3/2/2010
by: Joseph Page
Topic Views: 1109

Defensive Patent Publication

A blocking maneuver

Defensive Publication
Related Topics: Defensive Publication , Statutory Invention Registration

Sometimes in an action characterized as a 'defensive patent strategy' one attempts to restrict or otherwise prevent others for example competitors from getting patent(s). This is done by registering an invention on an early date prior to that which others might be able to apply for a patent on a similar or identical invention. In a statutory invention registration, an inventor formally records details of an invention which can then be used as prior art against other later coming applicants.
The inventor doesn't get a patent or any patent rights or rights to exclude others form using the invention, but does prevent others from getting a patent. Where you have competitors who tend to seek patents in the fields in which you work – you might consider registering your new ideas as statutory invention registrations. The law for this kind of action is set forth here: 35 U.S.C. 157 Statutory Invention Registration.
To effectively use this strategy one needs to still provide a very detailed disclosure explaining every aspect possible. If an SIR is recorded but leaves out significant details, later coming inventors may actually be helped along and deeper into your sensitive fields. Accordingly, it is wise to prepare these registrations quite carefully.

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Patent Services Header Intellectual Property Patent Agent, patent attorney, patent law Patent Topic: "Defensive Publication" Patent Attorney Invention HOME IP Tip: #8
While it has long been the case that algorithms per se are not patentable, computer software is not under the same restriction.  Computer software and in particular computer software related to business methods have been under some serious judicial review of late.  The final result from the United States Supreme Court: computer software is largely patentable in re Bilski.  Further, European national courts seem to be taking the same position more each day as might be illustrated by the high German court ruling which upheld a major Microsoft patent recently. Patent Attorney, Patent law Software Patents - Bilski
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