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Old 18th September 2003, 05:24 PM   #151
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Default While we're on the topic of patents...

It should also be noted that intellectual property law varies from country to country. For instance, at the USPTO, patents are issued to the first to invent. It is possible to create something independently from another entity, but if that other did it the day before, they get the patent. At the CIPO, the first to file gets the patent. I'm not sure about the EPO so check if needed.

Also, copyright is not even close to the same thing. If you publish a schematic with a little "c" on it, the diagram is protected by copyright, but not any actual circuit that's been wired up. Even putting a clause that reads "cannot be used for commercial purposes without permission..." only protects the diagram. Don't forget that the web is merely a communication medium. Utility patents are for inventions. The distinction is made so that ideas can be attributed to their originator but widely disseminated while inventiveness is encouraged by providing a time-limited monopoly to the creator.

Finally, even if you are a medium-sized entity with resources, getting into a patent fight is serious business. One of the best ways to prevent a patent fight is to leave a trail of dated documents like non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements and this is in addition to your dated lab notes and other verifiable documentation. That way, if someone infringes on your patent, you can just drop 2 copies of everything on their lawyer's desk with a cover letter saying "stop or else" and an invoice for the costs of all the copying and couriering. If you've logged everything well, the paperwork should be inches thick and sufficiently expensive for their own lawyer to evaluate that the legal fees become part of the cost of ripping you off.

:)ensen.
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Old 18th September 2003, 05:33 PM   #152
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Default that intellectual property law varies from country to country

It is getting really nasty and stupid in China so I heard. That people are getting the names of dishes or food patented. So in the near future resturants may have to pay loyalty to the patent holder for selling Singapore fried noodle or Peking Duck...



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