Re: [rp-ml] QuickParts online quoting (patent 7305367)

From: G. Sachs <>
Date: Thu May 22 2008 - 17:31:27 EEST

Wim, I am not an attorney, but I believe that merely providing a service to people (that uses some proprietary method) without revealing the details about how it works (i.e. algorithm, formulas, etc.), does not make it public domain or impossible for someone else to patent (and thus publicly disclosing HOW it is being done). Unless you publicly disclosed all details as to how the quoting was being done by the computer, you had a trade secret (not the same as a patent which requires disclosure). As you may know, trade secrets are only effective if they remain secrets, or if it can be shown that the secrets were obtained illegally by others. Where all the details about how your quoting system worked available to customers? Your "service" may not have been sufficient to prevent someone else from patenting the "externals" (the service) combined with the "internals" (the algorithms). To make matters worse, we now have something in the U.S. called business
 method patents. Interestingly, there is a very good introductory article about the complexity and importance of patents in business strategy by Edward Grenda in the most recent issue (May/June) of Time-Compression Technologies magazine.

G. Sachs

----- Original Message ----
From: "" <>
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 5:47:25 AM
Subject: RE: [rp-ml] QuickParts online quoting (patent 7305367)

Hello everyone,

I'm the product manager of OnSite, the online quoting service at
I want to confirm that Materialise launched it's online service called
Next Day in December 1997 at the Euromold fair in Germany.
Customers were able to quote and order their models already over the
internet back at that time.

Best Regards,

Wim Verstraeten
Product Manager Web Applications
Materialise NV
Technologielaan 15 * 3001 Leuven * Belgium
Tel. 0032-16 3966 40 * Fax 0032-16 39 62 75
Received on Thu May 22 15:40:55 2008

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