DDeathlonger
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Usage Legal Limitations in Product Patenting

Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:30 pm

Me and my pal are working on developing a robotic machine, I tried getting help last time, but the answer was not to my actual question, so I'll word this carefully; I need to know if I can legally patent our machine WITH the Raspberry Pi running that machine. I don't care about the software open-source stuff. I Want to know if I can legally patent our machine with the Raspberry Pi ITSELF in it. Please reply soon, kinda waiting on this to move forward on development. If I would need to sign a contract or something with the owners of Raspberry Pi or something, that's fine, I just need to know.

Thank you,
-DDeathlonger(Dante)

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redhawk
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Re: Usage Legal Limitations in Product Patenting

Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:43 pm

Better send them an email - http://www.raspberrypi.org/contact-us/

Personally I don't see patenting being a problem as long as it's for the robotic equipment only and not Robotic equipment with Pi combined (but don't quote me on that I'm no lawyer).

Richard S.

simplesi
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Re: Usage Legal Limitations in Product Patenting

Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:57 pm

Asking this question on a geeks forum is not going to produce a useful result for you I'm afraid.

You need to get specialist advice - maybe someone here could direct to a source of that but that's the most you'll be able to get.

regards

Simon
Seeking help with Scratch and I/O stuff for Primary age children
http://cymplecy.wordpress.com/ @cymplecy on twitter

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jbeale
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Re: Usage Legal Limitations in Product Patenting

Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:00 pm

Just FWIW, I do not recall seeing a patent that made reference to a specific item by brand name or trademark. The descriptions in a patent are usually as generic as possible. If your invention uses a computer, you would call it a computer, not a "Raspberry Pi" or anything else. Besides, you would not want a patent specific to using a R-Pi when a competitor could avoid infringement simply by using a BeagleBone or some other device.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. I believe you would be well served by some competent advice on what goes into a patent, and what aspects of an invention are patentable.

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aTao
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Re: Usage Legal Limitations in Product Patenting

Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:05 pm

You cannot patent the RPi part of an invention. This does not mean that you cannot patent the invention though. You would normally submit a patent application describing a component such as a RPi in general terms. You might call it a mini computer or logic element or digital processing element. As such that component is not tied to any particular unit.

Consider a computer controlled dog grooming robot (sorry if I just spilled the beans...). The patent application would not (could not) be "A computer controlled machine", its been done already. What you would patent is the specific application, including any unique engineering required to get a computer (RPi) to perform the task.
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pygmy_giant
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Re: Usage Legal Limitations in Product Patenting

Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:52 pm

A patent abstract is just that - 'abstract' - ie. as vague as possible whilst describing the core characteristics of your invention, including the 'inventive step'. This allows you to bagsy the largest amount of intellectual teritory and helps others to understand it without getting bogged down in the detail.

I don't know, but I would be surprised if your invention could not be made to work with a different computer / micro-controller in it. Therefore I would not worry about its patentability being relient on a particular manifestation of your invention, such as the prototype containing an RPi.

Something to think about though - assuming that you can afford the patent process and that it is granted, can you afford to enforce it? Also - what territories are you going to patent in? Europe, America or UK or elsewhere? look ath the UK IPO website.

Ravenous
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Re: Usage Legal Limitations in Product Patenting

Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:17 am

DDeathlonger wrote:I need to know if I can legally patent our machine WITH the Raspberry Pi running that machine. I don't care about the software open-source stuff. I Want to know if I can legally patent our machine with the Raspberry Pi ITSELF in it.
First, I'm not a patent lawyer (though I have heard up a thing or two about that business). You MUST speak to one. I suspect what you're planning will either not be patentable, or will be a waste of time patenting.

Case 1: you've invented an idea, which happens to use the raspberry pi. Very bad idea to patent it "with a raspberry pi", simply because anyone can copy your idea using another controller, and that way they haven't violated your patent. This is why (as Jbeale said) very few patents describe the exact technology in detail.

Case 2: you've got something that's been done before, but nobody's done it with a raspberry pi before, and you want to corner the market and prevent anyone else doing it. This is a bad idea - either the patent won't be granted if it's not really an invention, or several people (such as the raspberry pi foundation themselves) may try to block you.

Of course you might be looking at a different case, in which case you had better talk to someone who knows this stuff. I'm guessing that sort of advice won't be free.

PiGraham
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Re: Usage Legal Limitations in Product Patenting

Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:46 am

DDeathlonger wrote:I Want to know if I can legally patent our machine with the Raspberry Pi ITSELF in it.
-DDeathlonger(Dante)
Are you really asking if the owners of Raspberry Pi intellectual property could or would obstruct a patent application that happened to be embodied using a Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is not unique new type of device. Anything you can do with a Pi can be done with other devices.

Obviously you can't make any IP related to Pi a claim in your patent, because that is prior art and not your IP.

AFAIK You can use a Pi device for whatever you want, but there are some restrictions on trade marks related to the use of logos, the name 'Raspberry Pi' etc.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/trademark-rules/

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