Patents for the Strataprinter

    (ed. - all patents have been allowed to lapse through non-payment of scheduled maintenance fees)

    The Strataprinter and the Diaphragm Stratagraphy printing process are protected by patents in the US. and in the European Community.

    • US patent #4,649,817 (Issued March 17, 1987, expiring 2004),
    • US patent #4,843,961 (Issued July 4, 1989, expiring 2006),
    • US patent #5,050,498 (Issued September 24, 1991, expiring July 4, 2006) and, in the European Community,
    • Patent #0200759 (UK) & #3580034 (Germany) (published May 9, 1986, issued March 10, 1990).

    These patents specifically address a "Stencil Manufacturing and Printing Process" and "Stencil Printing with Vacuum Support Frame". Original filing date of record on these patents is November 2, 1984. All patented devices for these technologies are protected back to this original 1984 filing date.

    Diaphragm Stratagraphy, a method of stencil printing is the subject of U.S. Patents and corresponding patents in England and Germany and disclosures in Japan. Claims of varying scope relate to the new stencil printing method and to apparatus for implementing and controlling the printing process.

    A patent signifies official recognition by the Federal government that a claimed invention is considered to be new, useful and unobvious. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants a patent only after an examination on the merits including a comparison with known prior art and a review to ensure that the application satisfies all of the formal requirements of the patent statute. Accordingly, a granted patent enjoys a presumption of validity when and if it becomes necessary to enforce the patent in a court of law.

    The patent system is designed to encourage technical innovation. In exchange for full disclosure of his invention, the inventor receives a grant from the United States government of the right to exclude others from making, using or selling his invention in this country. The life of a U.S. patent is 17 years from the date of issuance. A patent owner can enforce his rights by seeking an injunction to prevent infringement and/or damages to compensate him for past infringement. The patent rights may also be licensed to generate royalties. In effect a patent drapes a technical advance with commercially exploitable and legally enforceable property rights. Today because of recent legislative and judicial developments in the United States, a patent represents a valuable business asset and potent competitive tool.

    The claims of the above granted U.S. and European Patents are directed to the unique printing method developed by Michael Sullivan Smith. The virtue of method claims are that they are not limited to particular hardware but cover any implementation of the claimed process. To supplement the protection afforded by the method patent, the claims of the remaining two patents are specifically directed to apparati which can advantageously be employed to implement the new printing process.

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