Monday, August 18, 2008

How to avoid patenting

In slashdot, an anonymous asked one question. He/she was asked to file a patent by his/her manager, and he/she does not like to patent that stuff. What is the best way to avoid this and at the same time, not losing his/her job. It got very interesting comments from the readers.

  • Just patent the process of firing someone for refusing to file a patent.
    Then they'll have to license the technology to be able to use it against you.

  • Tell your boss, as well as the IP attorneys working on it within/for your company, in a paper-trail-setting medium like email, dressed up as a question of an inquisitive techno-geek wanting to satisfy his curiosity:

    "So, on this flux capacitor patent thing: What do you guys make of this Heisenberg compensator design I found at this URL here? I kind of derived my design from that, is that something that would go in the prior art list we talked about during the IP attorney meeting the other day?"

    Poison that well.

  • If the invention is obvious, Make an anonymous posting somewhere (written by your friend), describing the innovation you came up with. If it has been disseminated before, it cannot be patented.

    This is a fairly common process with companies that either cannot afford to patent or don't want to. They put in a 1 page ad in some random magazine (Sheep Shearer Magazine, New Zealand) describing the invention and order a copy of the magazine. Then when someone else comes along and threatens a lawsuit because they patented the process, they simply show the magazine again and Bob's your uncle.

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