IDEA support

George Spelvin linux at
Mon Aug 29 16:12:30 CEST 2011

> Maybe after the US patent expires next year.

Er... the U.S. patent expired May 16.  It claims a priority date of the
international patent application on 16 May 1991, so expired 20 years
after that.

The Ascom Tech lawyers maximized the patent duration carefully.  The Swiss
patent was applied for on 18 May 1990, and one has 1 year to apply in
other jurisdictions.  They used the Patent Cooperation Treaty process
to apply simultaneously in other countries at the last possible moment.

Even though the U.S.-specific part was started later, the effective date
of the application, when the 20-year clock began, was the PCT application.

It can't be later, becuase if it were, the Swiss patent would constitute
prior disclosure.

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