Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: Miley's latest patent
Date: Oct 12, 8:01 am
Poster: Jim Lux

On Oct 12, 8:01 am, Jim Lux wrote:

>>
>I am certainly not expert on Patent Law...but I wonder how Miley can patent a concept and applications, without sufficient detail and theory that one "skilled in the art" could duplicate the invention.
>
>Dave Cooper

The USPTO has recently said that they don't have enough staff to evaluate all the patent apps, and so they tend to approve them, and let the patent holder defend against claims of infringement. If someone thinks the patent is invalid, after it issues, then they can raise that as a defense in an infringement action.

The real problem is knowing what is "prior art" in fields which are rapidly changing, and which don't use the traditional means of distributing that art. Software is the notorious example.

As to "providing sufficient information that one skilled in the art can duplicate the invention": This has always been the challenge in writing patents. You want to give enough specifics so the examiner will let it go, but leave out enough so that duplicating a working whatever isn't trivial. One strategy is to patent some essential part of the overall system (without which the system can't work), but to not patent the entire system. For instance, you could patent the initiator for a fission bomb, but not the entire bomb. Can't build the bomb without the initator, so if someone does figure out the rest by themself, you can go after them for infringement, but, on the otherhand, you haven't given away enough to help them do the whole job.