One diode patent

05.08.2010 21:07

Everybody is talking about software patents and how big USA sue-me-sue-you companies are acquiring them in bulk for the most trivial methods and algorithms. Here's something that made me think that perhaps the "One click shopping" problem isn't limited to just the world of software.

Cut-out from Charging Specification for VL Series

This is a cut-out from Panasonic's Charging Specification for VL Series for their rechargeable Vanadium-Lithium batteries:

Notice the little notes below the schematics saying "Patent acquired"?

A couple of things don't make sense here. First, these circuits are so simple that most electronics engineers would probably came up with them given the specifications. There are a few circuits in that document that are actually more complicated than these and aren't marked as patented.

Secondly, why patent these in the first place? Isn't the goal of the manufacturer of batteries to sell as many as possible? Scaring potential costumers with potential for patent infringement in their products seems like bad practice. Is it just to prevent a rival from patenting it first?

Then again, after some searching on Google patent search I was unable to actually find the patent application for these.

Posted by Tomaž | Categories: Analog

Comments

This sort of silliness provides yet more reasons for a good, thorough reform of the patent system, IMHO.

To patent 2 resistors and 1 diode circuit ... yeah only in America

Posted by Gašper Korinšek (via Facebook)

Very delicate chemistry indeed with strict limits to 3,4V up to 4 mA! Obey it and admire the progress from old Pb Accus.

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