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Re: GAK patents, anyone?Re: GAK patents, anyone?



Date Arrived: 10Sep_19:13:47

From: [email protected]
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...
> Back up just a minute.
> Aren't inventions protected if the patent is pending?  If not, why do such
> well known companies who undoubtly have savvy legal council produce products
> stamped "patent pending"?

I've always regarded it as "We applied for a patent and it hasn't actually
been refused yet, so keep off."

[The following is based on various magazine articles, net discussions etc.]

Until the last year or so (when it harmonised with GATT) US law produced
"submarine patents".  These were patents applied for, subject to a period
of waiting of course, and then (if granted) were valid _from the date of
the application_ i.e. back-dated.  This meant you could quite innocently
find yourself being clobbered by a patent that had only just sprung into
existence.  There were other problems including the US granting patents
to the 'inventor' - rather than the 'first to file'.  'First to file'
is actually a good indication of who the inventor is.  The other scheme
just got inventor-identity disputed by the lawyers.

For a vision of patents as they should be, I know nothing to beat
Phil Karn's web pages.

http://people.qualcomm.com/karn/patents.html


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