over the telegraph.  Someone patented the motor scooter - that was "just" an improvement over the bicycle.
 
The first test for patentability of an improvement is the same as for any other invention:
  -  Is it novel and non-obvious?
 
Note that in this context "novel" and "non-obvious" are legal, not marketing or sales terms.
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Richard Tanzer
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Wiscagent
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Re: can you improve a patent, then patent that?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 28th, 2006, 9:37am »
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I neglected to respond to the second part of your question:
 
  -  Are small additions or changes in a prior art
     worth patenting?
 
That is a business question and the answer depends on the specifics of the situation.
 
As a wise person once said "It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future."  But that's what the decision to persue a patent is all about - trying to figure out if it is worth several thousand dollars today to potentially have a patent a few years from now.
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Richard Tanzer
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GB
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Re: can you improve a patent, then patent that?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 10th, 2006, 10:07pm »
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Hi, As wiscagent says..  
 
Invention represents an improvement over any existing product or process that is already available. Also,  New and inventive solution in a technical problem  
 
The key thing is "Novelty, Utility and non-obvious".  
 
Regards,
Ganesh
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Bill Richards
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Re: can you improve a patent, then patent that?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 11th, 2006, 4:58am »
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on Dec 10th, 2006, 10:07pm, krganeshbabu wrote:
Invention represents an improvement over any existing product or process that is already available.

Just to clarify Ganesh's statement.  An invention need not be an improvement.  It can be an entirely new technology.
« Last Edit: Dec 11th, 2006, 4:58am by Bill Richards » IP Logged

William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
614/939-1488
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