Jim Thomson wrote:
> Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2010 20:44:55 -0800
> From: jimlux <email@example.com>
> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Fractal Antennas, Chip Cohen (N1IR) on Nova
> Last Night
> I think the primary value of fractal antennas (over other frequency
> independent or broad/multi-band designs of one sort or another) is as a
> unique marketing tool for product differentiation. Along the lines of
> "now, with patent pending framostat enabled chrome muffler bearings".
> it also allows some amount of funding lock-in. If you hold the patents,
> it makes it harder for someone else to experiment with it and prove you
> wrong. A would-be debunker gets a letter implying a legal battle might
> ensue, and you figure you got other more productive fish to fry, whether
> or not the legal claims have merit (that is, reproduction of a patented
> thing for experimentation is permitted under limited circumstances, but
> you'd hate to spend thousands of dollars proving it)
> ## Have u ever looked up some of these 'patents' ? Remember the
> fellow on the east coast who build's those megabuck ant tuners ?
> Did you look up his 'patent'? The short of it is....'the ability to
> switch the
> capacitor from one end of the coil.....to the opposite end of the coil'.
> His tuner is nothing more than a heavy duty L network..consisting of one
> variable coil, and one variable cap..and a simple ceramic switch. The
> switch of
> course, just moves the hot end of the cap from one end of the coil to the
> other end.
> IE: step down the Z..or step up the Z. Just like you see in any ancient
> ARRL book...
> except this fellow actually obtained a US patent to switch the cap ! Look
> up Clarence
> Moore's patent on his cubical quad some time. It's 2 x quad loops with a
> transposed open
> wire line between em..sorta like a ZL / HB9CV array. I dunno who ripped off
> 1st. Some how it morphed from that...to a single fed loop..with a
> parasitic REF loop behind it.
It's possible to get a patent on almost anything, especially recently,
where the PTO tends to err on the side of issuing, and letting some
subsequent infringment action deal with prior art invalidating it. On
the one hand, this sort of cheapens the whole examination process; on
the other, it saves a bunch of taxpayer money, since the vast majority
of patents are never used/litigated/etc., so why spend lots of examiner
The other thing is that it's fairly common to have a pretty broad
reaching description in the disclosure, but very narrow claims. If
patents are being used as a marketing tool, heck, you don't really care
what the claims are (claim 23: An antenna, as described in claim 1,
where the coating is paint; claim 34: An antenna, as described in claim
23, where the paint is red;), or even if the patent will eventually
issue. You just want to say "patent pending" in your literature to
discourage competitors from copying it.
And if the patent does issue, it becomes part of your "intellectual
property portfolio" and useful either as something to use for cross
licensing with another company's portfolio or as something cool to show
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