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Thread: XTOL patented?

  1. #1

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    XTOL patented?

    I sometimes see people discussing the "XTOL patent". However, I have a package of XTOL, and nowhere on the package is there a claim of patent protection.

    Does the patent cover the actual formulation of XTOL itself, or does the patent just cover XTOL-like developers, with XTOL itself falling outside the claims of the patent?

  2. #2
    Lee L's Avatar
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    See http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/ near the bottom of the page. The patent doesn't mention xtol by name. The whole page is worth reading.

    Lee

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The Patents covers specifics there were Xtol type developers patented (US) by a Swedish company years earlier in the 60's and these may be why Xtol wasn't released until they expired.

    The Swedish patent (US3022168) would make it very difficult for Kodak to actually defend the 3 patents that relate to Xtol, and it's rather surprising it has't been cited.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 10-04-2009 at 03:03 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: add

  4. #4
    cmo
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    There is even a commercial clone named Fomadon Excel.

  5. #5
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Thanks for adding the other patent # Ian.

    Patents can be found at http://www.google.com/patents

    Type the patent # in the search box. It appears that many of the patents are scans to images and/or .pdf format, and they can be downloaded and printed out.

    As for potential patent conflicts, the US patent system has at times been notorious for granting nearly identical patents, and more recently for patenting extremely obvious ideas.

    Lee

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L View Post
    As for potential patent conflicts, the US patent system has at times been notorious for granting nearly identical patents, and more recently for patenting extremely obvious ideas.

    Lee
    Yes there's a little man with a workshop converting Polaroid cameras for 5x4 use who claims to have a Patent

    This despite the fact that it's been a common practice for many years.

    In the case of the Xtol Patents it's the US Patent Office who are responsible for citing prior Patents, and it's odd the Swedish Patent's not listed. Kodak must have known about it, it has to be one of the reasons Xtol wasn't produced until it lapsed.

    Ian

  7. #7
    cmo
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    The little man with the workshop converting Polaroid cameras is a droll story.

    There are similar stories about US patents that are a big time abuse of patent jurisdiction.

    There are companies like RiceTec that control basmati rice production in North America - not because they bred basmati rice but because they decoded the chromosome set of basmati rice and declared it their intellectual property. Every farmer growing basmati rice has to pay to that company, every year.

    Lawyers usurping science and nature just to make money, that are the worst rodents, a plague of biblical proportions. Just imagine that during the last 200 years every scientist in biology and medicine had a lawyer by his side to make sure that everything he found was patented to make sure the company made money - our civilization would not exist, or we would all be busy trying to stay alive without patent infringement.

    Getting back to XTol: if I were not so lazy I would mix my own Xtol or Mytol, that's not rocket science, and as a private party I would not have any patent trouble.

  8. #8
    gainer's Avatar
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    In my earliest days at NACA-NASA I was taught by our patent lawyers that you cannot patent ideas. You may patent specific devices or other forms of practical embodiments of ideas. Formulae may more properly come under copyrights.

    We needed a source of random electrical noise to simulate turbulent air for our analog computer, and I hooked a high resistance carbon resistor in series with a silicon diode in reverse direction from +100 v to -100 v, coupled to the computer with a capacitor. The high frequency noise was then filtered to the required bandwith by networks in the computer. Someone suggested I should apply for a patent. We found several slightly different, patented, ways of using the same idea to make random signal generators. Furthermore, it was well known that low reverse current through an ordinary silicon diode has a wide spectrum, and so was not even a new idea.

    There are times when it is better to keep a formula secret than to patent it, especially if the idea behind your patent is new.
    Gadget Gainer

  9. #9

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    Ian, looking at the Swedish patent you cited, all of the claims describe a developer that uses borax plus a polyol (glycerol, mannitol, etc.) as the buffering system. IANA patent lawyer, and there may be other prior art out there, but this patent doesn't seem to describe formulations (like XTOL) that don't rely on these borate-complexing agents.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    While the Kodak developer is different in some ways it should still have been cited as it's very close in others, I've been involved with a few patent's and in the UK they are very thorough.

    But this would be before decent computer systems and cross referencing was probably mainly still by hand and the sheer number of Patents in the US makes it far more difficult compared to European countries.

    Ian

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