[Discuss] GE and Quirky partnering
blueback09 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 19 19:58:36 UTC 2013
Correct, MERE ideas aren't patentable. The process requires documentation
that proves the idea is actually implementable, preferably by showing that
it has already been implemented.
Also, you're correct that there are a lot of things that cannot get patent
However, once patent protection is granted, it is a legal monopoly on using
an idea. It is best to understand this in contrast to copyright, which is a
legal monopoly on a fixed record. These words that I'm writing are
automatically protected under copyright law. Technically, nobody can
reproduce them without my consent. But the ideas I'm expressing are not
protected by copyright, so anyone is free to express the same ideas if they
make a new record. Patent protection, on the other hand, applies to the
idea itself and not to any particular physical implementation of it. It is
entirely possible to violate a patent, even if your thing doesn't look
exactly like the patent diagram, if the patent is written broadly enough to
still cover the idea your thing embodies. The test of whether or not a
patent has been violated hinges on the principle that has been used, not on
the actual thing that used it, as opposed to the test for copyright
violation, which hinges on reproducing a physical record.
This article provides an excellent example. There were tape recorders, and
there were cameras, but they were separate. Combining them into one thing
(a camcorder) was a new idea. That idea got patent protection. Nobody else
could combine a tape recorder and a camera. To get around the patent they
had to come up with a newer idea.
The thing is that, while it's illegal to use the patented idea, the patent
holder has to actively take the offending party to court and prove
infringement. Just because tons of people started combining tape recorders
and cameras doesn't mean they were allowed to, it doesn't mean the patent
didn't protect that idea, it just meant that they weren't stopped.
So, to sum up, patents protect the use of an idea while copyrights protect
the use of a tangible record. Patents do not protect records of ideas and
copyrights do not protect the ideas described by records.
On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM, Marketply <contact at marketply.org> wrote:
> On April 17, 2013 at 2:29 PM Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Just to be clear, a patent literally means ownership of an idea.
> Mere ideas aren't patentable.
> Marino Hernandez
> just a founder of Marketply
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
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