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Do patents get checked?

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large_ghostman

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Say I invented a gas that turns turds to gold, could I patent the process?

I ask because on one of my regular patent jaunts, I came across a totally bonkers one. So little in it was remotely accurate, so it got me wondering if the invention has to actually work to be granted a patent?
 

Triode

Active Member
I'm not sure about this but it seems odd to me that companies can patent an idea without a way to do it. One case would be a company that sued nintendo because they had patented a "motion sensing controller" even though that is a very general idea that they had not demonstrated.

It makes me wonder if you could patent ideas like "a teleporter that takes you anywhere, by a window-like opening in space OR by instantly transporting objects within a given zone OR by aiming a beam at the object to be teleported (OR OR OR as they like to say in patents to cover all their bases)" then just sue whatever genius manages to actually make such a device. It's not the what that was a big deal, it's the how.
 

large_ghostman

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I often look at patents, they are really good if you want to solve a problem or see how something is done. My assumption was they had to at least be credible, but I stumbled on one so far out there..........

So makes we wonder how cautious need to be with them. The one is this case is chemistry based, I am amazed you cant patent any old ****.
 

large_ghostman

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I'm not sure about this but it seems odd to me that companies can patent an idea without a way to do it. One case would be a company that sued nintendo because they had patented a "motion sensing controller" even though that is a very general idea that they had not demonstrated.

It makes me wonder if you could patent ideas like "a teleporter that takes you anywhere, by a window-like opening in space OR by instantly transporting objects within a given zone OR by aiming a beam at the object to be teleported (OR OR OR as they like to say in patents to cover all their bases)" then just sue whatever genius manages to actually make such a device. It's not the what that was a big deal, it's the how.
I bet they covered it with 'prior Art', most patents use that to cover the dodgy bits or hide parts of a process. Aquatic medications for fish has some classics!! A very famous (now anyway) American company sold and made stuff for years, only recently did another company actually proves the formula and how it worked. The original company didnt have a clue, just about the whole patent was wrong!

So they tried to turn a negative into a positive and say it was a 'feature', and not a bug :D. The German company that worked out the actual mechanism, proved it didnt work properly. So they did a similar product that does work. Their patents however are really detailed.
 

BobW

Active Member
There are lots of cases where a company will apply for a patent just to scare away the competition. The invention may be completely invalid, but the people working in the patent office can't possibly be experts in every field of technology. So if the patent application appears plausible, then it's quite likely for the patent to be granted.

I could mention a few dodgy ones that I seen too.
 

DerStrom8

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Don't forget that applying for a patent can be a long, exhausting, and expensive process. In most cases it probably wouldn't be worth filing for a patent unless it has real credibility.
 

large_ghostman

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I except the patent people cant be experts in everything, but surely things like Chemistry etc, should be covered? The one I am thinking of is really out the ball park. It wouldnt take an expert, alot like over unity stuff, if they cant spot that type of thing, then what exactly do they do? Why bother having people check patents? why not have a computer check that there are no prior's or infringements and do away with people?
 

large_ghostman

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Don't forget that applying for a patent can be a long, exhausting, and expensive process. In most cases it probably wouldn't be worth filing for a patent unless it has real credibility.
Not strictly true though, some of the crackpots believe their own religion!

A good Example

ORMES! Utterly a load of Bullocks.
http://www.rexresearch.com/ormes/ormes.htm

It has a cult like following, but so far out the field.....................

Some sense on it here... http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/ORMUS
 

Nigel Goodwin

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It's a tricky area - and unless you're a massively rich corporation then patents aren't worth anything anyway - someone who IS a massively rich corporation can simply steal it from you and bankrupt you in the courts.

Historically there are huge numbers of totally crazy and non-working patents, at least these days there's some slight effort made to reject many of the 'too crazy' ones.
 

alec_t

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Patents certainly do get checked, but benefit of any doubt as to their validity, prior to grant, is given to the applicant. This is because Patent Examiners do not have infinite resources or infinite time to conduct exhaustive searches or do experiments to determine the absolute novelty, non-obviousness and practicality of claimed inventions . In other words there is, at the grant stage, a presumption of validity.
The examination process is, in effect, a first stage sieve. It is then down to the Courts to rule on validity if the patent is challenged.
For an entertaining light-hearted read (not!) before bed-time, check out the examiners' Manual of Patent Practice. :)
 

large_ghostman

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Patents certainly do get checked, but benefit of any doubt as to their validity, prior to grant, is given to the applicant. This is because Patent Examiners do not have infinite resources or infinite time to conduct exhaustive searches or do experiments to determine the absolute novelty, non-obviousness and practicality of claimed inventions . In other words there is, at the grant stage, a presumption of validity.
The examination process is, in effect, a first stage sieve. It is then down to the Courts to rule on validity if the patent is challenged.
For an entertaining light-hearted read (not!) before bed-time, check out the examiners' Manual of Patent Practice. :)
:confused:
:confused:
QUOTE
"the EPO Board of Appeal defined a mathematical method as one which “is carried out on numbers and provides a result in numerical form”. A mathematical method was therefore merely an abstract concept prescribing how to operate on the numbers, and a claim directed solely to the mathematical method was excluded from patentability as a result of its abstract nature"
So thats encryption out then???

Talk about cover yourself!!! If they are the guidlines then basically they paid someone to sit and write a load of get out clauses for the patent office, such gems as EXCLUDED....... Blah blah blah. The a bit where it says something dosnt have to be in the excluded section, to be excluded..

Then why bother having that section? Absolutely barking system.
 

large_ghostman

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LMAO if you invent something, then make sure you didnt discover it. :p

"
It is hereby declared that the following (among other things) are not inventions for the purposes of this Act, that is to say, anything which consists of -
(a) a discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method;
(b) a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation whatsoever;
(c) a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business, or a program for a computer;
(d) the presentation of information;
but the foregoing provision shall prevent anything from being treated as an invention for the purposes of this Act only to the extent that a patent or application for a patent relates to that thing as such."
 

large_ghostman

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That is a really good read!! Full of absolute contradictory statements, sums the law up brilliantly.
 

alec_t

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get out clauses for the patent office
Not so. That is the Law of the land, relating to what can and can't legally be patented. The Patent Office does not make the law, Parliament does.
Examiners try to ensure that patent applications comply with the law. Patentability issues are complex: hence the need for the guidance manual. Patent law has exercised the minds of many Judges and kept many barristers gainfully employed :). Cases involving the patentability of computer-implemented inventions have reached the Court of Appeal in the UK.
 

large_ghostman

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Not so. That is the Law of the land, relating to what can and can't legally be patented. The Patent Office does not make the law, Parliament does.
Examiners try to ensure that patent applications comply with the law. Patentability issues are complex: hence the need for the guidance manual. Patent law has exercised the minds of many Judges and kept many barristers gainfully employed :). Cases involving the patentability of computer-implemented inventions have reached the Court of Appeal in the UK.
Yeah there is alot in the notes on appeals, much of it is kind of contradictory.

The Great Repeal Bill is a nightmare, it makes primary legislation kind of redundant in many cases. Reading the opinions of some ex lord Chancellors is scary stuff. Apparently the Bill is handing what they call 'Henry the VIII' powers directly to the GOVERNMENT. Most laws for the next decade will be secondary legislation and not subject to full scrutiny, its like parliament has sleep walked into giving away parliamentary sovereignty.

My interest comes from doing Modern Studies at school, we do alot of law stuff particularly the differences between English and Scottish law. My main teacher for the subject is English, he is married to a QC in England. I like politics and law (political systems rather than political parties), its a shame modern politicians dont seem qualified to do the job. Interesting times with so many changes taking place, not a big fan of change myself. My aspergers makes me uncomfortable with change.

Reading the patent stuff is interesting, it gives a good insight into how laws evolve. I was surprised that much of the modern law is based on 17th Century law, although its been updated here and there.
 

alec_t

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Yeah there is alot in the notes on appeals, much of it is kind of contradictory.
Not surprising. In any grey area of law the arguments pro and con will be finely balanced in a case and any judgment is far from easy. Appeals keep the lawyers happy :).
 
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