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    Re: Beating a Dead Horse (aka Worley's Sextant)
    From: Don Seltzer
    Date: 2014 Jan 20, 11:19 -0800

    Brad wrote; Of course, since my device does say 'patent' it implies that there is an earlier version by the same patentees, on the same topic. You've got the later one, but its the earlier one we seek!

    I did look for an earlier patent that included the Greatest Angle Clamp, but could not find one prior to 1921. I do not know what to make of your earlier one being stamped 'Patent'. Perhaps it was just a marketing ploy, to scare off copycats, suggesting (perhaps falsely) that an application had been filed and was pending. It didn't have to be true; I don't imagine that in the early 1900's there was a law prohibiting such a practice.

    There was an earlier suggestion that an invention might be sold for several years before a patent application was submitted. In recent decades at least, that has not been true. A patent cannot be awarded for prior art, and anything that is published or manufactured prior to the application date is considered prior art. Until last year, the US Patent Office allowed a one year grace period between first public disclosure and filing, but in Europe and Japan, the rule has long been that the patent application must be filed before any public disclosure. I do not know if this was the rule 100 years ago.

    Don Seltzer
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