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BananaIP Counsels > Patents (Page 59)

Selden’s Patent – A Historical Patent for the Automobile Industry

This post was first published on June 20th, 2014.

The name that is most often associated with Automobile patents is Henry Ford, in addition to Alexander Winton, Karl Benz, and others. Supposedly, Ford’s first experience with the patent system was not as an “Inventor” but as an “Infringer”, who allegedly infringed a US patent titled “Road Engine” granted to Selden (Patent No. 549,160) in 1895. Selden’s patent, with a three-page description, five drawings, and 6 claims, controlled the entire US automobile industry for a considerable period of time.

George B Selden, a Patent Attorney from Rochester, was interested in constructing a horseless carriage that is a lightweight, self-propelled and a one-man operable locomotive. There were massive engines that existed during the time, which were ill-adapted to the purpose. During his visit to Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876, he came across an Internal Combustion Engine invented by Brayton. However, Brayton’s engine had low power and weighed over half a tonne. Selden planned a number of improvements to the Brayton engine and filed a patent application on May 8, 1879. From the specification and claims of Selden’s patent application (No. 549,160), which provides alternatives to some features and aims to obtain broader protection scope, it may be inferred that he was more a clever patent attorney than an inventor.

Invention that Added Flexibility to Our Lives, Literally!

Products made from rubber have come to be a part of our day to day life in the form of automobile tires. It is used for several other applications as well. However, natural rubber becomes solid, cracks in winter and melts in summer. This unstable nature of rubber made lives of rubber product manufacturers difficult. Strong minds, however, don’t go down without a fight! It was at this stage that “vulcanization of rubber” was invented by Charles Goodyear. He was awarded a US patent for vulcanized rubber (Patent# 3,633) on June 15th, 1844.

Vulcanization is the process of chemically treating rubber and converting it to a more malleable form which can withstand heat and cold. In this process, sulfur or equivalent curatives or accelerators, which when added to natural rubber, forms cross-links between individual polymer chains, thus giving the rubber superior mechanical properties. Some sources indicate that Goodyear accidentally invented the vulcanization process. The story goes like this.

Special 301 Report: Chapter V. Inventive Step & 3(d) – Comprehending Apprehension or Apprehending Comprehension?

Is Section 3(d) an extension of the Inventive Step analysis?

The answer to this question can make a difference to the compliance of non-discrimination obligations under the TRIPs Agreement, and so it plays a significant part. Article 27.1 of the TRIPs Agreement reads as follows:

Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3, patents shall be available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are capable of industrial application. Subject to paragraph 4 of Article 65, paragraph 8 of Article 70 and paragraph 3 of this Article, patents shall be available and patent rights enjoyable without discrimination as to the place of invention, the field of technology and whether products are imported or locally produced.

Wankel Engine, Although Revving not Revolutionary

What’s the one thing that is common between a 1975 Suzuki RE5 motorcycle and a Mazda Taiki supercar? Believe the answer would be – the Engine. Both these vehicles are powered by an engine called the ‘Wankel Engine’.

Ranging from a simple single cylinder engine that powers our motorcycles with great mileage, to advanced SCRAM jet engine that propels hyper-sonic airplanes to an astonishing speed of 10,000 km/h, IC engines have evolved over the years. There are many varieties of IC engines based on their working cycles, construction, application, fuel used etc.

Chapter III. Demystifying the Evergreen myth – Comprehending Apprehension or Apprehending Comprehension?

Evergreening, known in the politically-correct-circles as “Life Cycle management” of a drug, is the concept of extending the exclusivity term rendered to a pharmaceutical patent through legal and business measures. Contrary to existing myths and notions, Evergreening does not stop an interested party from exploiting the invention of an expiring patent. It is purely a business strategy to introduce and position newer products (sometimes patented) into the market so as to prolong consumer interest, before the generic players flood the market.

Where Some see a Wheel, Others See a Wheel of Fortune!

Hridayeshwar Singh Bhati from Jaipur, India, holds a design patent on a 6-player Chess Game. Not impressed? Ok, let’s picture this. He was born in 2002, so he’s only about 12 years old now. Not satisfied yet? Then how about the fact that he has a condition called Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, which has him confined to a wheelchair!

Sinapse Blog finds it extremely rewarding to bring to its Readers, this item of spectacle of a India’s youngest Innovator with many odds mounted against him. We see and salute the innovation here, arguably in its purest form! Hridayeshwar invented this game variant when he was 9 years old and was granted a design patent a year later, in 2012.

An “Illuminating” Technology Boost to Cricket!

The image depicts a cricketer at the stumps.

The 2014 T20 World Cup has finally concluded and a new cricket champion is born - Sri Lanka. This edition was thrilling and we witnessed a lot of close contests and nail biting finishes. Well, if you're wondering about the relevance of this category of post on an IP blog, the fact is, this edition of the T20 World Cup was especial not just for ardent cricket fans but for technology enthusiasts too, bringing us to the relevance of this post on this blog. Those who watched the World Cup matches this time around would have noticed a special type of stump...

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Soggy Pizza? Blame it on the Box!

Vinay Mehta ordered pizza one evening. It was soggy from the steam trapped inside the box, a far cry from the crispy, steamy pizza he'd hoped for. Although this dampened the pizza's aroma, it was nowhere near dampening his spirit. Instead, Mr. Mehta resolved to end this problem once and for all. All it took was a little "thinking outside the box". Or was it inside? Here's how it goes: While the food packaging industry had almost entirely stagnated after solving the compression and cushioning problems of packaging boxes, no one had so much as given a second thought to the ventilation problem....

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Happy Birthday, Houdini!

This image depicts Harry Houdini in handcuffs.

Magic is an art in which a magician performs seemingly impossible tricks for entertainment. When it began, people used to associate magic with evil and so the industry faced several hiccups. However, as a result of constant effort of many magicians of that era, people slowly became interested in magic, and came to accept it as a legitimate art in the 18th century. In this post, I will introduce a legend, who was not just a prominent magician, but also an inventor. It is none other than Harry Houdini – the “Great Escape Artist”. Harry began his magic career in 1891 with traditional card tricks...

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Who Says Patent Protection is Costly?

There aren't too of us who have not dreamed of getting a patent to our name. When it comes down to it, though, the reality of costs involved in filing for a patent and the complications involved hit us, possibly rendering us slightly less enthusiastic about the prospect than we once were. This presentation, by Mr. Somashekar Ramakrishna, offers up the clarity and ease of understanding the process, by giving us a demonstration of a cost effective way of patent filing that might help us make an informed decision. For instance, the first slide gives us an approximation of the costs...

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