So after talking to a guy about starting a microbusiness I was told about his buddy having a patent on butane extraction. I did some searching and indeed found several patents for different extraction methods. How is this legal? These guys didnt invent any methods people have been doing this for as long as ive been smoking. Can anyone shine some light on this?
 

1diesel1

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You can patent anything, it just has to not copy someone else’s design. Oh, and you got to pay big brother lots o money.
 

JWM2

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The patent can be invalidated if there is prior art publically disclosing the invention or method more than 1 year before the provisional patent was filed. Basically it means that if you can prove that method existed before they filed the provisional patent then the patent can be easily disputed and invalidated. Just because they have a patent doesn’t mean they have the means to enforce it. For starters they have to hire lawyers to take it to court. They better hope they’ve crossed their ts and dotted their i’s because if they lose not only are they out the money for lawyers and patent filing process they could be out money for the defense attorney and liable damages.

I’d be interested to see if they are actual patents that were granted or just provisional patent applications filed. Once a provisional patent application is filed they have one year to procure and file the utility patent which then usually takes years and many revisions and rejections to then get an approval.
 
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1diesel1

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The patent can be invalidated if there is prior art publically disclosing the invention or method more than 1 year before the provisional patent was filed. Basically it means that if you can prove that method existed before they filed the provisional patent then the patent can be easily disputed and invalidated. Just because they have a patent doesn’t mean they have the means to enforce it. For starters they have to hire lawyers to take it to court. They better hope they’ve crossed their ts and dotted their i’s because if they lose not only are they out the money for lawyers and patent filing process they could be out money for the defense attorney and liable damages.
Nightmare, my wife’s a court reporter.
 

JWM2

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Also anyone can submit a provisional patent application. There’s a list of steps that must then be taken and certain criteria met before a patent is granted.
 
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