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Re: The patent process [Was Re: Sharing the Family PC is Patent-Pending]

From: A Waterfall That Barks
Subject: Re: The patent process [Was Re: Sharing the Family PC is Patent-Pending]
Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 00:24:09 GMT
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5 (Windows/20040207)

Rahul Dhesi wrote:

Al Dente <> writes:

The rest of your points are spurious because they rest on your assertion that a Patent is a 'law' therefore you re-iterate statements about 'legislation' in order to effect a comparison. But a Patent is not a Law -- it is more what would be called an Entitlement.

The above is a pretty stupid comment, given that the original poster was
quite careful and precise in his wording:

  A patent is a government action -- certainly not a law or an agency
  regulation in the usual sense, but a government action with the force
  of law and enforceable through the judicial system, that grants rights
  to some, takes away rights from others.

My point stands. The patent is not the 'law' or an 'action' -- the law is the intellectual structure that makes the patent possible. Patent is a property 'right', yes. But the original poster was saying something like 'my acre of land is a *law*'

To phrase it in computer terms, the Patent is a program in which certain rules are codified.

The Law is a compiler that allows the executable to be created.

The program is not the compiler.

  source="U.S. Patent Office">

Some people confuse patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Although there may be some similarities among these kinds of intellectual property protection, they are different and serve different purposes.

What Is a Patent?
A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the Patent and Trademark Office. The term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. US patent grants are effective only within the US, US territories, and US possessions.

The right conferred by the patent grant is, in the language of the statute and of the grant itself, “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States. What is granted is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention.

What Is a Trademark or Servicemark?
A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device which is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A servicemark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms "trademark" and "mark" are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and servicemarks.

Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks which are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the Patent and Trademark Office. The registration procedure for trademarks and general information concerning trademarks is described in a separate pamphlet entitled "Basic Facts about Trademarks".

What Is a Copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly.

The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine. Copyrights are registered by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.

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