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"-Prior- Private Description" would be a concept in patenting,
work similar to how "Prior Art" works, making it impossible to
patent things that are found to have prior description in reliable
record keeping systems, such as e-mail conversations,
blockchains, mailing lists, etc.
Proof I invented the iPhone
If it's on the internet, it must be true. [doctorremulac3, Jul 11 2016]
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||Uh, this is the same as "prior art" then? Except that
you want to include non-public disclosure?
||[MaxwellBuchanan], indeed. What about the current
system? If someone unearths an idea from a private
mailing list, provably dated before the application for
patent, can it be considered Prior Art?..
||If yes, then "Prior Description" idea is baked.
||"Prior Art" is anything that was in the public domain.
So, if it was a person-to-person email it doesn't count
(as I understand it); if it was posted on a public
forum, or graffitied on the wall of a pub in
Tanganyika, then it counts.
||I see. Well, then Halfbakery counts, and Prior Description
is still something, but probably could be renamed to
"Private Description", not to overlap with "Prior Art".
||Private Descriptions sounds salacious! Do I have to pay?
||Shady patents that cover stuff that was already known on newsgroups etc is a valid concern. But newsgroups, email, conversations, etc already count as prior art, unless there's a written agreement establishing confidentiality. So, the real problem is, perhaps, bringing this information to the attention of the people who grant patents. There have been attempts to do this, such as prior art bounty sites and repositories.
||There is no first-to-invent anymore, only first-to-file.
||Exactly. Although it is worth noting that if there is
public disclosure, it will prevent _anyone_ from
filing. (One caveat: in the US, I believe there is a
"grace period" of 1 year - meaning that if you publicly
disclose something, you can still file within within 1
year; however, you can't get an international patent
in that way if you've disclosed - just a US one.)
||That is incorrect. Canada has a one year grace period. There is nothing in place to keep anyone from the US from patenting any of these publically disclosed inventions during that Canadian grace-period.
||Bit of a joke really. We just don't understand American humor.
||Yup. 12 months from publication is the deadline
||I think what you're saying is you want to be able to
prove you invented something first if a patent
comes out and you had previously written about it
to a friend
or in some other limited distribution. I believe,
and I could be wrong, that the basic idea of a
patent is that only the inventor has the right to be
granted patent rights. Goes to say that, in theory,
if you could convince a court that this person
didn't come up with the idea first because you
wrote about it to your aunt Mabel in a drunken
stupor back in 95, and you can get them to believe
it, you could overturn the patent holder's rights.
(Could be wrong about that, probably am.)
||But why? You wouldn't be able to get a patent
yourself as the overturned patent is now public
domain. You'd just get the joy of ruining
somebodies dream of being a "custard filled
||I'm just guessing about the ability to overturn a
patent based on proof that it was referred to in
hard copy someplace that wasn't available to the
general public. That would get into a sticky legal
area where it's so hard to prove it might just not
||It is an interesting legal idea though. Proof that
you came up with the idea without the looming
deadline for filing. I expect it's such a hard thing to
prove and would be so ripe for fraud that it's just
not practical to even consider.
||(See link proving I invented the iPhone)