Open source patent

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AAA
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Open source patent

Postby AAA » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:21 pm

Hi! I am studying to try and build a very realistic midi controller keyboard (that emulates a grand piano's mechanics), with an approach I believe is novel.

If my understanding is correct, I could patent this, and then if, say, fatar wants to make a keybed using my technology, I have the right to ask for money or to not give them the right to use it at all.

If I wanted to both allow everyone to use this design AND not allow fatar/m-audio/whatever to patent it, would I need to patent it myself or would it be enough to write a "patent" and put it on github (so that when someone tries to patent it, there's prior art)? Is this practical, ie. would fatar be able to submit a patent and have it granted, and I would have to have a costly fight to have the patent dismissed?


This is purely a curiosity. I doubt my design is feasible, so this project will probably fail.

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sadko4u
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Re: Open source patent

Postby sadko4u » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:30 pm

AAA wrote:If I wanted to both allow everyone to use this design AND not allow fatar/m-audio/whatever to patent it, would I need to patent it myself or would it be enough to write a "patent" and put it on github (so that when someone tries to patent it, there's prior art)? Is this practical, ie. would fatar be able to submit a patent and have it granted, and I would have to have a costly fight to have the patent dismissed?

You're mixing up patent and license.

wikipedia wrote:A patent (/ˈpætənt/ or /ˈpeɪtənt/) is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process.[1]:17 Patents are a form of intellectual property.

wikipedia wrote:A license (American English) or licence (British English) is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something (as well as the document of that permission or permit).
A license may be granted by a party ("licensor") to another party ("licensee") as an element of an agreement between those parties. A shorthand definition of a license is "an authorization (by the licensor) to use the licensed material (by the licensee)".


That means that you can patent an invention (solution or algorithm) but you can not patent source code because it's implementation.
Otherwise, you can license your code, in other words, define copyright rules of your software but can not patent it.
Or you may patent an invention, implement the solution and license the distribution of your solution's code.
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AAA
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Re: Open source patent

Postby AAA » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:53 pm

You're mixing up patent and license.


I don't think I am. Maybe my first post wasn't clear though.

AAA wrote:Hi! I am studying to try and build a very realistic midi controller keyboard (that emulates a grand piano's mechanics), with an approach I believe is novel.

AAA wrote:if, say, fatar wants to make a keybed using my technology


I am talking about a physical invention. The code is just an implementation detail and does not really matter. The open source in the title refers to the hardware, just like arduino is open source hardware
Open source and extensible hardware - The plans of the Arduino boards are published under a Creative Commons license, so experienced circuit designers can make their own version of the module, extending it and improving it. Even relatively inexperienced users can build the breadboard version of the module in order to understand how it works and save money.
[/quote]
and the prusa 3d printers are open source hardware: https://github.com/josefprusa/Prusa3

AAA
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Re: Open source patent

Postby AAA » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:39 pm

I don't think my purpose is clear here. I don't want to patent something to make a profit. I want to make sure that anyone can use my design without it being patented by someone else who read my post on a forum.

I also specified that this is purely hypothetical because the project has little chance of working.

Drumfix
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Re: Open source patent

Postby Drumfix » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:07 pm

Any patentable idea that is published before anybody filed the idea as a patent is always regarded as prior art.

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Re: Open source patent

Postby Lyberta » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:15 pm

42low wrote:And don't forget that a patent isn't that secure either. A small changed detail and your patent is worthless.


A strength of a patent is determined by amount of money you are able to spend on lawyers.

Lenny
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Re: Open source patent

Postby Lenny » Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:07 am

Drumfix wrote:Any patentable idea that is published before anybody filed the idea as a patent is always regarded as prior art.


Exactly. So the solution to OP's problem appears to be quite trivial: just make the invention publicly available. If it truly is novel, there should be no problem with this.

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raboof
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Re: Open source patent

Postby raboof » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:51 am

Lenny wrote:
Drumfix wrote:Any patentable idea that is published before anybody filed the idea as a patent is always regarded as prior art.


Exactly. So the solution to OP's problem appears to be quite trivial: just make the invention publicly available.


Precisely! Just make sure you publish your ideas, preferably in a public place so it's easy to prove that your idea was around before anyone tried to file a patent for it.

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Re: Open source patent

Postby tramp » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:44 am

AAA wrote:I don't think my purpose is clear here. I don't want to patent something to make a profit. I want to make sure that anyone can use my design without it being patented by someone else who read my post on a forum.


So, all you need to do is publish your work under the Public Domain. Even if, later on someone register a Patent on your work, to make some money, your publication stays under the Public Domain, and anyone who use it could claim on that.
That is enough to ensure that your work could be used freely by anyone.
It's like @Drumfix and @Lenny wrote.
On the road again.

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raboof
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Re: Open source patent

Postby raboof » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:36 am

42low wrote:
raboof wrote:Just make sure you publish your ideas, preferably in a public place so it's easy to prove that your idea was around before anyone tried to file a patent for it.


This isn't true either. One can patent an idea which isn't his own but one can claim as his own. This happened many times in history even with big inventions. That another wrote about it isn't enough


A patent is only valid if you can prove that, at the time of your first application, no-one has published the same idea - as that would be 'prior art'.

Some countries check for 'prior art' at the time of registration, some countries only check when the patent is fought in court: In Australia a patent has been famously granted for "the wheel", because there for this kind of patent the prior art check is done after-the-fact - this patent will obviously not stand up in court.

42low wrote:cause both could be busy inventing the same.


Sure. And if you applied for your patent before the other (who was inventing at the same time) published, you'll get the patent. But if you apply after the other has published, it counts as prior art and your patent is invalid.

42low wrote:It's a race about who's first


Yes, but if you publish your invention before the other guy submits his patent application, you win the race.

42low wrote:and has the biggest mouth and most power to claim it (read: best lawyers and money to fight the battle).


This is true: if a large company still tries to patent your idea, even though you published before the application, the patent is invalid but it can still be expensive to fight it. There's organizations that might help, though (like the EFF).

42low wrote:That's the reason why i said not to step into it. We're to small and poor to fight the battle, let alone to win it.
Find a strong party who can win and sell to that.


If your goal is to have your invention out there freely, I don't see how this would be a better strategy compared to just publishing your invention.

42low wrote:Name one who was successful with a patent and in the end wasn't copied


You will get copied, but the copycat will not be able to claim the patent for himself. Or can you name one who was successful in that?

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Re: Open source patent

Postby ventosus » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:55 pm

There was a nice talk about this at 31C3 [1]

[1] https://media.ccc.de/v/31c3_-_6043_-_en ... wicz#video


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