My wife posted this picture on my Facebook page. I copy it here because the picture made me think, and that led me right into a patent and copyright approach that I have been toying with for a number of years.
First of all, I could not figure out where the picture came from (who owns it), but if I am infringing a copyright please let me know and I will sort things out. Interestingly my idea is an improvement on the concept in the picture, and therefore may skirt copyright issues. Regardless, I very strongly believe in reasonable intellectual property rights.
Occasionally, we provide engineering expertise on patent cases, and to be able to go down the rabbit hole on the origins of an invention is a fascinating process and raises many issues with regard to what is fair and what is not fair with intellectual property rights.
Also, occasionally, I have had patentable ideas, but I have never pursued a patent to the end, since it is an expensive process, and if somebody really tries to steal your idea it becomes a battle of the deep pockets. Instead, I take a philosophical approach. If it is difficult to own a good idea, at least I want credit for it, and prevent someone else from unfairly profiting with it.
Nobody can patent an idea that is in the public domain, and therefore the best way to protect your inventor credit, and to prevent others from owning your idea, is to simply cast it into the public domain. Not too long ago that was difficult to do because the public domain was not all that public and somebody could accidentally sneak in a patent that somehow, somewhere, was already public. But today, a simple Google search will access the entire public domain, and if your idea is published on the internet, it is public, can be found, and is therefore logged for the ages as long as the website that published it stays up.
So let’s get back to the picture. When my wife posted it, I recognized it as an old idea, but beautifully executed. Then I looked at the beautifully rendered title and realized that the title is incorrect. This thing is much more than a flow chart. It can sit somewhere and, when there is an engineering emergency, a person can reach for it and use it to solve the problem. In effect, these things should be fitted right next to EED’s in public buildings to protect the public just like fire extinguishers, epipens and first aid kits.
So if it is not a flow chart what is it? And here I improved on the design. This is not a flow chart, it is a problem analysis system and a tool set! It is an All Purpose Engineering Analysis System and Emergency Toolset. An APEASET!
I invented APEASET! So I checked my acronym on Google. So far Martin Ottaway is the first search result showing.
The APEASET acronym is mine, all mine! Well maybe not exactly, but note that I have added APEASET to the search term list on this blog, together with some other relevant search terms and the blog is dated. It is now much more difficult to steal that idea from me.
Or this idea that deals with vinyl records.
If I remember, I am going to Google APEASET in a few weeks to see if it shows up. Weird to think about it. I posted it here, and maybe in a few weeks the entire world can find it.
UPDATE March 15, 2018: I forgot about this, but checked today. Yes, this article comes up first when googling: APEASET. Neat!