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Author Topic: Can I use a Blocking Patent for this purpose  (Read 11346 times)

touchbase

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Can I use a Blocking Patent for this purpose
« on: 03-04-10 at 12:43 pm »

Hello board, I found this paragraph below on the internet and I am assuming that it is correct and true regarding Improvement Patents (Blocking Patents), however, if I am wrong in my understanding, please let me know.

Improvement patents are basically a novel and unobvious improvement to a current or an expired patent.

http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=1796421

Let's say that Joe inventor invents the inflatable spoon comprising a spoon with an orifice to inflate the apparatus. Another unrelated inventor Jane, may file an improvement patent on that inflatable spoon with an integrated pencil. Note that the original patent by Joe Inventor would not allow Jane to make her improvement invention. However, Jane's improvement patent would prevent Joe from using that improvement with his own invention.

Question: Could I get an improvement patent (on my novel and unobvious improvement to clocks) like Jane and use it as a blocking patent that would prevent clock manufactures from using my improvement in clocks without a licensing agreement in place first?

Thank you

tb
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khazzah

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Re: Can I use a Blocking Patent for this purpose
« Reply #1 on: 03-04-10 at 02:00 pm »

Could I get an improvement patent (on my novel and unobvious improvement to clocks) like Jane and use it as a blocking patent that would prevent clock manufactures from using my improvement in clocks without a licensing agreement in place first?

This blocking stuff is too vague.

If you get an issued patent with a claim to a feature which can be used in a clock, then a clock manufacturer who implements that feature will infringe and so must get a license from you. Note that if the claim is *to a feature* which happens to be useful in clocks but isn't actually a claim *to a clock*, then a widget manufacturer who wants to use your feature must also take a license.
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Karen Hazzah
Patent Prosecution Blog
http://allthingspros.blogspot.com/

Information provided in this post is not legal advice and does not create any attorney-client relationship.

JimIvey

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Re: Can I use a Blocking Patent for this purpose
« Reply #2 on: 03-04-10 at 03:22 pm »

I agree with Karen.  Your answer is "Yes."  You can get a patent on new and non-obvious modifications of known products.  And, as Karen noted, your patent might cover your modification beyond just a particular known product if circumstances permit.

Nobody in the US (or where ever your patent is) can use your modification without your permission.

The issue of blocking patents doesn't come up unless someone else has a patent on the product that you've modified.  You wouldn't be able to make your own invention because of the patent on the underlying product.  Thus, you both would be blocked by each other's patent.

Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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Friends don't let friends file provisional patent applications.

touchbase

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Re: Can I use a Blocking Patent for this purpose
« Reply #3 on: 03-04-10 at 07:27 pm »

Thank you Karen and Jim, I appreciate the guidance and direction very much.

tb
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