My Reference Database

Searching by inventor’s name works at the patent office’s web site back to 1920. ex: in/Edison in the 1790-present database would find patents where one of the inventors’ last name is Edison, the famous guy plus anyone else with that surname. But what if you are interested in patents before 1920, as say someone who … Continue reading “My Reference Database”

Someone I know

I was adding Lee Valley Tools’, a modern day tool manufacturer, patents to when I came across a patentee who is a member of my tool club! The first name was different but the middle name, the name I know him by, and last name were the same as was the small town in … Continue reading “Someone I know”

Patent Office Tie

A few years ago I spoke to a group of patent librarians who were at the patent office for a training seminar. Three things horrified me when I checked in and opened an otherwise innocent looking manila envelope. The first was the attendees list showing the number of people that I’d be speaking to. I … Continue reading “Patent Office Tie”

Prior Art

I previously posted my origin story but it turns out to be not quite true as I found prior art! I thought finding an antique router plane was what triggered my interest in patents, that was until I visited my parents. They still live in the house I grew up in. On a shelf was … Continue reading “Prior Art”

Ralph’s marking gauge

I’m not normally a devious person, or at least I usually don’t act on what the hilarious devil on my shoulder whispers in my ear. This story would be an exception. Ordinarily it is hard to find humor in intellectual property, hopefully you will see it here. My friend Ralph was into collecting patented marking … Continue reading “Ralph’s marking gauge”

My Origin Story

Quite a few years ago now, I came across an antique router (the pictured woodworking tool, before ones with power cords were invented) with a patent date on it. I knew that my friend Ralph was into patent searching so how hard could it be? I tried to make sense of the US patent office’s … Continue reading “My Origin Story”

A slight misunderstanding

Here is another, hopefully funny, Intellectual Property related story. There is not a lot of humor in IP so when it does occur it should be shared, even if it puts its author in not the best light… Hathi Trust is an online library that currently has over 17 million scanned books. It’s based at … Continue reading “A slight misunderstanding”

Chair Moments

I’ve mentioned my friend Ralph (seated in the photo) in a previous post or two. More than a few years ago, the two of us did a patent searching presentation for the antique tool collectors club that we both belonged to (Midwest Tool Collectors Association, It was an hour long presentation during a three … Continue reading “Chair Moments”

Vaughan family patents

In a previous post I mentioned my friend Ralph’s two patents and his great-great-grandfather’s purse lock patent. That’s three generations of patentless relatives bookended by two generations of patent holders. While researching a tool manufacturer, I found a family where all five generations held patents. Alexander Vaughan, fatherSanford Vaughan, sonHoward Vaughan, grandsonHoward Vaughan, Jr., great-grandsonCharles … Continue reading “Vaughan family patents”

A Purse Lock Patent

My friend Ralph has two patents, the first being 8,935,202 granted January 13, 2015 and filed way back in June 2004. In the early days of google patents, Ralph checked to see if his patent had been granted. It hadn’t been when he checked but he did find something astonishing. It turned out that his … Continue reading “A Purse Lock Patent”