Anything under the sun that is made by man -- Supreme Court in Diamond v. Chakrabarty, Congress stated its intent that patentable subject matter included "anything under the sun that is made by man" in the legislative history of the 1952 Patent Act. So, what in the world does horse training have to do with patents you may be asking?You would be surprised how many systems and methods have been by man under the sun.Since the inception of the USPTO, millions (tens of millions) of inventions have been granted.A patent provides its owner with a limited monopoly.However, what exactly does a patent “do”?What a patent is and what it does are topics of great confusion amongst the public.Some people wrongly assume that they need a patent before they can bring a product to market.That’s entirely incorrect. The fundamental rights of a patent are very similar to the rights created by that exceptional document where the patent right was originally created, The Constitution.As with the Constitution, patent rights are essentially negative in nature (and not negative in a bad way!).The founders of this country preferred to write laws that were essentially negative limitations on the government.Rather than telling the government what it could or should do, the Constitution was a set of negative rights that told the government what it was NOT allowed to do.All remaining rights were reserved to the people.Well, patents are very similar.An issued patent gives its owner the right to EXCLUDE others from practicing their invention.Ownership of a patent is not required in order for you to produce and/or sell your invention.A patent gives you the right to demand that others who are practicing your invention to stop.Unless that party has permission (e.g., a license), that party cannot practice your invention.If they practice your invention without your permission, they may be liable for patent infringement. The best patents sold real-world problems.When we think of patents, we may be tempted to think of very complicated or high-tech inventions as being worthy of patenting.However, I firmly believe that the best patents start with an invention that provides a practical solution to a real-world problem.Such was the case with respect to U.S. Patent 6,725,810.Wayne Schwartz invented a mechanism that allowed for control of a horse bridle.Using a control mechanism, what was once a human-centered physical activity could be replaced with a mechanism that was driven by a programmed control unit. In a world of semi-autonomous vehicles, this may seem like an insignificant invention, but we shouldn’t ever view older patents as “obvious” in view of today’s knowledge, which leads to something called hindsight bias.That issue will be addressed in a future article, but nevertheless, it is important to remember that anything made under the sun can potentially be patented.However, we believe that patents should be used properly, in context, to advance the business needs of your company.Patents should not be obtained without a Patent Blueprint.Reach out and set up a time so we can chat about how our Patent Blueprint can work for you.
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