Searching for documents - Patent Applications #general


Jan Fine
 

Dear Fellow genealogists,

I recently had a conversation with a newly found cousin who related a
story to me about two brothers in our family who never managed to get
along with one another. When the brothers came of age and joined the
family business their rivalry continued. Predictably, one of the brothers
became a "black sheep" and went his own way and was the reason why this
newly found cousin was previously unknown to me.

One of the reasons that this brother went off in his own direction was a
dispute over one or several patents. I mention this scenario because
the conversation that it sparked between us led me to a question about
a resource that I had never considered - patent applications.

Can anyone shed light on patent applications - specifically, are there
searchable records, how far back do these records go, and how long is
the period under which a patent is protected? Does it make sense to
anyone else that a patent application might actually be beneficial to
someone doing family genealogy?

Please respond publicly as I think the answers to this question might
be of interest to others.

Thank you,

Jan R. Fine
Editor of Mishpacha, JGSGW
researching FINE (Minsk, maybe Nezvizh), PAVER (Nesvizh), FORMAN
(Kozan Harodok), SIEGEL (maybe Volozhin), PERSKY (Volozhin)


Barbara Zimmer
 

Dear Genners:
Jan asked <snip> Can anyone shed light on patent applications -
specifically, are there
searchable records, how far back do these records go, and how long is
the period under which a patent is protected? Does it make sense to
anyone else that a patent application might actually be beneficial to
someone doing family genealogy?
Patent applications in the Univted States are available at Ancestry.com
Select Advanced Search, put in the surname and then under "Keywords" enter
the word "patent". Then select "U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents,
1790-1909" for results.

There are several benefits to genealogy. First, you can find out what kind
of patents were applied for and who applied for each one. Second, you can
find out where the applicant(s) lived at that time. One of my husband's
relatives invented several variations of thrashing machines. I have been
able to see the original applications on line, and was lucky enough to find
an original sales brochure for one of them at a state library, in full color.

For more information on patents and trademarks in the US, go to the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at http://www.uspto.gov/index.jsp

Barbara Zimmer
Virginia US


P. S. Wyant
 

Shalom, Jan,

I use http://www.freepatentsonline.com/ and then search by surname. Since a
number of my relatives were "handy", this has proven to be a rich source of
information, especially in cases in which relatives were granted a patent
jointly.

Peter S. Wyant
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

From: "Jan Fine" <janrandyfine@gmail.com>

Can anyone shed light on patent applications - specifically, are there
searchable records, how far back do these records go, and how long is
the period under which a patent is protected? Does it make sense to
anyone else that a patent application might actually be beneficial to
someone doing family genealogy?

Please respond publicly as I think the answers to this question might
be of interest to others.


tom
 

I believe the United States Patent Office has all its patents available
online, for free. Their web site is:

<http://www.uspto.gov/>

And you can navigate >from there to the search screen, or take this shortcut:

<http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp>

They include patents >from 1790 to present, and allow searching in various
fields, including inventor name and assignee name. Searching for "Fine" in
those fields turned up 2 hits.

tom klein, Toronto

P.S. I found a cousin, with whom we are not otherwise in touch, by
searching the records for some of his patents.

Jan Fine <janrandyfine@gmail.com> wrote:
... Can anyone shed light on patent applications - specifically, are there
searchable records, how far back do these records go, and how long is
the period under which a patent is protected? Does it make sense to
anyone else that a patent application might actually be beneficial to
someone doing family genealogy?


Sherri Bobish
 

Jan R. Fine <janrandyfine@gmail.com> wrote
...Can anyone shed light on patent applications - specifically, are there
searchable records, how far back do these records go, and how long is
the period under which a patent is protected?...
Jan asked about searching patents. This database begins in 1790 to the present.

USPTO Patent Full Text and Image Database

http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.htm

Regards,

Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Searching: WALZMAN / WALTZMAN, Ustrzyki Dolne (Istryker), Pol.
RATOWSKY, Ariogala (Rogala), Lith.
LEFFENFELD, Daliowa, Posada Jasliska, Pol.
BOJDA, Tarnobrzeg, Pol.
SOLON / SOLAN / SAKOLSKY, Grodek (Bialystok), POl.
BOBISH, APPEL, Odessa


David Schreiber
 

Hi,

I was a patent examiner for 4 years. I saw that your question about the
length of patents was not answered. Currently, a patent is valid for 20
years >from the data of filing. It used to be 17 years >from the date of issue.

Patent applications must now be published, I believe, after 18 months >from
the filing date, whether or not it is ever issued. I was an examiner >from
1992 to 1996 and worked for the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office for a
total of nearly 14 years. Prior to the requirement that patent applications
be published, patent applications were kept confidential whether or not
they were ever issued. Removal of confidentiality only applied in certain
circumstances. I don't know if this was the policy when your relatives got
into their dispute.

As to a patent application's or patent's utility in genealogy, a patent
application is useless in its confidentiality period. A published patent
application or issued patent is a wealth of information. It provides the
names of all individuals considered to have contributed sufficiently enough
to the patent and its invention to be considered inventors. It also
contains the name of the person or company to whom the invention has been
assigned, so you might know for whom your relatives worked or to whom they
sold their invention and when this event occurred. It also tells you in
what city and state or foreign country your relative lived at the time of
filing the application. Hope this helps.

David Schreiber
Melbourne, FL

On 14/07/2012, at 03:24, Jan Fine <janrandyfine@gmail.com> wrote:
Can anyone shed light on patent applications - specifically, are there
searchable records, how far back do these records go, and how long is
the period under which a patent is protected? Does it make sense to
anyone else that a patent application might actually be beneficial to
someone doing family genealogy?


Jan Fine
 

I am writing to thank everyone who answered my questions both publicly
and privately. The response was amazing and very, very useful to me.
I will be searching and reading lots of documents as a result!

Jan R. Fine
Gaithersburg, MD
Editor of Mishpacha, JGSGW
researching FINE (Minsk, maybe Nezvizh), PAVER (Nesvizh), FORMAN
(Kozan Harodok), SIEGEL (maybe Volozhin), PERSKY (Volozhin)


Donna J. Israel
 

Jan Fine asked "Does it make sense to anyone else that a patent
application might actually be beneficial to someone doing family genealogy?"

Awhile back, a cousin was explaining the falling out between the children
and ex-wives of a cousin about whom I had known nothing more than a name.
Turns out he invented "Rabbit Ears," those two-armed antennae that used to
sit on top of every TV set in every living room on the planet.
The invention brought him a sizeable fortune over which his exes and
offspring are still fighting.

I learned more >from the newspaper articles that tracked the battle than I
would ever have culled >from family members -- including the fact that he
also invented the water-powered automatic potato-peeler. Okay, so they can't
all be winners.

The point is, discovering that a relative or ancestor applied for a patent
can send you off in new directions. If the invention was a hit, there might
be articles in newspapers, special interest or technical publications.

Patents, copyrights and/or their proceeds can also be passed along in the
holder's will. The names of beneficiaries - whether individuals, charities
or commercial enterprises - might open more avenues.

Even if the invention or creative work wasn't successful (or was totally
off-the-wall), the inventor might have had enough faith in it that he/she
wanted its value to accrue to someone.

To search copyright registrations, start here:
http://www.copyright.gov/records/

For patents and trademarks, go here:
http://www.uspto.gov/sitesearch.jsp

Even if you don't find your family, you're likely to get a few good laughs.
And if you come across the water-powered potato-peeler, please let me know!

DJ Israel
Researching Israel, Horowitz, Blumenthal, Hecht, Schecter, Zyrardow,
Socheczew


Meron Lavie
 

As some of you may recall, I was whining in this forum several months
ago regarding the dearth of vital records available on line for
Buchach (nee Buczacz).

Well, while looking up some of the members of my family >from Buczacz in
Google hoping to luck out, I ran across a patent granted to one of those
cousins of mine. The patent contained important information for me, which
enabled me to complete some missing parts of my family puzzle (and trust
me, my family is quite puzzling...).

The patent in question is for the modern department store clothes hanger
(you know, the ones with all the nooks and crannies for hanging clothes by
their straps, etc.).

Now, my mother has never been that interested in genealogy. But when she
heard that one of her relatives had invented something related to clothes
shopping, she started to seriously consider changing her religion >from
Judaism to Ancestor Worship...

Meron LAVIE
Oranit, Israel

-----Original Message-----
From: DJ Israel [mailto:djisrael@evenlink.com]
... The point is, discovering that a relative or ancestor applied for a patent
can send you off in new directions. If the invention was a hit, there
might be articles in newspapers, special interest or technical publications.

Patents, copyrights and/or their proceeds can also be passed along in the
holder's will. The names of beneficiaries - whether individuals, charities
or commercial enterprises - might open more avenues.

Even if the invention or creative work wasn't successful (or was totally
off-the-wall), the inventor might have had enough faith in it that he/she
wanted its value to accrue to someone...