Let's preempt some patents!

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Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Natural ChemE on September 10th, 2015, 3:26 am 

Short version
Let's list neat technology that might emerge in the next, say, 20 years such that patent trolls can't block their free production.

Long version
I'm frequently annoyed to discover that a patent was recently issued relating to something that I want to build. Often the "invention" is argued to be "novel" because it's never been built or discussed before. But, does the first person to buy a new car "invent" the idea to pick up groceries using its trunk? That seems absurd. Picking up groceries with a new model of car - even if it's never been done before - is still an obvious idea and patents related to it are frivolous.

While it's commonly understood that the patent system needs an overhaul, I'm gonna try to at least protect some inventions that I'd like to see, buy, or potentially sell in the future by listing them in public space. I hope that publicly disclosing ideas like this will undermine undue attempts to "protect" them as "inventions", or failing that (as patent clerks probably aren't going to read this thread), help contribute to the readily searchable internet content that could be used by potential producers to challenge such frivolous patents if and when they are issued.

I'd invite anyone interested to tick off potential new "inventions" that some patent troll might try to complicate. Personally I'll add to this list as the ideas come up.

Contribution suggestions
To think of an invention, I'd suggest brainstorming simple, common tasks that could be significantly eased using new, emerging, or reasonably anticipated technologies. What's some simple, silly annoyance you don't like having to do that could now easily be automated using some cheap sensors and a servo? Or some computational method that's easily done now due to emerging hardware, software, etc.? Or some construction method that's now practical due to the emerging 3D printer ecosystem? Or some service model that's now viable due to the emergence of social networks, smarter data mining, better communication systems, etc.?

In short, there's a lot of really cool, new stuff that we can do with new technologies.. but some folks might try to bog down their introduction with legal challenges by abusing the patent system. Ideally we can list 'em on a public forum to avoid such claims that an "invention" is sufficiently novel to deserve protection. And, hey - maybe come up with some cool projects to do in the process!
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Natural ChemE on September 10th, 2015, 3:42 am 

In-home automation, control, etc.

Microcontrollers, mini-computers, embedded devices, etc. - whatever you call them, they're little electronics that can do stuff - are prevalent, cheap, and powerful. It's overwhelmingly likely that they'll start being put into everything, effecting the "internet of things" everyone's been talking about for a while now. Or, even if not connected, or connected in some way that isn't described as an "internet of things", they're an amazingly power, useful, and predictable technology that shouldn't be available for patent protection because the applications, while potentially "novel" as in "not previously implemented", are still not meaningful intellectual contributions deserving of patent protection.

Potential applications include, but are not limited to:
  • Controlling the thermastat.
  • Unlocking doors when authorized parties or/and other entities approach.
    • Detection of who the door should be opened for could be done by RFID chip, Blue tooth, WiFi, cell phone signals, cameras, image recognition, voice recognition, other-sound-or-image-recognition, GPS locators, etc.
    • I'm really looking forward to a small servo unlocking my front door when an app on my cell phone detects that I'm near my home/office/etc. via GPS location and unlocks or/and opens that door for me without me having to pull out a key. Or starts my car. Or whatever.
  • Prepare dinner.
  • Control maintenance devices, such as, but not limited to, automated cleaners like the Roomba.
  • Maintain food/water level in pet feeding devices.
    • Including "inventions" that might, say, draw water from the house's main water supply and use some sorta detection mechanism (pressure, conductivity, visual sensor, etc.) to determine if the water bowl's full enough or not, then fills the water bowl (or food bowl, or whatever) from the store (which may be from utilities, a large storage container, etc.).
  • Turn on/off lights as a person enters/leaves rooms.
    • Yeah, I know that this already exists and is common, but it's often via motion detectors; not sure if someone might try to patent an "invention" which uses GPS locators on cell phones, or WiFi signal bouncing, or other reflective radiation detection system, to locate persons.
  • Any security system which tracks authorized persons via means like a cell phone, then reports any detected party who isn't authorized in the building.
    • Including but not limited to systems which may check social media to see who might reasonably be allowed in the house. For example, a system might check the household members' Facebook, etc., friend networks and disregard any possible "intruder" who is a Facebook/etc. friend/etc.
    • Including but not limited to systems which consider behavior. For example, a system might not go off if an unidentified person is in the house, but it could if that unidentified person is also carrying out a TV without permission and without notification to the system that, say, a moving crew is working today.
    • Including but not limited to systems which look for other cues, e.g. if an unidentified party is carrying a gun.
  • Medical alert systems which detect a user potentially having a medical emergency based on any combination of vital signs, movement, behavior, issued voice-or-other commands, etc.
  • Devices which detect some utility failure, including those with take recourse action, including notification or/and correction. Utilities may include - but are not limited to - water, electricity, network connectivity, item storage (e.g. food staples can be automatically stored and ordered through services like Amazon Pantry, kept in a common store and auto-reordered when low), etc.

This sorta thing would help bar technologies described in the post, right? I just don't want to see someone patenting the idea that they can, I dunno, refill the dog's water bowl using a microcontroller and water level sensor just because that particular application may not have been publicly disclosed yet. It's a technology I'd want to buy, and wouldn't want to see it monopolized on the false basis that it's an invention as opposed to a simple (if possibly not-yet-done) implementation of available technology.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby BioWizard on September 10th, 2015, 6:35 am 

I'd tell you some of my ideas, but I'm already working on patenting them :] Though to be fair they're relatively complex and too specialized to count as trolling, so I don't think they would've made your list anyway. Plus I intend to form a biotech startup around them, so it's not just IP squating.

Great thread idea by the way.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby neuro on September 10th, 2015, 2:31 pm 

BioWizard » September 10th, 2015, 11:35 am wrote:I'd tell you some of my ideas, but I'm already working on patenting them :] Though to be fair they're relatively complex and too specialized to count as trolling, so I don't think they would've made your list anyway. Plus I intend to form a biotech startup around them, so it's not just IP squating.

Too bad it is too late to patent the idea of forming a startup biotech instead of patenting...
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby BioWizard on September 10th, 2015, 3:07 pm 

neuro » 10 Sep 2015 01:31 pm wrote:
BioWizard » September 10th, 2015, 11:35 am wrote:I'd tell you some of my ideas, but I'm already working on patenting them :] Though to be fair they're relatively complex and too specialized to count as trolling, so I don't think they would've made your list anyway. Plus I intend to form a biotech startup around them, so it's not just IP squating.

Too bad it is too late to patent the idea of forming a startup biotech instead of patenting...


Hah!
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Natural ChemE on September 11th, 2015, 2:21 am 

BioWizard » September 10th, 2015, 5:35 am wrote:I'd tell you some of my ideas, but I'm already working on patenting them :] Though to be fair they're relatively complex and too specialized to count as trolling, so I don't think they would've made your list anyway. Plus I intend to form a biotech startup around them, so it's not just IP squating.

Great thread idea by the way.

The next thread might have to be about startups! I'm launching mine in three months - software solutions. I've spent years preparing for it, from making the software, to getting an MBA, to building a client list, to finding investors, etc. Next on the agenda is going on tour to show off the product line at launch, which my girlfriiend's all giddy about.

Still it's weird; who do you even talk with about such stuff? I guess that's why a lot of folks in such shoes end up in places like Silicon Valley? Anyway, it'll be a good topic to discuss if we've got some forum members doing this sorta thing

In particular, I always assumed that I needed enough revenue to get positive net operating income (i.e., ignoring cash from investors) to justify the a venture. But from what I'd been reading in recent months, a lot of such startups are in the red for years yet can still draw significant investments. If that's the case, it'd really take the pressure off, so I'd love to look into that sorta thing.

Sadly the MBA program focused more on large-scale management. Which, I guess, makes sense since that's where most MBA's end up; startups are a niche I guess.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Natural ChemE on September 11th, 2015, 2:33 am 

Separately - I've got one international patent that's "mine" (i.e. primary inventor; sadly I don't own the rights, though I get royalties).

The protected IP's an industrial-scale chemical process that's recently been required in major countries by law (yay!). Conceptually it's really not too-too bad, but solving for the case-specific system parameters (e.g. how tall this unit is, how hot that thing should run, etc.) is pretty harsh since the system has weird feedback behavior; poor designs will fail pretty spectacularly (as they famously have in several recent news stories, though I'm not able to comment on such things).

It's a weird patent in that people who try to replicate it don't really have much of a realistic chance at doing so. Which, in principle, should be corrected by the patent's text, as patents are supposed to enable professionals in relevant fields to implement the IP upon the protection's expiracy. But I don't think that that's reasonable; not because the patent's dishonest, but because we couldn't fit enough information into the document (they actually charge you extra for including extra figures - the lawyer tried to talk us into starting a patent portfolio).

Anyway, in practice we basically use the patent as an ad for the technology. Even if someone else could reproduce it, they would simply do so without informing us since we can't really audit their plants to ensure that they're not using our stuff.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby BioWizard on September 11th, 2015, 7:55 am 

Do I have to get an MBA? Can I just cut a deal with a budding CEO? I only plan to be the CSO. (looks like we're gonna need to split some posts and make two threads)
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Natural ChemE on September 11th, 2015, 8:10 am 

Hah splitting off the thread'd probably be a good idea.

Yeah, I think that most Science-types bring in Business-types for top-level management when they start a company - sometimes on launch, sometimes years later.

Lincoln was actually the one who suggested that I drop my Physics Ph.D. for an MBA, given my career goals. I figured that when a guy like him suggests such a move, it's worth considering. Btw, he was mentioned in a cover story for Nature.com a few days back (LHC signal hints at cracks in physics' standard model, Nature News).

Honestly I think that, in utility-for-time-spent terms, it'd have been more practical to just join some Business forums, or network more, and talk with folks. So a thread on the topic would be fun. Still, I think if I didn't do it, I'd have always felt unsure about the business aspect of the operations, which would've bugged me.

PS - We'll have to talk privately sometime in the next few days, but I can introduce you to a friend (well, much older friend - but I worked at his place for a while) who started his own R&D place about 10 years back, having been an organic chemist by training. He ended up being the "Chief Engineer" after finding some business-types for management later on. Apparently the business-types are really good at organizing investors, generating interest, organizing human resources, etc. He's always proud of it when he brings a good new one on board.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Darby on September 11th, 2015, 9:18 am 

Well, if your goal is to make some money, why not take a bunch of oldies but goodies and simply evergreen them with some minimal modern updates ... like a guillotine operated by the clapper.

With all the ISIS beheadings in the news lately, it's bound to be a smash hit in the middle east. File a patent and squat on it, I say. Trunk groceries not included.

j/k
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Natural ChemE on September 11th, 2015, 10:04 am 

Software design/algorithms/code/languages/design/architecture/etc.

Tons of stuff that I want for this one, so I'll continually add to it over time.

Currently:
  • IDE-driven code views
    • Conventional programming languages have certain syntax rules. Most tend to be inflexible.
    • Very mild optional stuff is available. For example, in C#, elements within class definitions can either be marked private or carry no visibility marking; either has the same result as private is implicitly assumed when no visibility marking is explicitly given.
    • Good IDE's, programming systems, scripting, etc. should allow for greater customization. For example, if the user wants all missing explicit visibility modifiers to be public, that should be a settable option in the IDE. They should be able to change that view option, or share it with a coworker who has a different preference, without any actual change to the code.
    • Further, good IDE's should allow for more-than-plain-text representations of source code elements, and even allow these to be varied in options. For example, programmers doing a lot of math work would often enjoy a more Equation-Editor/Mathematica-like GUI for mathematical elements. Such displays would make programming much easier, and code a lot more expressive, without affecting the source's meaning.
    • Personally I plan to use this in all of my major software offerings, but too lazy (and not evil enough) to patent it. It's a logical progression from plain text source code now that modern computers are so much better than the old ones.
    • Platforms (especially dynamic platforms) can allow code projects to create, modify, remove, vary, etc. such IDE-driven representations.
    • Platforms (especially static platforms) can allow code projects to define custom visualizations in class definitions, project attributes, libraries, references, repositories, online/intranet locals, etc.
    • Platforms (especially dynamic platforms and partial compilation platforms) can allow code projects to blur the line between source code representation and program execution. This is, programs can display their code while operating, including with such options (which themselves may be part of the program, static or dynamic, etc.), in an IDE-driven manner.
  • Type/interface/program/class/object/whatever recipes.
    • Currently many languages have types which are conceptually the same but carry significantly different implementations, limits, performance characteristics, etc.
        Example:
        • In most modern languages, the type for an integer can be int, long, and many variations thereof (e.g. signed vs. unsigned variants), along with all sorts of other types, e.g. arbitrary-length integers.
        • Most programmers must select which type of integer implementation they want.
        • A good recipe should allow a programmer to specify that they just want an integer. The platform can then make multiple implementations of the same code, to be selected against specific to the use case. For example, the platform may generate methods that vary primarily by the choice of int vs. long, then use the appropriate one during. This decision can be made upon static compilation, runtime, dynamic optimization, or any other point. A current partial implementation is found in the programming language Julian, called "multiple dispatch".
    • Implementation selection can be based on methods including but not limited to actual values, constraints, estimations, inferred limits, optimization timings, etc.
    • Disfavored implementations can be removed, either automatically or explicitly.
    • Disfavored implementations can be removed under many logical perspectives, including but not limited to dead code elimination, platform-specific availability, app/instance/framework/etc. availability, programmer options, optimization preferences, optimization determination, program user's input, etc.
    • Obviously this method is just begging to be joined with overlaid types, e.g. for optimization. For example, if an int and long are defined such that they're the same, bitwise, for small values for the its composing the int in cases in which int is sufficient or expected, then optimized code might simply read such a value as an int, without (or with) conversion, e.g. to not waste computational time performing the conversion from long to int.
  • Historical/event-driven/stateful/data-driven/state-driven/information-driven/data-flow/etc. (many, many names for this same concept, though many often refer to simplified variants of the general thing)
    • Currently good IDE's, such as Visual Studio 2015, offer options for viewing a program's execution history, e.g. while debugging. This feature often helps with debugging or/and understanding program operation.
    • Programs can be constructed to reactively rerun due to historical revisions at stateful points.
    • This feature would vastly improve debugging, GUI construction, compilation, partial compilation, optimization, etc.
    • This feature could be implemented in many ways, including by not limited to:
      • Event-driven structure. Historically revisable points fire events when modified, telling dependents to update. Or, alternatively, simply force reevaluation from that point.
      • Mapped structure. Historically revisable points (including their dependents) are put into a map. The map may or may not be the container for the stateful (historical) values at those points.
      • Historical states may or may not be retained.
      • Retained historical events can be remembered in many different way, including but not limited to: direct mapping (possibly with redefinition-based logic), program state arrays, time-indexed value collections for states (including individual states, all states, collections of states, etc.).
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Re: Bots Are Watching!

Postby Faradave on September 11th, 2015, 10:44 am 

Natural ChemE wrote:patent clerks probably aren't going to read this thread


Actually, their search engines do, every word, picture and video! I recently did a thread describing experiments leading to a US patent last March. My original application was rejected and then substantially restricted because of a video I posted here at SPCF! They (USPTO) had supplied screen shots taken from the video in the rejection.

Image
Screen shot of orthosonic lift from a video clip posted at SPCF.

It took substantial time and expense (including a visit & demo at USPTO) to convince them that improvements made the invention sufficiently different from the video. What seems obvious to us is not necessarily obvious to them. For example, I had to argue the better part of an hour that a plane is different than a crane vs. their position that both simply provide "lift". I had shown a crane version of the lift mechanism in the video (lifting a 2" square of cardboard) and finally won the vehicle version (lifting itself). The former would have provided a more immediate return on investment (think silicone wafers). Live & learn.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby BioWizard on September 11th, 2015, 11:25 am 

Natural ChemE » 11 Sep 2015 07:10 am wrote:Hah splitting off the thread'd probably be a good idea.

Yeah, I think that most Science-types bring in Business-types for top-level management when they start a company - sometimes on launch, sometimes years later.

Lincoln was actually the one who suggested that I drop my Physics Ph.D. for an MBA, given my career goals. I figured that when a guy like him suggests such a move, it's worth considering. Btw, he was mentioned in a cover story for Nature.com a few days back (LHC signal hints at cracks in physics' standard model, Nature News).


Lincoln will be pleased to hear this. Btw he also mentioned to me something about a CNN gig, but I haven't seen it yet.

Honestly I think that, in utility-for-time-spent terms, it'd have been more practical to just join some Business forums, or network more, and talk with folks. So a thread on the topic would be fun. Still, I think if I didn't do it, I'd have always felt unsure about the business aspect of the operations, which would've bugged me.

PS - We'll have to talk privately sometime in the next few days, but I can introduce you to a friend (well, much older friend - but I worked at his place for a while) who started his own R&D place about 10 years back, having been an organic chemist by training. He ended up being the "Chief Engineer" after finding some business-types for management later on. Apparently the business-types are really good at organizing investors, generating interest, organizing human resources, etc. He's always proud of it when he brings a good new one on board.


Yeah, I'm learning very quickly that the minimum unit of maximum efficiency contains one scientist, one business person, and one lawyer.
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Re: Bots Are Watching!

Postby BioWizard on September 11th, 2015, 11:26 am 

Faradave » 11 Sep 2015 09:44 am wrote:
Natural ChemE wrote:patent clerks probably aren't going to read this thread


Actually, their search engines do, every word, picture and video! I recently did a thread describing experiments leading to a US patent last March. My original application was rejected and then substantially restricted because of a video I posted here at SPCF! They (USPTO) had supplied screen shots taken from the video in the rejection.


Yep. Even posters you present at meetings can count as first publication. You do have 12 months from first publication to file for a patent, but international rights are automatically lost.
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Re: Bots Are Watching!

Postby Darby on September 11th, 2015, 12:45 pm 

BioWizard » September 11th, 2015, 11:26 am wrote:
Faradave » 11 Sep 2015 09:44 am wrote:
Natural ChemE wrote:patent clerks probably aren't going to read this thread


Actually, their search engines do, every word, picture and video! I recently did a thread describing experiments leading to a US patent last March. My original application was rejected and then substantially restricted because of a video I posted here at SPCF! They (USPTO) had supplied screen shots taken from the video in the rejection.


Yep. Even posters you present at meetings can count as first publication. You do have 12 months from first publication to file for a patent, but international rights are automatically lost.


BioWizard: If there's concern about posts to this thread running afoul of first publication issues due to Bots/Spiders, it's a relatively easy matter for an admin to create an opt-in members only subfora and then restrict access to long standing members (and thus prevent viewing by non-members including). There'd be a tiny amount of overhead processing opt-in requests on a forward going basis, but given the extremely modest size of this fora the effort would be trivial on that count.
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Re: Bots Are Watching!

Postby BioWizard on September 11th, 2015, 1:46 pm 

Darby » 11 Sep 2015 11:45 am wrote:BioWizard: If there's concern about posts to this thread running afoul of first publication issues due to Bots/Spiders, it's a relatively easy matter for an admin to create an opt-in members only subfora and then restrict access to long standing members (and thus prevent viewing by non-members including). There'd be a tiny amount of overhead processing opt-in requests on a forward going basis, but given the extremely modest size of this fora the effort would be trivial on that count.


And how is that different from publishing in a private access journal? It's still a public disclosure. The rule is simple: if you want to protect your IP until you file your patent, don't make a public disclosure of any kind. Because what seems straightforward to you can have a thousand legal back doors.

Also, why do I feel like people are missing Natural ChemE's intention in this thread? His goal IS to invalidate future patents on the ideas he's listing, so that they remain publically accessible.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Darby on September 11th, 2015, 2:15 pm 

The rule is simple: if you want to protect your IP until you file your patent, don't make a public disclosure of any kind. Because what seems straightforward to you can have a thousand legal back doors.


True enough: not disclosing something at all is better than 'what they dont know wont hurt me'.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby Dave_Oblad on September 13th, 2015, 4:38 pm 

Hi all,

Whew.. don't know where to start..

Quantum VR:

As Quantum Computers become a reality, so will the advantages of speed and storage also advance. An entire sophisticated 3D Video Game compressed into the space of an Atom and enjoyed by anyone with a Quantum Neuron Link from a persons Brain and that VR.

Quantum Neuron Link:

A Technology that non-evasively reads the Synaptic interconnections and processing switches of human minds to create a VR model suitable for exploring a VR domain. A two way link that allows new information to be written to a players mind by alteration of synaptic switches in the Brain Involved, allowing said person to remember their experience from a VR session.

Quantum TV:

Discovery that all Matter and Energy is archived through permanent Quantum World-Lines extending back anywhere and anytime through History within the Universe. This allows a VR experience such that a person may tune to anyplace and anytime and watch real history played out as a 3D hologram in the VR Matrix.

This also extends to visiting other Planets and Races and watch any part of their (Aliens) History up to the current "Now" from any vantage point outside their minds or from the perspective view interpreted from their minds and senses. This also allows us to improve our VR to include new senses as we discover their existence.

Quantum Visitation:

This is Real-Time VR where Humans and all Aliens co-share a VR for the exchange of information and hopefully friendships.

Quantum Resurrection:

Discovery that all former beings (now dead) that can be VR-TV viewed can also be translated to current VR and brought back to life (of-sorts) inside a current VR. Once resurrected souls get proper orientation they become advocates to resurrect all their former families and friends. It's a good thing Quantum VR takes up so little space as Billions of past lives become intertwined in a growing Shared VR. New laws are required such that past souls are not resurrected for the purposes of Punishment for crimes committed during those past lives.

Quantum VR levels of VR.

Compartmentalization becomes a requirement as past lives are unable to cope with Alien Concepts and/or Morality and possible new sensory inputs. This requires levels of education within VR to acclimate new arrivals to be competent when moving to higher levels of VR without introducing unwarranted hostilities.

Quantum Stasis:

This allows living bodies to be suspended from further changes while the original occupants spend increasing time in a state of VR. It makes repeating patterns of all Quantum motions within such bodies to suspend them from changing and aging without use of former Cryogenic techniques.

Some other ideas come to mind.. but this is good enough for now. I wonder if posting this gives me any copyright protection from those that might steal these ideas and write stories based on such. As that is one of my goals when I retire in a few years.

Best wishes,
Dave :^)
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby BioWizard on September 13th, 2015, 8:21 pm 

Dave, I believe it grants you a 12 month window of priority for filing from date of first publication, during which time you can file for patent in the US. International rights are automatically lost though.

It'd have to be a lot more technical than mere mention though. But I could be wrong. Better check with a lawyer.
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Re: Let's preempt some patents!

Postby lifefone on June 8th, 2016, 11:56 am 

Yep. Even posters you present at meetings can count as first publication. You do have 12 months from first publication to file for a patent, but international rights are automatically lost.
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