Photo509 wrote in post #16802243
Interesting that you have that much interaction with patents and you even write them. Are you a patent attorney?
No, I'm an engineer. I write up what you would think of as the rough draft of the patent and then our legal department manages the rest of the process. Patents are just a piece of overall strategy for large corporations.
The USPTO guidelines for obviousness are clearly defined and reasonable. It takes a little to really understand those guidelines, I don't profess to understand them fully, I am not an attorney but they are thorough and seem fair to me. Are they perfect? Not sure, nothing seems to be perfect but they are good. I guess not good enough for some. Until they change we need to agree to live by them. As you well know these guidelines are available for anyone to read and evaluate.
Yes, but laypeople generally cannot understand what these simple sounding guidelines really mean.
Thanks for your thoughtful exchanges. I hope our comments will help others appreciate the complexity of patent issues and more important to recognize that ignoring patents could be very costly to the infringer.
That's part of the problem I think. I know you and I disagree, but I see how things often work and this is how I see it:
1) People can (and do) write broad patents that are (IMO) too obvious.
2) Then these people sue anyone that appears to be infringing. Most targets will settle because litigation is too expensive.
3) People like you can continue for years asserting all the claims you are making here.....that your patent is not obvious, that there isn't any prior art, that the patent isn't too broad.
But here is the rub.....the only basis for all of these assertions that you are making is the research of one patent attorney who put in a bit of research at the USPTO. Until you litigate your patent against an aggressive defense, you claims are really unproven.
I have lived and seen it. We had one guy patent an obvious key engine technology despite prior art. Then he turned around and sued pretty much every car and truck company making this type of engine. Several companies did the math and just handed the guy money to go away. And the really funny thing is that I totally believe that this guy thought his idea was totally original and non-obvious. He just happened to be wrong. It was pretty obvious and (too bad for him in the end) it was not actually original.
My company knew we had prior art, so we litigated the case and we won. He had a patent just as legitimate as yours, until he made the mistake of suing one company that was sitting on evidence of prior art. Still, he made out like a bandit.
Until you have taken a case to court, your claims for originality and narrow scope are just claims.