warpie

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2017, 06:12:28 PM »
I would think if you reverse engineer and post details of a commercial product it would be an issue.
 

Don't know whether it would be an issue or not but (if you ask me) it's totally unethical. 


ruffrecords

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2017, 07:07:59 PM »
Is this correct,  do you have a reference? I would think if you reverse engineer and post details of a commercial product it would be an issue.

What would the issue be? Yes, I have a reference. The Dragon 32 computer I designed back in 1980 was very similar to the Tandy Color Computer (CoCo). The basic circuit of both products was based on a Motorola application note. The CoCo included a multiway connector at the side into which you could plug game cartridges. We used the same connector and the same pinout so you could plug Tandy cartridges straight into it. The patent lawyers checked there was no patent on it and, as the CoCo was on general sale you could legally copy any part of it that was not protected. Similarly we were advised to obtain protection for any novel parts of our design before the product went on sale because after that it would be in the public domain.
Quote
Would apple allow you to post schematics of an iPhone?
Why would they be bothered? Nobody could make one from the schematic. Most of the intellectual property is in the software.
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Would Microsoft allow you to post Windows code? Don't think they are patented.

Micro$oft are very canny. The EULA (which you must accept before using the product) specifically states that you must not disassemble or reverse engineer the code. If you did you would be in breach of contract and they could sue you.

Once again IANAL but I have trodden this road many times.

Cheers

Ian
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 04:14:59 AM by ruffrecords »
www.customtubeconsoles.com
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'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2017, 08:25:02 PM »
I haven't read the full thread in detail, but something I picked up on was a comment on commercial activity while a patent application is pending. If you infringe a pending patent application you could be in for trouble. Damages (if the patent application is ultimately granted) could be awarded if there was infringement during the pendency. Obviously, the specifics differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Building a widget for personal use is typically not going to constitute infringing activity.

Full disclosure,  I am (among other things) a patent attorney although my technical background is not circuits and I have never seen a circuit patent.  Speaking of disclosure, in a broad sense, a patent typically has to contain sufficient information for a person skilled in the art to work the invention. So Ian is on the right track with some of his earlier comments about useful information being public availability (applications are published (put into the public domain) about 18 months from earliest priority).

Believe it or not, an important part of the patent system is the trade-off between disclosure/publication (and therefore the opportunity for someone to innovate further using the disclosed work as a launch pad) and the exclusive rights the patent provides.

Something to think about when searching for patents and patent applications: it may be more useful to try and identify the inventor and search using his name. The IP holding company might not have the same name as the commercial business front. 

ruffrecords

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2017, 04:31:13 AM »

Believe it or not, an important part of the patent system is the trade-off between disclosure/publication (and therefore the opportunity for someone to innovate further using the disclosed work as a launch pad) and the exclusive rights the patent provides.
Patent circumvention is big business. Back in the 80s I did some work for a company that had made an Apple II clone. Apple could not patent the basic microprocessor/memory/peripherals architecture but they did have a patent on the video generation architecture. My job was to design a circuit that generated the same video in a way that did not infringe the patent.

Later in my career we spent a lot of time perusing our clients' competitor's patents to ensure our designs did not infringe and we also spent a lot of time with patent attorneys looking at our designs for patentable ideas. In a lot of ways it was like a card game - you could not play unless you had a reasonable hand (set of patents). Once you had a good portfolio  your competitors would approach you and ask to discuss patent exchanges.
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Something to think about when searching for patents and patent applications: it may be more useful to try and identify the inventor and search using his name. The IP holding company might not have the same name as the commercial business front.

Very true.

Good to know we have a patent attorney in the group!

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

ruffrecords

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2017, 04:34:55 AM »
that says it all. 

David Rees engineered their opamps.

Is that the same David Rees who worked alongside Rupert Neve in the late 60s?  If so he must be pretty long in the tooth now. I think Rupert is  in his 90s.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

ruffrecords

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2017, 04:45:55 AM »

Will post David Rees discrete valve style discrete class a opamp once I know I can't be sued for fixing  my high end broken gear.

 Michael

I suggest you simply ask them for the patent number(s) that apply to the product. You can post those numbers here because patents are in the public domain.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2017, 09:28:15 PM »
Would apple allow you to post schematics of an iPhone?

Actually yes they do, they dont like it but they cant help people doing it,  in fact, famous youtubers like Louis Rossmann rely on apple schematics being posted by third party companies, and not only that, he displays the schematics on his youtube videos for millions of people to watch. So yeah, making a schematic is not a crime.

iampoor1

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2017, 12:58:47 AM »
What's the patent number?

dogears

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2018, 08:27:25 PM »
You can’t make, sell, or offer for sale something covered by a patent.

Reverse engineering is fair game. Publication of trade secrets determined by unethical means (stealing, bribing, a person violating their NDA etc) is not.

So copying a schematic for something that has been sold to the public and publishing it is always ok, unless you signed an agreement stating you would not do this.

ruffrecords

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2018, 05:22:30 AM »
You can’t make, sell, or offer for sale something covered by a patent.


You can make it but you cannot sell it. Making it is how those 'skilled in the art' find out how the invention works, improve on it and create their own patent for the improved version.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'


dogears

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2018, 05:32:56 AM »
Sorry Ian but that’s bad advice. At least in the US, the general coverage of patents is the sole right to make, use, sell, or import.
 
35 U.S. Code § 271 - Infringement of patent

Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent

//

Now is anyone going to do anything about a person making a single patented thing for themselves? Nah, there’s no damages. But it is an infringement.   

Jarno

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2018, 05:56:59 AM »
You guys are talking about two very different definitions of "make" in the US patent code, "make" is "produce", Ian is talking about creating the circuit on your workbench for learning purposes.
Regardless, at TE the patent attorneys were always very nervous when we told them we'd peruse the uspto and espacenet databases, better come up with a solution on your own than using a bit of a patent by accident. If you are going to produce anything on an industrial scale anyway.

Hate it when companies threaten with legal action to keep people from learning and improving technical stuff, IMHO the livelyhood of a company is developing new products, not bludgeoning people into submission by threatening with legal action. If you bring out new products fast enough, and cost effectively enough, the copycats can't follow.

dogears

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2018, 03:03:45 PM »
If you make it for commercial use you violate the patent. So an individual making a copy for study, nah, not commercial use. An individual making a copy to use in their commercial studio in lieu of buying the product from the owner of the patent? Yes, that’s “making” it. And could be construed as willful infringement.

Patents can cover inventions and processes. Patented intellectual property may be used to make the end product. So a company can’t make a patented invention and use it, gaining commercial benefit, even though they’re not selling the actual patented invention.

And be careful how you describe designing for distinction. Some IP lawyers get touchy when you say something like “get around a patent”. 

Source: I am not a lawyer but I have served as the IP Liaison for my company for almost 8 years now.

Anyway to the OP reverse engineering the circuit is completely fair game. Publishing the schematic also completely fair game. UNLESS your purchase of the op amp or product cake with some kind of NDA or agreement where you said you wouldn’t do that.

ruffrecords

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2018, 07:30:37 PM »
If you make it for commercial use you violate the patent. So an individual making a copy for study, nah, not commercial use. An individual making a copy to use in their commercial studio in lieu of buying the product from the owner of the patent? Yes, that’s “making” it. And could be construed as willful infringement.

Patents can cover inventions and processes. Patented intellectual property may be used to make the end product. So a company can’t make a patented invention and use it, gaining commercial benefit, even though they’re not selling the actual patented invention.

And be careful how you describe designing for distinction. Some IP lawyers get touchy when you say something like “get around a patent”. 

Source: I am not a lawyer but I have served as the IP Liaison for my company for almost 8 years now.

Anyway to the OP reverse engineering the circuit is completely fair game. Publishing the schematic also completely fair game. UNLESS your purchase of the op amp or product cake with some kind of NDA or agreement where you said you wouldn’t do that.

Agree 100%

I would never use the phrase get around a patent but achieving the same end whilst avoiding infringement is fair game and may come up with a patentable improvement.

Patents should never be seen in isolation. For most reasonably sized companies in a competitive market it is important to have a portfolio of your own patents. They are like a hand of cards that gain you admission to the game - you can then cross licence with your competitors and, along with your competitors, use them to keep newcomers out of the market.

Boutique markets are probably a whole new ball game with lots of small contenders with only a little IPR each (and often much of it is questionable - patent lawyers are not engineers). They probably fire a shot across the bows of anyone who even looks like infringing just in case they suddenly become a competitor.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

iampoor1

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2018, 12:07:38 AM »
Boutique markets are probably a whole new ball game with lots of small contenders with only a little IPR each (and often much of it is questionable - patent lawyers are not engineers). They probably fire a shot across the bows of anyone who even looks like infringing just in case they suddenly become a competitor.

Cheers

Ian

For many boutique companies, I think the threat of legal action is more powerful than anything!

I still want to see this patent # for the opamp. I am not a fan of boutique companies cloning vintage circuits and then claiming to have IP. I could be wrong, but I suspect the company in question is highly "inspired" by neve.  ;D

ruffrecords

Re: Discrete Opamp Patented? How to check!
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2018, 03:55:54 AM »
For many boutique companies, I think the threat of legal action is more powerful than anything!

I still want to see this patent # for the opamp. I am not a fan of boutique companies cloning vintage circuits and then claiming to have IP. I could be wrong, but I suspect the company in question is highly "inspired" by neve.  ;D

If the circuit was indeed designed by David Rees and it is the same David Rees who worked with Rupert in the early days, then moved on to Audix and then who knows where, then it could certainly be influenced by his previous employers designs. I did a patent search for David Rees and came up blank.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'