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Tripteron patent deadline

Posted by alegiaco 
Tripteron patent deadline
September 28, 2021 10:15AM
Hi, i'm interested in Tripteron robot, but I know there is a patent (US 6,729,202) on the machine, but I don't understand if the patent has an end-of-life in April, 2022. Someone understand something about patents? Can the university renovate the patent or the patent will be finally dead in 2022? So starting from april can we build some tripteron robot?
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
October 13, 2021 10:05AM
You can build anything you want that is patented, as long as it is not for commercial purposes. If your intent is commercial, you may have issues.

Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 23, 2022 02:46AM
According to [patents.google.com] it has an adjusted expiration of 2022-09-12.

I am not a patent expert, but in my understanding the usage of patents is different in different countries. In germany where I live it seems to be possible to use it for noncommercial private use, but not in the US, where even private usage is prohibited.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 26, 2022 07:55PM
The problem with this is that...

1) Google ISN'T the canonical source of this information. For all of a reason for "accuracy", it's not official in any sense of the term.
2) The claimed extension time doesn't make any sense against the backdrop of the patent itself or relevant US law.
3) It's not that you can't make/use a patented item...you can't disclose means unto which someone NOT skilled in the art can make them themselves in the US, which is why Apsu's implementation stalled. It's quite a bit different if you're like some of us (Waves hand) and are sufficiently skilled in the art. I can make it legally for myself, but I can't tell y'all HOW to do it either...not until the expiry date, that is.

So... Let's break apart a bit of this, shall we...so we're all on the same page so that we can pursue it in a timely manner?

USPTO Patent Link for 6729202

...as supplied by the canonical source of records there.

So, relative to the US Code, which defines this, what is the baseline date?

(From the USPTO's website on calculating expiry)

"In 1994 the US signed the Uruguay Round Agreements Act changed the date from which the term was measured. Because the term was measured from the filing date of the application and not the grant date of the patent, Congress amended 35 U.S.C. § 154 to provide for applications filed after June 7, 1995 that the term of a patent begins on the date that the patent issues and ends on the date that is twenty years from the date on which the application was filed in the U.S. or, if, the application contained a specific reference to an earlier filed application or applications under 35 USC 120, 121 or 365(c), twenty years from the filing date of the earliest of such application. In addition, 35 U.S.C. 154 was amended to provide term extension if the original patent was delayed due to secrecy orders, interferences, or appellate review periods."

(Also from the same...)

"In 1999, Congress amended 35 U.S.C. § 154 to provide for additional patent term if the USPTO failed to meet certain statutory deadlines that guarantee prompt patent and trademark office responses and guarantee no more than a 3 year application pendency. Applications filed after May 28, 2000 became subject to the changes to 35 USC 154(b)."

So, there's a sliding window of pendency. But that's on the filing date with the USPTO, not the original start date of the patent. If you have a PCT filing before the date, it doesn't count, the clock for 35 U.S.C. § 154 begins on your US filing date- but that your expiry begins on the PCT filing date... So they started the process in the Global space and then filed later on in the US. The Filing Date for the PCT filing? April 10, 2002. That's what is going to dominate things here unless there was a FUBAR from the USPTO regarding things there. So, a filing date of July 8, 2002 in the US. If they'd not had the PCT filing, the clock would begin there. So, does 35 U.S.C. § 154 apply here? Grant date- May 4, 2004. Nope. So, I'm unsure...what they're talking about and it's to September which is...ODD...to say the least on things. There's no law governing it and there's no data IN the USPTO's systems to lend insight into what is being claimed by Google or if it's even valid. What Google offers is hearsay. It's nice hearsay often, but it's not canonical facts, no matter how much they'd like you to believe their stuff is wholly so. There's no indications that there was any interferences, secrecy orders, or appellate review periods of any amount there. It looks like it got filed then granted in a sane, typical timeframe. (I know some of this because I've had patents filed in my name on behalf of prior employers, etc...)

So, I'm unsure WHAT Google's using for the basis of the claim there from off of their site for this. THEY aren't clear...so not knowing what gives... It doesn't match up with any typical things that extend out the expiry. There's no real events that show in Google's page or at the USPTO that would give you insight or indication that it really was that.

To be sure, it doesn't matter all that much. It expires this year and we can begin discussion within that window, to be honest with you.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 28, 2022 03:57PM
Thank you very much for explaining some details of patents!

When PCT filing is April 10th 2002 and according to [patentimages.storage.googleapis.com] the note at the upper left "Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 155 days. ", then adding 155 days (and 20 years) are exactly Sep 12th 2022. So this seems to be the way google calculated it. Whether the calculation is correct - I am no expert.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2022 04:00PM by JoergS5.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 28, 2022 05:14PM
I'll say it again... Unless the Patent Office says something to this effect, that's what goes. Google's good for looking up a copy of the patent itself (USPTO's service is actually better because it now pretty much covers all patents granted to the late 1700's).

Now, they don't say WHY it's extended under "35 USC 154(b)" which is an inappropriate citation.

35 USC 154
(b) Adjustment of Patent Term.—

(1) Patent term guarantees.—

(A) Guarantee of prompt patent and trademark office responses.—Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to the failure of the Patent and Trademark Office to—

(i) provide at least one of the notifications under section 132 or a notice of allowance under section 151 not later than 14 months after—
(I) the date on which an application was filed under section 111(a); or
(II) the date of commencement of the national stage under section 371 in an international application;
(ii) respond to a reply under section 132, or to an appeal taken under section 134, within 4 months after the date on which the reply was filed or the appeal was taken;
(iii) act on an application within 4 months after the date of a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 134 or 135 or a decision by a Federal court under section 141, 145, or 146 in a case in which allowable claims remain in the application; or
(iv) issue a patent within 4 months after the date on which the issue fee was paid under section 151 and all outstanding requirements were satisfied,
the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day after the end of the period specified in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv), as the case may be, until the action described in such clause is taken.

(cool smiley Guarantee of no more than 3-year application pendency.—Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to the failure of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to issue a patent within 3 years after the actual filing date of the application under section 111(a) in the United States or, in the case of an international application, the date of commencement of the national stage under section 371 in the international application, not including—

(i) any time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under section 132(b);
(ii) any time consumed by a proceeding under section 135(a), any time consumed by the imposition of an order under section 181, or any time consumed by appellate review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or by a Federal court; or
(iii) any delay in the processing of the application by the United States Patent and Trademark Office requested by the applicant except as permitted by paragraph (3)(C),
the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day after the end of that 3-year period until the patent is issued.

(C) Guarantee of adjustments for delays due to derivation proceedings, secrecy orders, and appeals.—Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to—

(i) a proceeding under section 135(a);
(ii) the imposition of an order under section 181; or
(iii) appellate review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or by a Federal court in a case in which the patent was issued under a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability,
the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day of the pendency of the proceeding, order, or review, as the case may be.

This is the reason I question any of the information there. It has to be publicly disclosed that these above have occurred and it must reference the subparts of that section in the Citation claimed. It's not a full and valid claim under the law to not specify things like, "35 USC 154(b)"- you must do it like this:

35 USC 154(b)(1)(A)(iii)

That they don't is...interesting.... One of the problems is that the claim is deficient in and of itself as I mention. The other problem is that it strikes one as a violation of the Treaty in the first place. The reason for the PCT date counting as when the clock begins is that it was done to match what the Treaties involved specify. Moving it forward for any reasons other than a secrecy hearing (WHY? And you'd notate that in places with other than the claim on Google's data...) isn't legit. Doesn't matter much, like I said. In less than a year, they're going to not have any say whatsoever in this. Right now, Google's the ONLY one claiming this on any of the patent sites so far...and they're not accurate in specifying WHY. I'll dig more and report back because it's important to the likes of ourselves. grinning smiley
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 28, 2022 05:18PM
Thank you very much for explaining some details of patents!

...and you're very welcome. It can be convoluted at times unless you've filed a few of them. :-D
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 28, 2022 05:30PM
As it stands, if it's September, it's September. No biggie. We can begin in earnest at that point in time, regardless of claims, notes, etc. And the people skilled in the art can start playing pretty much at any point in time right now as long as they're not disclosing details in the US. Other countries may vary there...I just can't do it and neither can Apsu right at the moment.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 28, 2022 10:43PM
Thanks again for explaining. It's good to know that you have good knowledge of the matter. So it expires somewhen in 2022, and this should be sufficient to start or proceed.

There is already running firmware, I'm aware of RepRapFirmware and Smoothieware, so one can experiment already.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 29, 2022 12:09AM
Yep. There's a reason why I'm eagerly awaiting that expiry. Sometimes you need to collaborate to innovate and come up with, "better".

The University in question never saw fit to be reasonable in the space. They saw it a ticket to cash. Could've been- but without experimentation being allowed on it and non-commercial/research designs being done...well...

It's got some real potentials...which have been laying fallow for shortsightedness. The real gotchas is the stiffness of the joints while allowing freedom of movement through the geometry. It might not make a good CNC solution (It might, it just needs more research there) but it should make a pretty spiffy pick-and-place or 3D print robot, if Apsu's videos on YouTube are any indication. He's got a bit of backlash showing in some of the movements that doesn't seem to be overly impacting the prints he showed... Can't tell you if that's the carriages on his belt drive system needing a bit more robustness or if there's some slop in the joints he didn't fix at the time or not. Shore that up and we have a contender for a simple kinematic that can bring speed like you see with the Vorons right now. Apsu's hinted at a 4020 rail based arm design on YouTube and he's about to bring that out...probably on the exipiry of the patent.

I'm looking for a crazy combination. Speed and size. There's likely a scale-up limitation, but there should be a happy medium of a fairly huge volume that can be pushed faster than at least some systems...that can be DIY as well.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 29, 2022 12:20AM
As for firmware...the research papers around this have the math in there down...and the Patents ALMOST fully describe it as well. They kind of had to in order to get the patent in the first place. That there is extant versions of something means we can put it in any of the usual suspects pretty easily. This is going to be about what limitations you have in the actuator assemblies and the arms having the requisite resistance to backlash effects, denying motion unless it's commanded by the actuators.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 30, 2022 03:56PM
It has been on Thingiverse since 2016! [www.thingiverse.com]

Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 31, 2022 04:28AM
Yes Apsu was one of those mentioned to build a Tripteron and stopping because of the patent issue.

But I think patent is only one aspect. The other is that building the tripteron is challenging in respect to precision. Making good joints seem to be the main task, so when patent expired and anybody who wants to build one can start talking about freely, the community (we) can gather ideas how to achieve this goal and build a fancy printer!
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 31, 2022 11:22PM
Just because it's on Thingiverse doesn't lead to it not being novel or having issues. There's a lot of Delta designs, H-Bot, and CoreXY designs on Thingiverse too. Do you see people being dismissive of those?

It had promise when Apsu did his initial designs, he just stopped when there were Legal challenges- which is a wise item. It didn't stop because of "issues" or that it wasn't doable.

One of the promising things is getting relative in-parallel movement without doing bed-flingers, etc. You're mostly not trying to move a bunch of mass, much like a delta- with much more simplistic kinematics, thereby simpler math- so simple that a Bed-flinger (e.g. I3, Ender 3, etc) controller can easily and readily manage- yet you can have potentially much higher accelerations than would be ever plausible or possible on the others because you've got the bed heater, the print surface, and the print itself you're flinging about during a print with the other and only the arms, the hotend, and possibly a lightweight direct drive extruder system.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 31, 2022 11:25PM
Well, in the case of this, I think he had the arms "stiff" enough for the purposes of the levels of precision for printed parts. Where I think he had issues was the carriage to belt interface- there's a LOT of torsion potential there on the arm and it applies a lot of force in it's direction. Looking at his videos, it looks like the float he'd occasionally get is more due to issues there. I could be wrong, but looking at the university videos, there's this WIDE, beast-mode timing belt for each of the axes. It could be that we're going to have problems with things without going to a lead/ball screw or a rack and pinion drive for these things. Can't say until we all start experimenting.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 31, 2022 11:27PM
As it stands, he's got a 2040 based version that he's not disclosed much of anything other than a kinematic study. This would resist some shifts in the direction of the 40mm axis on the extrusions, so long as the hinge was as solid as the ones he came up with for the original.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
December 02, 2022 12:09AM
As an update, the Patent HAS expired now (Duh...) and I've been tinkering in the space as has Apsu. He's got a new small design that he's been working with along with other kinematics.

As people have observed, if you don't have a stiff enough but yet light hinge, you're going to have no end to, "fun," with this kinematic. You need something hell-bent for stiff in the lateral force direction of the hinge, yet have a hinge that's not heavy or too stiff to bend quickly and easily.

That being said, Apsu's got a bit of what looks like a handle on the small end, as does Nicholas Seward with what little he's done within the last year or so. I'll know if my take on things works soon enough- I'm seeing good enough results with the tinkerings I've done to this point to make a go at building up one, buying vitamins right now and slowly assembling subassemblies to make sure I DO have a prospect going on here.
Re: Tripteron patent deadline
January 18, 2023 12:28AM
I may have something to offer when it comes to a stiff hinge/arm... I am building something quite different from a tripteron, but I have 1 arm that's subject to exact same requirements.

What I did was make the arm wider and use (axially preloaded) ball bearings, spread far apart along the axis. It does use more space, of course, but I think it's unavoidable. And the tripteron requires a lot of "elbow room" in any case.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2023 12:29AM by Dmytry.
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