Thanks for the insights.
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Slusky's invention anaklysis and claiming is also useful, though I do not like the problem/solution appraoch it advocates. At least not when it comes to U.S. practice.
Nothing about that at all could ever stop J. K. Rowling from describing further Quidditch matches in books.
I assume your claim is going to recite some sort of measurement of an amount of rain falling, but I understand that you'd want to avoid the details of your system of measurement in the claims. Ordinarily, enabling just one embodiment is enough to satisfy 112. And, it is as far as enablement goes.
However, there is authority out there, primarily in the chemical arts, that says that failure to narrow your claim to the embodiments you've enabled (within some unfathomable, amorphous, vague range of reasonableness) runs afoul of the written description requirement of Section 112.
Your modified hypo says that you know of a single method of measuring rainfall. In your modified hypo, is your rudimentary method the only known method, kinda like the first attempt at a warp drive? Or is your rudimentary method the only one you know of, but there are probably other methods?
My answer turns on this distinction.
Would one run into trouble (say, on the grounds of teaching, or usefulness, or anything else) trying to patent an inventive concept that cannot currently be practiced because it relies on technology that does not yet exist?
Absolutely. An invention that "cannot be practiced" does not comply with 112 1st Enablement ("make or use the invention"). This sort of fact pattern probably runs afoul of the 112 1st Written Description ("possession") requirement.
That which infringes if after anticipates if before.
Depending on how different the stabilizing method is, you might even be able to avoid infringing the existing patent. Even though a naive reading of the original patents claims might read on your chair. A court might find that the original patentee did not show possession of your invention thus creating a written description issue when he tries to assert his claims against you.
Again, in my limited understanding, for getting a patent it's sort of irrelevant what the previous patent claims. It's important what it teaches (describes in the specifications). Of course there such things as self enabling claims, but I would say that those are both the claim and the spec at the same time. And it's not just patents that count, industry publications and known products count too.
You may be able to get a patent for a chair with 1, 2, 3, and 5 or more legs.
What are your thoughts on the potential patentability of the second work-around (angular rate only) and the likelihood of it being obvious?Why do you bring up obviousness in an infringement context?