Flat bottom planing hull Sailing boat theory sought

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by PeteK, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 1,316
    Likes: 151, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 158

    Barry Senior Member

    From the US, patent office. I have omitted parts of the entire section to reduce the verbiage and some other non relevant parameters

    """What Can Be Patented

    The patent law specifies the general field of subject matter that can be patented and the conditions under which a patent may be obtained.

    In the language of the statute, any person who “invents or discovers a new machine, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent,” subject to the conditions and requirements of the law. The term “machine” used in the statute needs no explanation. The term “manufacture” refers to articles that are made, and includes all manufactured articles.
    The patent law specifies that the subject matter must be “useful.” The term “useful” in this connection refers to the condition that the subject matter has a useful purpose and also includes operativeness, that is, a machine which will not operate to perform the intended purpose would not be called useful, and therefore would not be granted a patent.

    A patent cannot be obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion. The patent is granted upon the new machine, manufacture, etc., as has been said, and not upon the idea or suggestion of the new machine. A complete description of the actual machine or other subject matter for which a patent is sought is required.""""

    On this forum and others, comments have been made that suggest that a mere change of dimensions can bypass remedies in law by a legitimate patent holder.
    This is not the case. The patent applies to an "inventions" a new machine, or component thereof. So if at some time another person has hung a planing surface off the edge of a boat whether it was patented or not, another coming behind will not be able to get a patent. If no patent was issued on the original invention, and a patent is approved because the Patent Search did not find the first existence, the patent issued to the applicant would become nullified.

    In this case of the OP attaching a "planing surface attached to an outrigger" would more than likely not be patentable as there exists many higher speed racing boats whose outrigger could be said to plane.

    BUT if the OP comes up with a "new machine" and invention to say attach the planing surface to the outrigger, and improves the attachment, then this part only can be patented.

    My point here is that the item must not previously exist, the item/machine/invention cannot be issued unless the item/machine/invention is new.

    Years ago we had been building product X in very small custom runs for customers. Another company miles away applied for a patent, paid the patent attorneys bills and was granted a patent.
    Not sure if they had seen our product or got to the same product on their own. They found out about us and we received a letter saying that they are suing for damages. Damages being the amount of profit that we made per unit times the number of units. Our lawyer suggested that we just break the patent as we could prove the products existence prior to the patent pending initiation.

    Instead, we decided to contact the patent holder, explained that we were first to the trough BUT we would not challenge their patent and continue to manufacture and sell the items that we built.
    They agreed. They held an unchallenged patent, and we basically hid behind their patent, which discouraged other manufacturers from building, until the patent expired.

    bajansailor likes this.
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