[Discuss] OSHW questions

j. eric townsend jet at flatline.net
Wed Nov 21 15:44:01 UTC 2012

As so many of us have learned to say, "I am not a lawyer and this is not 
legal advice."   Also, I'm in the US if that matters much...

On 11/21/2012 4:52 AM, Andrew Katz wrote:

> If you contribute to a project under an agreement which requires
> you to warrant that you have no knowledge of any potentially conflicting patents,
> having done a search could be a bad thing [...]

I worked in consumer electronics from almost 20 years and never 
personally received "don't research patents" from a legal team.  I have 
heard "don't copy patents" (obviously :-) and "try not to look at 
current patents while you do research".  I always gathered that was 
about accidentally copying, not getting into a legal bind.  Working with 
national and international technology standards requires a lot of 
reading of other people's research and development documents.  (ex: how 
cable TV works, how transmitted television works, how analog modems 
work, etc.)

That being said, in the past five years or so, I have heard quite a few 
engineer and startup types say they have received "never look at any 
patents" advice from their legal counsel, it's mostly been people 
involved with selling 3d printers and related technology.  I suspect 
there is a virtual landmine of patents around 3d printing and related 
technology, but I haven't looked yet. :-)


J. Eric Townsend, IDSA
design  <http://www.allartburns.org>
hacking   <http://www.flatline.net>
fabrication <watch this space>

J. Eric Townsend
design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net;  HF: KG6ZVQ
PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

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