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PICList Thread
'Obvious patents'
1997\03\12@165221 by Mike

Since most if not all PIC users need the CPU to be able to monitor sensors and
perform some processing. You may be surprised to find that this is already
patented - so we are all infringers, what a bummer ?

Paste from patent 4924418 (sorry you'll have to widen your window)

Yes this was issued May 1990 - I do not jest...

>ABSTRACT:   A method and apparatus are provided for monitoring a plurality
of functions and
> conditions of a machine which includes a plurality of sensors for
producing sensor signals
> corresponding to these functions and conditions. The monitoring method
comprises providing at
> least one monitoring module having a plurality of inputs, each for
receiving a selected one of
> the sensor signals. The module also has a processor responsive to the
sensor signals at the
> inputs for producing display signals corresponding to the associated
functions and conditions,
> a display responsive to the display signals for producing observable
indications of the
> corresponding functions and conditions, and a memory for storing data and
instructions for
> enabling the processor to respond to the sensor signals from any of the
sensors for monitoring
> any of the corresponding functions and conditions. The method proceeds by
programming the
> memory with data and instructions for monitoring the plurality of
functions and conditions of
> the machine. The aforementioned monitoring module comprises the apparatus
of the invention.

Is this a case of the patent examiner not being aware of any 'prior art'
by not bothering to look up a few brochures from the various companies
that produced these types of modules back as far as 1980 ?

You should see the claims - even worse and more open-ended !

Does microchip know they are selling chips which will most likely
infringe this patent ?

Any patent lawyers out there care to calm our bruised egos ?



Some say there is no magic but, all things begin with thought then it becomes
academic, then some poor slob works out a practical way to implement all that
theory, this is called Engineering - for most people another form of magic.

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