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Does all patents work?

  1. Aug 11, 2013 #1
    Hello Experts

    Do all patents in the world really work?
    Can theories be patented ?
    I ask because i read a patent on perpetual motion electricity generators.
    I believe its possible but do not believe its already achieved by any human.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2013 #2


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    I don't know where you read a patent on a PM electricity generator. In the US, it is prohibited by law from granting a patent on such a device.

    A patent application contains one or more claims made by the inventor about why his invention is novel. The application does not require that the invention itself or a model be submitted for examination, so the claims are just that. The claims must meet certain statutory requirements. Patent requirements vary by country, so it is hard to generalize what is patentable and what is not without qualification.

    Application of patents to intellectual property is recent and controversial. In the US, the courts have ruled through a series of precedents that abstract ideas, natural phenomena, and the laws of nature are not patentable. While discoveries can be patented in the US, they may not be patented in the EU.

    Because of the imprecision of terms used in patent law and statutes, the field is rife with attorneys who specialize in knowing this field of the law. Because of the potential worth of some inventions, cases arising out of patent infringement can drag on for years sometimes. In the US, the Wright Bros. tried to enforce the patent on the their control system for the airplane, and early automobile manufacture was hampered somewhat when suits were brought against the manufacturers by holders of patents on early automobiles.

    Due to the outbreak of World War I, the US government set up an aircraft manufacturers association which pooled the various aviation patents then current. All aircraft manufacturers were required to join the association and a token royalty payment was made to the various patent holders. Once the war ended, the association dissolved, but the various patent holders did not renew litigation.

    In the case of the automobile patent case, most car makers decided to pay the patent holder his royalties in exchange for a license to use the patent to make cars. Henry Ford fought the patent in court and lost, but appealed his case and won in 1911. After that, car manufacture took off in the US, with Ford and General Motors quickly becoming the two largest car companies.
  4. Aug 11, 2013 #3
    Dear SteamKing

    Thank you for enlightening.

    The reason I asked was because I found some China Patents that showed many electricity generation inventions and some pertain to 'perpetual'. I am using an android apps called Patent Search Free.

    Examples I found regarding :

    Perpetual Motion

    This patent (found using android apps ) is about electricity generation using buoyancy and chains and buckets :

    How to know if this invention patented works?

    I ask because the energy needed to generate compressed gas to lift the water buckets should be quite high. There are similar inventions from other countries that are basically the same concept.

    Thanks for reading.

  5. Aug 11, 2013 #4


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    Like I said, patent laws vary from country to country. If you found a patent from China which stated that the ground up horn of a unicorn could be used to cure all sorts of disease, would you find it credible?

    Some of these patent offices consist of a guy with a stamp. It is his job to collect the fee, stamp the application and file it. The office is not teeming with eager physics graduates like Einstein in the Swiss Patent Office who drudge away by day examining patent applications while dreaming of a revolutionary (in the sense of overturning established physical thought) new paradigm for looking at nature.

    If PM truly existed, inventors would be running to as many patent offices as they could find with applications in hand, not to some obscure office buried within the Chinese bureaucracy.

    Several years ago, the Australians decided to reform their patent laws to bring them up to date. Through some quirk in the new statutes, it became possible to file and obtain patents on all sorts of everyday things which heretofore could not have withstood a proper patent examination. One guy reportedly filed and received a patent on the wheel.
  6. Aug 12, 2013 #5
    Hi SteamKing

    Thank you for your response.

    I now understand more about patenting in different countries.

    Thanks for reading.
    Have a nice day.

  7. Aug 12, 2013 #6

    D H

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    With one exception, not in the US. Other countries may vary.

    In the US, that one exception is perpetual motion machines. The only way to patent a perpetual motion machine in the US is to demonstrate a working prototype based on the claims in the patent application. Other than this one exception, there's no requirement that a patent will achieve what is claimed. There's no requirement that the device will work at all.
  8. Aug 12, 2013 #7
    If i may jump in, what would be the approximate cost of filing a patent world wide? I understand there is no direct method of doing this. I know here in the US its roughly $3500.

    For instance: One makes a product and wants to manufacture and sell it all over the world, how might it be possible and what would the realistic cost of such be to protect the invention as globally as possible?
  9. Aug 13, 2013 #8
    Hi Everyone

    I am also interested to find out is it true that in China, one can copy anything and get away with it ?

    i have heard many stories like how BMW cars have been copied and how in the end nothing can be done about the copying.

    Given China is still the world's factory, why bother to patent anymore since all things come from China, loosely speaking?

    If a china manufactured item is a copycat of something patented in USA, and a businessman imports this to sell in USA, can the importer be sued?

    Thanks for reading.

    Best regards
  10. Aug 13, 2013 #9
    I have a sick feeling that that is why Apple is nothing more than a store front for a Chinese manufacturing company. People don't realize that. Handing all our jobs to them basically hands them full control of whatever products they make. We are just the fools that keep buying it.
  11. Aug 13, 2013 #10
    Hi friends,

    I found out from USPTO website that importing of patent-infringed items to sell in the USA is also illegal.

  12. Aug 13, 2013 #11
    Hi Texasman1979

    Recently, there was news that Lenovo will be creating manufacturing jobs in the USA.

    I wonder is there a trend and if more manufacturers will do the same ?


  13. Aug 13, 2013 #12
    The US is moving toward being the corporate office of the entire world, but this is not realistic. The lower class have to have something to do all day to sustain themselves and pay for all that fancy crap they make overseas.

    But back to the question: How much would it cost to secure a patent world wide as much as possible?
  14. Aug 13, 2013 #13
    Hi Texasman1979

    Good to know about the Corporate office thingie.

    Unfortunately, I have never patented anything.
    But I think each country has its own patent rules.
    Have you contacted your patent office?

  15. Aug 14, 2013 #14
    I know the approximate cost of getting a patent in the US. What i was specifically asking is how much would it cost to patent an invention as globally as possible.
  16. Aug 21, 2013 #15
    Natural physical laws can't be patented, so I guess that's part of "theories", but it really depends on what you call natural law. You can patent new algorithms and mathematical formulations (usually under the guise "System and Method for X") because they do this in the CAD industry all the time.

    About PM, I heard that in the early days of the Patent Office they granted PM patents, but they changed things after being inundated by almost every crackpot inventor claiming to have cheated the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
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