Interesting U.S. patent issued yesterday on 'Amistad' - PP23,578
The patent on ‘Amistad’ that issued yesterday, May 1, is one of the more intriguing ones that I have seen in 22 years of practice as a patent attorney, because of the curious twists and reversals in what was told to the patent office in the 3 versions of the text filed before it was looked at by the patent examiner, who allowed it without question the day he first looked at it, despite several striking deficiencies in the papers filed, such as the fact that a required document was never filed with the application. That document would have been where one of the inventors, namely Rolando Uria, made the required signed statement that he had seen the patent text, that it was a true statement of the facts and that the inventors named were correct.
You can see the patent at http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=PP23578.PN.&OS=PN/PP23578&RS=PN/PP23578 , or if you email me I will send you a pdf copy with color photos.
The story of what was filed with the U.S. patent office (this information is available to the public on the patent office’s website after the patent issues) that resulted in this patent being issued:
On August 8, 2011 version 1 was filed. In that version, the plant was stated to have been discovered in a U.K. garden bed, and later was propagated for the first time in June 2010, also in the U.K., by sole inventor Rodney Richards. He signed a sworn statement that this was correct.
Version 2 was filed on August 23, 2011. In this version, the story was changed to read that sole inventor Rodney Richards’ discovery of the plant was made in summer 2008, and that his cuttings were first made in 2009, both in the U.K.
On October 8, 2012, version 3 was filed, which is the version that became yesterday’s issued patent. While before only Rodney Richards was listed as an inventor, now Rolando Uria is listed as an inventor also. In this version, the text was changed to say that the plant was actually discovered by “one of the inventors” in February 2007 in a garden bed in Argentina. Then it says that the first asexual propagation of the plant by cuttings was not made until 3.5 years later, and was done by “one of the inventors” in June 2010 in the U.K. Once again, the file contains a sworn statement from Rodney Richards that he read the text and that the modified information and the named inventors are correct, but the mandatory similar statement from newly-named inventor Rolando Uria was never filed. Is it possible that Rolando Uria never knew that a patent had been filed, as seems possible based on what he said in January 2012 on the hummingbird forum at http://www.network54.com/Forum/439743/thread/1326859856/Salvia+%27Amistad%27+UPDATES .
Another little twist is that the application was filed in 2011 with an extra fee to stop it from being published as is normal. If published, the public would have been able to submit evidence in the case if they thought something was incorrect. If the publication of an application is prevented by the applicant, he is not allowed to mark his plant as PPAF while the patent application is in process, and he is not allowed to tell anyone they cannot sell or propagate the plant until after the patent issues. Quite a number of people have mentioned on this forum and elsewhere that patent rights were asserted based on this unpublished patent application while it was pending..
All very interesting.