Author Topic: TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots  (Read 4598 times)

JD~TIAT

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TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots
« on: July 16, 2011, 09:14:23 PM »
Over the course of the past few months, it's come to my attention that various websites are claiming the patent/patent pending of historical knots, and/or ties based on historical knots.

Regarding this trend, its important to note, patentability is determined by novelty, utility, and nonobviousness. Ties (for instance) based on the Solomon Bar are not novel (multiple Solomon Bar based ties exist), their utility is not proprietary (multiple ties provide the same utility), and Solomon Bars do not differ from previous knowledge (more specifically, they're based on previous knowledge).

My day job involves the use of patented technologies and procedures on a regular basis, and the company I work for periodically seeks patents. In turn, the idea that someone would achieve a patent on a tie, especially one fundamentally identical to a historical tie, is simply silly to me.

The cost of achieving a defensible patent is astronomically high. There are registration costs, research costs, lawyer costs, and court costs. Not to mention the drafting of the patent itself, which is not only a detailed and tedious process, but requires the public disclosure of the "invention".

This last point is an important one, on account many of the sites claiming to have a patent pending do not provide links to, or copies of, the details regarding how their ties are made, instead one site (I recently read) stated, "Sorry, but we have a patent  pending. So we can not disclose how the tie is made." This is a tell, because public disclosure is a part of the patenting process (something they would know if they *actually* had a patent pending).

Patenting a technology or procedure is an act the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office takes very seriously. If granted, the inventor would be given exclusive rights of production or procedural use for an extended period of time. Tossing around the statement "patented tie" or "patent pending" regarding a tie could very well get the office's attention, followed by an uncomfortable letter from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In the U.S., the expression "patent pending" does not protect an invention until the actual patent is published and/or issued. Further, the use of the term "patent pending" or "patent applied for" is permitted so long as a patent application has actually been filed. If these terms are used when no patent application has been filed it is deemed as a deceptive act and a fine of up to $500 may be imposed for every such offense.

In closing...

If your tie is patented, provide a patent number. If a patent is pending, provide the patent application number and a copy or link to the details of the patent. Otherwise, stop claiming either. You're embarrassing yourself by doing so, and may regret having made such claims in the end.

JD ~ TIAT 
 
Link: https://www.cu.edu/techtransfer/investigators/faq_patent.html#criteria
Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_pending
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 09:27:02 PM by JD~TIAT »
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KnotMe

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Re: TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 04:02:04 AM »
The sad fact of matters is that patents are regularly granted that have no business being granted.  I remember the day that my prof at university discovered some company had just patented a technique he innovated over 10 years prior (and had written many papers about).

Further back were the ... twits that patented the technique for making the legendary Damascus steel.  Not that it wasn't an accomplishment, the doing of it because the technique had been lost.  It was the not knowing the history of your own field and the patenting every perceived innovation.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 05:48:57 PM »
We heard right on this forum from Joe McNicholas that he patented a knot
that is demonstrably pre-existing to his claim of origination --it is published
in several sources, i.e. (as I noted in the thread).

But more difficult than obtaining a patent (I have done so, btw, so I know a
little about this), is challenging a patent, EVEN with such obvious refutation
as indicated above !!

In this case, well, except for one person's announcement of the claim
--and any echoes of that--, there is likely little difference between there
being or not being a patent, but for the bureaucratic evidence tucked away.

--dl*
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Wed

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Re: TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 09:44:48 PM »
And when you have payed dearly for a patent in one country, you notice that another has capitalized on the idea in just across the border to a neighbouring country.

Lasse_C

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Re: TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011, 07:34:43 AM »
It seems to be a parallell to the problem of some people trying to (somtimes successfully, remarkably enough!) to patent yoga asanas - some of which have been around for millenia! The reason is simple enough: The one wanting the patent wants to squeeze money from others.

Well, if I could get a cent every time someone used a bowline I wouldn?t complain, but I know it is not going to happen.

If someone actually gets a patent on an already existing knot the agency granting the patent has apparently not done their homework properly.

Sweeney

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Re: TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 09:03:53 AM »
The whole point of a patent is to protect the commercial interests of the inventor (which may be to stop a competitor using the invention rather than make money). If anyone can see how I could collect money from a patented "new" knot (eg the Gleipnir) I would be ever grateful for the advice! I do agree with TIAT though - it is arrant nonsense to try and patent a knot and I would be very surprised if you got far trying it in the UK. But if this is a way to get recognition and you have plenty of largesse then go ahead and try (to me it's a bit like a self published book - there to satisfy the author's ambitions rather than make money).

Barry

Anthropy

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Re: TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 06:20:02 PM »
What is old is new again.  Had an metal smith instructor that praised a friend of mine for making a chain mail belt buckle.  Don't get me wrong, he did an awsome job with it, but the instructor's comment was how new and innovative the chain mail was.  Doh!  Something that has been around for at least a couple thousand years.

Same difference with knots.  Agreeded that it is quite stupid to try and patent knots.

Tom

knot4u

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Re: TIAT Opinion - Patenting Historical Knots
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 07:32:20 PM »
If your tie is patented, provide a patent number. If a patent is pending, provide the patent application number and a copy or link to the details of the patent. Otherwise, stop claiming either. You're embarrassing yourself by doing so, and may regret having made such claims in the end.

Yes, before the chest thumping, let's start with a patent number or patent application number.