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Author Topic: rules regarding use of images/text from the internet or other public resource  (Read 330 times)

OrgChemPhD_Agent

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I am drafting a new application.  I have these questions:

1.May I copy some images into my figures from some vendors' commercial publications?
2.May I copy some paragraphs from other patent publications? (as background information)
3.May I copy some paragraphs from scientific literature? (as background information)
4.May I draft prophetic examples based on a scientific publication or a patent application publication?

What are the rules related to each of them?  Thank you!
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Toot Aps Esroh

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Disclaimer:  Not much of a copyright guru, so the below is just general thinking.  If a guru shows up and contradicts what I say, listen to guru.

1.  Likely not without permission.  Just because they published it on the internet does not mean they give up their rights in the images.  Rule = general copyright law.

2.  The Official PTO policy is that patent documents (text, figures) are not generally amenable to copyright protection except under certain circumstances.  Note that "Official PTO policy" does not trump law, so the PTO may not be right about this.  On the other hand, I've never heard of anyone suing someone for copying patent text.
https://www.uspto.gov/terms-use-uspto-websites  (down near bottom of page)

3.  See #1.  Rule = general copyright law.

4.  Generally I think yes, as long as you are not copying text.  Re-writing it in your own words is not copying under general copyright law. 
(Not sure how far this goes, though.  What if someone painstakingly reworded an entire novel, would the original author have no relief under copyright law?)
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OrgChemPhD_Agent

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Thanks for your reply.  I guess to be safe, in the future I will modify these images or texts from the public domain before using them in my application.
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bartmans

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It also depends under which law copyright is assessed.
If you would file a PCT application, which law would then apply? And for a European or Chinese application (if coming out of a PCT application?).

I suppose that the earlier response was given on basis of US copyright laws.
Under Dutch copyright laws it is assumed that there is no copyright on a published patent application and the answer to question 2 would then be definitively YES.
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Euro-Pat-Att

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Thanks for your reply.  I guess to be safe, in the future I will modify these images or texts from the public domain before using them in my application.

I am not certain that is a good idea. You may be less likely to be found out, but modification/mutilation of a copyrighted work is forbidden as such, even independently of the right of the author to control reproduction. So instead of a single violation of copyright law, you may actually be making a double violation.

A6bis Berne Convention 'Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification...'
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OrgChemPhD_Agent

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Thanks everyone for your input.  Very helpful!
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