dynamicsguy
Topic Author
Posts: 442
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:24 am

787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:23 pm

This one may be of interest to anyone willing to wade through the text: Aircraft Trailing Edge Devices

This patent covers many of the features of the 787 moveable trailing edge configuration, including the hinge location, variable camber and control of the gap by drooping the spoilers.
 
mrocktor
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:57 am

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:39 pm

They are trying to patent the hinged flap? That is... ridiculous. To say the least.
 
prebennorholm
Posts: 6419
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:30 pm

Quoting mrocktor (Reply 1):
They are trying to patent the hinged flap? That is... ridiculous. To say the least.

Aeah, well, the text is hard to read since it looks like having been manipulated by a dozen different technicians plus at least a hundred lawyers.

But to me it seems to be just a little more complicated - that they are trying to patent a hinged flap with a hinge line below and forward of the flap leading edge. Plus spoilers which combined with flap engagement drop below their stoved position, thereby giving also the fixed wing upper surface additional camber in high lift configuration. Plus allowing the flap to move upwards as well - as a combined flap and aileron (flapperon).

Still hard to believe that it can be patented today. I can't imagine any mechanical "wing twisting" like that which wasn't tried somewhere in the world already 30 or 40 years ago. But some countries are more liberal handing out patents than others.

Sure this setup would be (next to) prohibitively demanding in a non-FBW world. But FBW is also 40 years old technology. It is hard to imagine that it hasn't been described in a technical letter decades ago.

Maybe I missed something? If so, please help.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2167
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:57 pm

When something like this comes up, Boeing always tell the story of the 727 S duct.
The story goes something like this:

Boeing developed the S duct for the 727. However, they never got around to protect the design. Someone (company) in Europe managed to patent the design. Boeing ended up having to pay royalties on all the 727 they sold.

So, even if it seems illogical, Boeing will try to patent everything they come up with. Cost of filing is cheap. It's up to the Patent Office to determine if its valid.

bikerthai
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:46 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 3):
Someone (company) in Europe managed to patent the design. Boeing ended up having to pay royalties on all the 727 they sold.

Sounds like B/S, if something is already in common usage, a patent examiner will disqualify the application.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 3):
Boeing will try to patent everything they come up with.

They can try, does not mean it will be successful when challenged. Many birds have far more complex trailing edge configuration than humans can build. If something already exists in nature, it is pretty hard to patent the "idea" when it can be demonstrated that it already exists.

The whole idea of patents is that it is a novel idea, andf telling others how to build it.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
bri2k1
Posts: 952
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:13 am

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:18 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):
The whole idea of patents is that it is a novel idea

In theory this is true. In practice, "prior art" is the name of the game. Microsoft is famous for hiring students at universities all over the world to scour filing cabinets for anything they could cite as prior art when someone is unwilling to sell an invention to them at their initial asking price. If you can prove with a dated piece of art that you've invented something before someone else, you can claim infringement, even if the patent has been issued. However, it is up to you to pursue the matter, the patent office doesn't file the suit for you. That's cost prohibitive for most people, and the lawyers would take most of what you might win anyway.
Position and hold
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2167
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:30 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):

Sounds like B/S, if something is already in common usage,

Could be B/S. It did happened a long time ago. And the story has it that the European company was Dassault.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):
If something already exists in nature, it is pretty hard to patent the "idea"

I agree with you. But there are pharmaceutical out there trying to patent all the drugs derived from stuff they find in the rain forest or bio-tech companies trying to do the same to gene sequences . . .

bikerthai
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
mrocktor
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:57 am

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:42 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 2):
But to me it seems to be just a little more complicated - that they are trying to patent a hinged flap with a hinge line below and forward of the flap leading edge. Plus spoilers which combined with flap engagement drop below their stoved position, thereby giving also the fixed wing upper surface additional camber in high lift configuration. Plus allowing the flap to move upwards as well - as a combined flap and aileron (flapperon).

None of those things is innovative and using them in the same application is an obvious use of existing technology.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 3):
So, even if it seems illogical, Boeing will try to patent everything they come up with. Cost of filing is cheap. It's up to the Patent Office to determine if its valid.

  
Sadly granting ridiculous patents is the norm and not the exception. This sort of grossly underhanded patent warfare is a horrible, horrible thing for the industry.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:49 am

Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):
Sounds like B/S, if something is already in common usage, a patent examiner will disqualify the application.

They're *supposed* to disqualify the application. That doesn't mean they will. Patent offices make mistakes to, sometimes to the benefit of others.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):
If something already exists in nature, it is pretty hard to patent the "idea" when it can be demonstrated that it already exists.

As mentioned, the pharmaceutical companies (and the patent office) disagree with you. Just because the compound may exist in nature, you can patent a novel use of it. The biotech companies also disagree...they patent genes all the time, even though essentially all of them are pre-existing in nature.

Quoting mrocktor (Reply 7):
None of those things is innovative and using them in the same application is an obvious use of existing technology.

Novel combinations of existing technology are patentable, even if every single one of the contributing technologies is not.

Tom.
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:01 am

About once every five years I read on a.net that Lockheed had to pay royalties to Boeing for the use of the S-duct on the L-1011. Which of course is not true, Lockheed spent millions designing their own S-duct. You can patent the design but you can't patent the concept (idea).

Look a simple thing like a razor: About 40 years ago Bic makes a disposable razor. Within a year Gillette, Wilkerson and Schick all come out with their own disposable razor. If Bic holds the patent on the disposable how can the others infringe on the patent. Because they use the concept (idea) but change the design.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:34 am

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 6):

Could be B/S. It did happened a long time ago. And the story has it that the European company was Dassault.

Considering the first S-duct I remember flying was before the 727, on the Hawker Siddeley Trident, it does sounds a little fishy. Also the first Dassault aircraft with an S duct didn’t hit the market until about 10 years later, the Falcon 50.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Udo K. Haafke

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 6):
But there are pharmaceutical out there trying to patent all the drugs derived from stuff they find in the rain forest or bio-tech companies trying to do the same to gene sequences . . .

I think "derived" is the key term, you can patent modified stuff, but patents should only be granted to inventions not on something that is a “discovery” of nature. A patent could be issued, that does not mean a court will not overturn it at a later date.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
They're *supposed* to disqualify the application. That doesn't mean they will. Patent offices make mistakes to, sometimes to the benefit of others.

Does not mean it will hold up in court either.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
As mentioned, the pharmaceutical companies (and the patent office) disagree with you. Just because the compound may exist in nature, you can patent a novel use of it. The biotech companies also disagree...they patent genes all the time, even though essentially all of them are pre-existing in nature.

Are biotechs actually patenting the discovery of the compounds ? or the synthetic manufacture of them ? Also with gens are the patenting the discovery of genes, or are they patenting the equipment/process, drugs that act on particular genes, or genes that have been modified (like GM seed) ?

I fail to see how one can patent the "discovery" of something that exists in nature.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:43 am

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
Are biotechs actually patenting the discovery of the compounds ?

I don't think so...the patents I've heard of are all synthetics, so in that case you're patenting the compound itself (just like any other new thing you built).

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
or the synthetic manufacture of them ?

The manufacturing process could also be patentable, separate from the compound itself.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
Also with gens are the patenting the discovery of genes, or are they patenting the equipment/process, drugs that act on particular genes, or genes that have been modified (like GM seed) ?

You can't patent the discovery of a gene, as far as I know, but you can patent all the other stuff. In GM seeds though, you're not introducing new genes, you're splicing existing genes into existing organisms to create new genomes (but no new genes). It's the combination that's patentable, as far as I can tell...it's a novel combination of existing "products".

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
I fail to see how one can patent the "discovery" of something that exists in nature.

I don't think you can patent the discovery...but if you built it, you can patent the thing you built, the combination of building blocks, the process you used to get it and, the use.

A Slinky is patentable, even though springs, and even specifically slinky springs, were around long before that.

Tom.
 
mrocktor
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:57 am

RE: 787 Trailing Edge Configuration Patent

Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:49 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
Novel combinations of existing technology are patentable, even if every single one of the contributing technologies is not.

Only if the combination itself is not an obvious use of the existing technologies. For instance, someone patents "instant whipped cream", if I apply for a patent on "pie with instant whipped cream" I should be laughed out of the patent office. Sadly that is not the typical way things play out. It takes years, millions of dollars and dozens of lawyers to go back to the sanity of the obvious.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
but patents should only be granted to inventions not on something that is a “discovery” of nature.

True. Sounds so simple... but we have drifted far and wide from the actual application of that principle.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: rcair1 and 15 guests