I do not know. But I do know that entrepreneurs can do their own searching using Google Patents, and other tools hosted by patent systems. I teach entrepreneurs how to use these tools effectively using these slides http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching . I hope this helps.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office maintains a database of who owns the patents. https://assignment.uspto.gov/patent/index.html#/patent/search You can look up who is listed as owning the patent of interest. The contact information may not have been updated since the ownership moved...Read more »
Your question did not provide the specific patent number but I can answer anyways. There is not a global patent. Patents are issues by a country (or in rare instances a region) and only apply to actions in that location.
A United States Patent Applies to the United States.
I am dealing with an unscrupulous inventor who tries to sell his software patent. He tries to sell it with development done by a 3rd party. That 3rd party has already confirmed to me they are not interested in working on it, because the inventor is ineligible. Also, I was hired by the inventor to... Read more »
Once the patent issues or a patent application is published, then you should be able to see details in the assignment database at https://assignment.uspto.gov/patent/index.html#/patent/search . You will also be able to see the relevant information in Public PAIR once you know the application...Read more »
Many patented processes use patented components in the process. Sometimes the company seeking the patent on the process owns the patents on the tools or components used in the process, sometimes they do not. It does not matter.
That said, your own idea will need to meet the test of being...Read more »
Patent term is more confusing than it should be. The one part that is simple, is that patent term is not a function of the technology. There is not a way for the applicant to apply to extend the patent term (unlike trademarks or copyrights). (but as noted below, there are...Read more »
I do not know the rules in South Africa. Software can be patented in the United States but normally the patent is on how the software makes the computer or related equipment do their jobs better. A new digital file type may fall under this category.
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