[Fwd: Re: [Clipart] Re: clipart Digest, Vol 31, Issue 44]

Jon Phillips jon at rejon.org
Mon Oct 30 21:43:26 PST 2006

Hi all, I'm attaching a thread over on Open Clip Art Library to see what
you armchair and some not-armchair legal folks think about this.

It appears that the US Patent Office requires illustrations for patents,
and these illustrations must be placed into the public domain. It is
confusing language though what is allowed from these illustrations. As
you can see, wikipedia has done some research into this, but I'm curious
what you all think?

Is this a case of who has the most money will win if one takes one of
these images and uses it, changes it, etc. It is unclear.

Anyway, the Open Clip Art Library is hopeful to find public domain
bitmap and vector graphics and get them into the Open Clip Art Library.
For the bitmap variety, we want to convert them to vectors, as with much
of the US Patent office images. What do you all think?


-------- Forwarded Message --------
> From: John Olsen <johnny_automatic at mac.com>
> To: Russell Ossendryver <worldlabel at gmail.com>
> Cc: clipart at lists.freedesktop.org
> Subject: Re: [Clipart] Re: clipart Digest, Vol 31, Issue 44
> Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 14:57:02 -0800
> "U.S. patent law has two things to say about copyright and patent illustrations.
>            1. Applicatoins are specifically allowed to claim copyright in patent drawings.
>            2. If copyright is claimed, the following permission must also be given:
>             "A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to (copyright or mask work) protection. The (copyright or mask work) owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by any­one of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all (copyright or mask work) rights whatsoever." [1]
>             In other words, verbatim copies of patent illustrations are fine, derivatives would be more questionable. iMeowbot~Mw 03:41, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)"
> So as I read this, if Lucas claims on the patent form that the Tauntaun is covered under copyright and his attorneys do everything else right then it can be copyrighted.  Without that it would be PD.  But it also says it's fine to use verbatim copies of the illustrations.  Sounds more like "fair use" then PD, as PD would allow for editting and manipulation and other derivatives.  We can't control that on the OCAL and actually encourage remixes.
> John
> On Monday, October 30, 2006, at 01:27PM, "Russell Ossendryver" <worldlabel at gmail.com> wrote:
> >The applicant has a right to copywrite drawing in the patent
> >submission as per
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:PD-US-patent
> >
> >On 10/30/06, John Olsen <johnny_automatic at mac.com> wrote:
> >>  >Whoooooaaaaa...this breaks open an even large issue....Are all US patent
> >> >illustrations public domain???? This would be huge!
> >> >
> >> >Yes, in light of this illustration, I think its fine to create something
> >> >similar to this...this is arguable because there is a PD version of
> >> >it...
> >> >
> >> >Jon
> >> >
> >> >--
> >> >Jon Phillips
> >>
> >> I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is YES, all U.S. Patent illustrations are PD.  They cannot be copyrighted.  On the other hand, I wonder if any image of a trademarked character can be used in this way.  For example, if I invent a Mickey Mouse clock,  the image submitted to the Patent Office might well be PD, but the trademark on Mickey Mouse would almost certainly trump that.  Seems like a fuzzy area.
> >>
> >> John Olsen
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> clipart mailing list
> >> clipart at lists.freedesktop.org
> >> http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/clipart
> >>
> >
> >
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Jon Phillips

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