Patents and OpenMoko

Shawn Rutledge shawn.t.rutledge at
Fri Feb 8 03:58:57 CET 2008

On Feb 7, 2008 4:45 PM, Arthur Britto <ahbritto at> wrote:
> What prevents you from mailing yourself an unsealed envelope?

Why would you want to do that?  The point is to get a reliable date
stamp associated with the material inside the envelope.  And as the
other link pointed out, it doesn't hold up well in court, and could
also be used against you to say that this idea was not being
implemented... was just sitting on a shelf until you got around to
filing the patent or defending against one.

I think the notary method would be better because the stamp is right
on the invention diagram/description; and not being sealed, they can't
say it was necessarily sitting on a shelf.  Some companies take "lab
notebooks" seriously for the same reason - if you have a practice of
dating and signing every page, and the book is a hardcover bound one,
and it stands up to reasonable scrutiny that the notebook could not
have been constructed and bound later on, then maybe some courts would
be convinced that the idea struck you on that date... because it fits
into the timeline of the other writings in that book, some of which
could probably be corroborated via other sources.  (Since I don't like
the process of writing on paper though, that's one habit I haven't
taken up very much.)

More about the notary method here

and here

but I'm not proposing it's anywhere near as good protection as an
actual patent... just for a "prior art" defense.

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