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Patents

Posted by leadinglights 
Patents
August 21, 2020 10:14AM
A simple question: How do the members of this forum feel about patents?

My own take: In the past, when the community was arguably contributing as much or more to the FFF knowledge base than the commercial world it seemed unreasonable to take knowledge from the free interplay of ideas on the forum and fence it off as your own. As the energy has declined it now seems that any new idea you have is likely to be entirely your own and should be yours to do with as you wish.

Or am I wrong?
VDX
Re: Patents
August 21, 2020 10:51AM
... some of our discussions in the forum were used by big companies to file "their" patents years later! eye rolling smiley

With my own IP's -- did some patents (and German "Gebrauchsmuster") with some of my ideas for testing the procedere (and with some hope too) ... released them a year later (or 3 years later, when with a company partner) ... didn't earn any money with them ... so -- not really interested in IP-hazzles ...

Actually we mostly develop new ideas in small groups or individually -- too, to prevent companies from using/stealing the ideas ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Patents
August 21, 2020 10:57AM
Quote
VDX
......................................................................... -- too, to prevent companies from using/stealing the ideas ...

Ditto, but now it seems a lot like shouting your ideas into the void - not even an echo can be heard.

Mike
VDX
Re: Patents
August 21, 2020 02:02PM
... as sad as it is -- yes, for OS development it's mostly "invisble" or lost with time/fading interest ...

But my "comercial" background develops ever more, so companies are contacting me for project development or job offers for R&D or specific tasks around additive manufacturing or laser applications/developments confused smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 12:58AM
If you have an idea you want to patent, go for it.

I'm cynical... a patent is only as strong as the owner's ability to defend it. So a wealthy corporate who wanted to rip you off could do so with impunity. You probably can't defend your patent against infringements in (say) China.

As well, patents used to be a way of rewarding people for creative ideas by granting a temporary monopoly. Nowadays, it's the corporates that own the patents and the people who pay.

So, not worth the effort, IMO.
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 05:11AM
It is true that patents are not always effective and can even be harmful, but almost everything else is the same: Masks are of limited effectiveness against viruses, fertilizer won't guarantee a good crop, a seatbelt is not always effective in a car crash and democratic elections won't stop you getting a bad government. The main thing about patents is that if you want money from a bank, a brother-in-law, or Dragon's Den to start making your thing then they will want to know that you have a patent

The significance is that I was approached about three years ago by somebody who offered me an unspecified amount of money if I developed and patented an idea that I had for measuring the cross-sectional area of printer filament. While I haven't heard back from him, nor have I done any more work on the idea, during a recent period of heroic idleness, I did think it may be a good idea to get fabulously wealthy - and after all, who would it hurt. In the end though, I agree with frankvdh - it's not worth the effort.

Mike
VDX
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 05:55AM
Hi Mike,

... by the way -- are you still interested in measuring the filaments cross-section numbers? -- it's as easy, as a Raspi-cam and two mirrors ... did this for some other problems and micro-assembly applications for my own projects and for a Zeiss (leading optics/microscopy company) benchmark some ten years ago (without a Raspi then) smoking smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 09:22AM
Hi Viktor,
I more or less lost interest when I found that purchased filament had be come very predicatbly round with a consistent diameter - In the past variability had pretty much been a given.

If you are interested in the approach I used there is a bit more here [reprap.org] I still have a long-throw 40mm diameter woofer which I intended to use as a driver with a piezo as a sensor, it is awaiting the return of energy and enthusiasm and the completion of a lot of other projects.

Mike
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 09:35AM
If you really want low frequency response, consider a variable pitch rotary subwoofer. It's essentially a fan with a variable pitch blade. I suspect the variable pitch mechanism could be 3D printable... I think the general idea is to spin it at a constant speed, and use the low frequency waveform to change the pitch of the blades. With zero pitch, there's no air movement in the axial direction. At low volumes, the pitch moves between small positive and negative values and at high volume the pitch moves over a larger range, positive and negative. You have to use a quiet motor, and maybe locate it at the end of a duct to minimize the sound made by it, but that's not too hard or expensive compared to other ways of generating sound at 5 - 20 Hz...


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 09:44AM
I see very little real innovation in fff/fdm printing. Mostly rehashing of old ideas and concepts that on rare occasion hasn't been applied to 3D printing yet. So in that regard, I find patents counter-intuitive towards the existing phase of iterative progress/improvement I feel the hobby is currently in. Something truly innovative and new deserves a patent if the person who came up with the idea wants to capitalize on their work. Too many frivolous patents in the world.
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 01:14PM
I have a specific patent question. I discovered (have not published) an extension of exact constraint theory, and I've used it to make an extremely hi-precision, cheap, low-friction linear rail. My question is, would a patent slow down whitey from using it to make weapons? I've studied the history of amerikan whites, the massive holocaust they carried out in North America, how they keep the world's largest prison system, and today I live embedded in their fat, racist, endless-war culture. I just don't want the whites to use it to make weapons. Would a patent gum up their works? My assumption, looking at their historical respect for treaties, is that whites are thieves, and publishing would just encourage them to violate the patent. I've kept the invention secret, because I can't live with blood on my hands. Would I slow its weaponization, were I to publish my results in a different language than the colonizers' tongue?
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 01:47PM
Ah! but then I can't see how a method and apparatus for the measurement of the cross-sectional area of feedstock for fused fabrication printers could be used for ends antithetical to the continued survival of the human race. This leaves me without a moral reason to continue work on it or to desist from such endeavors - perhaps I have dodged a bullet there.

Mike
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 01:56PM
and this thread has officially jumped the shark
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 02:07PM
Quote
golfwolf
I have a specific patent question. I discovered (have not published) an extension of exact constraint theory, and I've used it to make an extremely hi-precision, cheap, low-friction linear rail. My question is, would a patent slow down whitey from using it to make weapons? I've studied the history of amerikan whites, the massive holocaust they carried out in North America, how they keep the world's largest prison system, and today I live embedded in their fat, racist, endless-war culture. I just don't want the whites to use it to make weapons. Would a patent gum up their works? My assumption, looking at their historical respect for treaties, is that whites are thieves, and publishing would just encourage them to violate the patent. I've kept the invention secret, because I can't live with blood on my hands. Would I slow its weaponization, were I to publish my results in a different language than the colonizers' tongue?

You're probably right. I think it best that you keep that secret to yourself.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 03:31PM
I'm deadly serious actually. Our technical work is political whether we like it or not. This has been true for centuries now. The options are to support it actively, support it passively, or to deprive it of our support actively, but there is no way to deprive it of our support passively, except by making things which physically serve little useful purpose for warmaking. You'd be fool to not consider it, as one would consider the social ramifications of any work. A patent is a social device, which is advertised to make property out of some 'first labor', and in exchange, the inventor is granted exclusive monopoly, but can extend the right to perform the work to, so it's said, to whoever. It's also said that if a company is caught violating patent law, that the state's armed wing can make good on the patent's legal meaning. So the question is, if the state's armed wing ultimately gives the patent its legal meaning, is the monopoly on performing the labor ever possibly exclusive of police weapon-making and military weapon-making? It's probably not, right?

Using exact constraint, instead of LMU full-circumference bearings that wrap around two semi-parallel rails, means that during rapids, the carriage can leap off its rails and repeatably relocate itself. The rails need not be parallel.
VDX
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 03:41PM
... the persons interested in "war-mongering" wouldn't respect your IP's, but simply use the information for their own developments -- and ... filing a patent gives them the possibility to get the information "preselected" in a recherchable fromat, before you even get it claimed eye rolling smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 04:05PM
Quote
golfwolf
I'm deadly serious actually.

So am I. It's best to keep it to yourself.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 05:55PM
I have an idea....let's get the government involved....not
[www.youtube.com]


[mechabits.co.uk]
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 06:58PM

Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 07:22PM
Quote
golfwolf
Would I slow its weaponization, were I to publish my results in a different language than the colonizers' tongue?
No, the people you're concerned about are an international group. And they have effectively infinite money, so being able to do something cheaply means nothing to them. Assuming the end result of your invention is the same as any other well made linear motion guide, then I doubt they would even be interested in it.

In response to the thread topic, my view is that the original intent of patents was to empower individuals to protect their IP from corporations, but especially now that everything is so globalized, you need tens of thousands of dollars to file in all the relevant countries, and a large legal department to scour the world for violators and prosecute them in whatever country they reside, so only corporations can actually do it. Thus, the patent system only serves those who it was intended to protect against.
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 07:30PM
this is what happens when people cocoon themselves away for too long


[mechabits.co.uk]
jsw
Re: Patents
August 24, 2020 08:36PM
Quote
the_digital_dentist
but that's not too hard or expensive compared to other ways of generating sound at 5 - 20 Hz...

Actually, if you think about it (and not to hijack the thread even further), such a scheme would go down to 0hz, or DC. ;-)

Now if we could only reach blue light on the tweeter end. ;-)
Re: Patents
August 25, 2020 05:11AM
One of the branches that this thread has evolved into concerns a device that I was once interested in. Instead of following this branch on this thread, I will append some thoughts on the earlier thread [reprap.org]

As far as the ethics committee goes though, I hereby swear and aver that I shall return to the true geek path of enlightenment and abjure from patents, copyrights, and other tools of oppression. I will further relinquish all dreams of vast wealth, power, the respect of my peers, and the adoration of women.

Mike
Re: Patents
August 27, 2020 11:18PM
Is anybody speaking from experience ITT, defending lone inventor patents?
Re: Patents
September 01, 2020 07:01PM
My feeling is that the patent system is so broken that it isn't even worth while. The burden of defense lies solely on the patent holder to defend it. In which case, unless a mere mortal finds a wealthy patron, the "Evilcorps" out there will steal it with impunity and even the actual patent holder can't use it. To me that means the only defense anyone but a corporation has is to either post the idea as "open source" with its rules, so at least the IP creator can use it, or to protect it as an industrial secret, like the formula for Coka Cola or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I do not think this was the original intent for the patent office here in the US, but that is what we have now.

IMO, YMMV, YGWYPF, TANSTAAFL, you know the drill...
DLC


Kits: Folgertech Kossel 2020 upgraded E3Dv6, Anet A8 upgraded E3Dv6, Tevo Tarantula enhanced parts and dual-head, TronXY X5SA Pro(E3Dv6).
Scratch: Large bed Cartesian, exchangeable heads, Linear slide Delta, Maker-Beam XL Micro Delta, 220x220CoreXY.
VDX
Re: Patents
September 01, 2020 07:30PM
... the original intent of patents was to avoid double- or multiple-inventions worldwide, while the essential invention and infos around were already known otherwere.

But now it's more used to "block" competitors or gain fees for licensing.

With my first "experiments" around IP's and later I've filed some to set "my claim" and freed it afte a year into the "public domain" ... some friends use it similarly for community developments, to hinder companies grabbing the community ideas/developments for their own patens ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Patents
September 02, 2020 05:25AM
If a member of this community comes up with an idea that transforms 3D printing for the better and then successfully keeps it from the capitalists of the western world and the cloners of the Orient then it would never be made and will not transform 3D printing. The RepRap world may have been different in the past, but how many now make their own 3D printer? How many make their own extruder? Does anybody make their own nozzles? As the maker community becomes less and less distinguishable from the general effete consumer community it becomes very hard to fight the advance of consumerism.

If anybody has a good idea it is best for the community to patent it and then sell the patent. The product will then be made, and if successful it will be cloned and will be available cheaply. If not patented it will disappear without a trace.

Mike
VDX
Re: Patents
September 02, 2020 05:33AM
... here in Germany we have some groups, developing, building and selling high quality hotends and extruders -- mostly in small quantities, not really meant to go worldwide.

And - I'm too developing/building my own gear for 3D-printing and all sorts of laser-applications (additive manufacturing too) -- tried to start a "community-driven" lasermodule-development ... but stopped it for different (mainly safety/security) reasons ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Patents
September 02, 2020 07:03PM
Quote
VDX
... the original intent of patents was to avoid double- or multiple-inventions worldwide, while the essential invention and infos around were already known otherwere.

Patents were never and are not worldwide. They are on a country by country basis, and you cannot get a worldwide patent. You need to get a patent in every country where you want protection from copying. However the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides a streamlined filing procedure for most industrialized nations.

Quote

But now it's more used to "block" competitors or gain fees for licensing.

Yes, this (rather than avoiding reinventions) is the intention of patents. It makes it worthwhile to invest up-front in developing something new, so that you can recover that cost either by using your monopoly to get higher prices or by licensing your invention to other manufacturers.

Quote

some friends use it similarly for community developments, to hinder companies grabbing the community ideas/developments for their own patents ...

Patents can only be for novel inventions. If the invention has been described or constructed prior to the patent application, the patent is not valid. Of course, this depends on the ability of the alleged infringers and patent applicant to prove or disprove the prior art in court... i.e. it will depend on proof of the date of the invention, and the clarity of the description. The benefit of patenting an invention then releasing it to the public is that the date & description are registered, so the Patent Office won't register a second patent for the same thing, thus avoiding costly legal battles. Except that a new patent may be registered for something derived from the original, and then all users of the original invention may have to prove in court that they're not infringing the second.

So I had an idea for a filament sensor that measures capacitance between concentric tubes. I haven't patented this, so anyone can use this idea. I can prove the date, because I've published it here, in another thread. But someone else has already looked at my idea and replaced the concentric tubes with a double helix of copper wire (wish I'd thought of that!). They may believe this is novel, and patent their device and require license fees from manufacturers. Or I could assert that my "invention" was measuring filament cross-sectional area via capacitance, and that concentric tubes was only an example of one way to do that. In which case, their patent is invalid due to my prior art and they can't charge license fees -- anyone can freely make filament sensors of either design, or any other design based on capacitance. We can then test this assertion, and the depths of each other's pockets, in courts around the world.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2020 07:07PM by frankvdh.
Re: Patents
September 03, 2020 04:06AM
I perceive patents as a Gordian knot that one has to cut.

My patent idea would be that an inventor receives a worldwide compensation based on the use, for example how many people benefit from the invention. That would be a meaningful task for the UN.

The current patent system slows down inventions. We have x billion people who could invent things based on each other. They are slowed down by today's braking system called patent law. This slows down the development of human knowledge. I think that is a great pity!

The only solution I see is to invent things that have not yet been patented and make them available to Open Source. Of course you have to pay in advance for this and you don't earn anything with it. This is only possible if you can afford it financially. Unfortunately only few people can do that.
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