Kragen Sitaker kragen@pobox.com
Wed, 17 Apr 2002 19:22:57 -0400 (EDT)

Antoun Nabhan writes:
> So, the really strange thing about this patent is how easy it is to 
> innovate around it. The claims only cover "chains" hanging from a support 
> of "tree branches," whereas the description clearly contemplates 
> embodiments in which the chains could be replaced by several alternate 
> flexible or even rigid attachments, and the tree branch could be replaced 
> by a structure of alternate materials.

Perhaps prior art was found that prevented the patent from including
broader claims, or perhaps it was just poorly drafted.

> The other thing is that I, personally, have been practicing this
> method - or, being an urban dweller more likely to find steel swing
> sets than tree branches, an obviating prior art method, since, oh,
> at least 1977.

First, the present standard for "obviousness" is extremely low, and I
doubt that swinging sideways or in an oval pattern on a steel swing
set; second, if you did not publish your method, it is not "prior art"
for the purpose of patent.  Where did you publish it?

<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
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