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(Message started by: Hugh Gaugler on Mar 9th, 2006, 12:11pm)

Title: New Use For Existing Products - Patentable?
Post by Hugh Gaugler on Mar 9th, 2006, 12:11pm
There is an existing product which is used by electricians. This "electrical product" is a very simple item. It has been around for a long time and is not patented.

However, I have found a novel use for this electrical product in a field totally disrelated to its normal use.

By combining this electrical product with another product that is also readily available, and not patented, I have created a new device that is very practical for its field (which, as I said, is totally disrelated to the electrical product's normal use).

So, there you have it: I have created a novel, useful device simply by putting together two existing, been-around-forever products from two different fields. (The new product really is unique and very practical for its field. It economically solves a problem for those who work in that field.)

My question: Might such a device be patentable --- even though it's made simply by putting together two off-the-shelf products from two different fields?

Thanks for your help!

---- Hugh


Title: Re: New Use For Existing Products - Patentable?
Post by JimIvey on Mar 9th, 2006, 1:03pm
Yes.  You have two alternative bases for arguing patentability.

First, a novel, nonobvious use for a known product is patentable.

Second, a novel, nonobvious combinatino of know products is patentable.

Regards.

Title: Re: New Use For Existing Products - Patentable?
Post by Isaac on Mar 9th, 2006, 1:22pm
One thing to do in inventions of this type is to sort out who you would get to sue or force to take a license.   If an end user can combine off the shelf parts to make your device, or can employ the novel method using components whose sale you cannot enjoin, you are left with suing end users.   Hopefully those are the deep pockets making suing or licensing worthwhile.  Otherwise your patent might make some nice wall paper.

Title: Re: New Use For Existing Products - Patentable?
Post by Hugh Gaugler on Mar 9th, 2006, 3:44pm
Jim and Isaac,

Thank you for your responses.

I suspect that 99.9999% of end users of the new product won't be able to put two and two together. . . and since they'll be getting an instant, inexpensive solution to a problem they have in their field, it's not likely they'd even be inclined to look.

The main danger would come from current manufacturers/suppliers in the field where the new product would be used. These would be the people who might be inclined to knock off any successful product that isn't patented (and maybe even if it IS patented?)

Anyway, I'm encouraged by your comments, thanks again. Since the new product would be used in the field I work in (that's how I came to invent it ), I have a feel for it's usefulness and value.

Wish me luck!

---- Hugh

Title: Re: New Use For Existing Products - Patentable?
Post by Brent Nanis on Mar 23rd, 2006, 12:28am
Can I jump in on this and ask what would happen if the two original products were patented? And the resulting product was novel and unknown to the original patent holders.

Title: Re: New Use For Existing Products - Patentable?
Post by Wiscagent on Mar 23rd, 2006, 8:06am
"...what would happen if the two original products were patented?"

Jim Ivey's response is still on point.

- Richard



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