Naleesha Niranjan reviews a patent infringement case which underlines the importance of construing claims without imparting to them glosses drawn from the specification.
Mechanical engineering and mining patents
Mechanical engineering, mining and processing inventions have been with us since the industrial revolution and create incremental and sometimes revolutionary changes to our standard of living, industrial capability and resource availability. As reported in the 2017 study by IP Australia on Australian patent filings, mechanical engineering was the second most popular industry, following the electrical sector, for patent filings. Small and medium enterprises were the key applicants for mechanical engineering patents.
What mechanical systems are patentable?
So long as your mechanical apparatus or process invention defines at least one new and inventive feature with functional utility, it will be patentable in any country around the world. Any apparatus having a new combination of features that have not been put together before, or any process that includes a series of steps never done together; and which offer benefits or advantages that have not been possible before, could be patentable.
Benefits and challenges of filing mechanical engineering patents
Mechanical engineering patents can be used to prevent competitors from commercialising an invention in the country where the patent is granted. A patent typically gives the patentee the sole right to make, use, exercise, sell, offer for sale, or import the protected invention.
In addition, patent rights can be sold or licensed for use like property. Licensing can be negotiated by industry, time, regions, parties or the like.
Typically, the real value of patent becomes important once a market has been established for the invention.
The existence of a patent or patent application can be important when attempting to secure financing from investors.
For this reason, using a patent attorney that has a relevant technical background, and understands the meaning or industrial context of your invention, is indispensable in ensuring that the broadest scope of protection is applied for and to ensure that your competitors cannot design around the scope of protection of the patent.
Examples of granted mechanical engineering patents and mining patent applications
Auto Electrical Imports Pty. Ltd.
Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A.
Välinge Innovation AB
|Mining equipment and systems||
Da Gama Industries Pty Ltd
|Commercial food service equipment||
Urschel Laboratories, Inc.
|Heavy engineering vehicles and equipment||
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd
|Logistics, materials handling and packaging||
Shenzhen Kangaroo community cross-border e-commerce Co., Ltd
|Manufacturing machinery and processes||
Integrated Packaging Australia Pty Ltd
Halliburton Energy Services, Inc
|Pumps, turbines and engines||
Grundfos Holding A/S
Agricultural Magnetics, Ltd
|Recycling processes and equipment||
|Dispensing systems and devices||
Heraeus Medical GmbH
|Safety products and systems||
SawStop Holding LLC
Oy Forcit AB