Patented Sliding Dovetail?

I was checking out the Green Designs furniture <www.greendesigns.com> mentioned in another thread. I really like his style, and requested a catalog from them. In the catalog is a mention of their Patented Sliding Dovetail assembly, accompanying this picture <
http://www.greendesigns.com/images/about/joinery.jpg
Patented sliding dovetail? *Huh?!*
That aside, I think this guys designs are some the most pleasing furniture designs since Charles and Henry Greene.
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Woodie wrote:

Ok. So on their web site it explains further - <http://www.greendesigns.com/about/patented.html
The sliding dovetail isn't patented, but using it (or other self locking joints) to assemble furniture is.
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This is just more proof of how forked up the patent system is. I'm sure there's plenty of prior art to invalidate their patent. It would probably fail the "obvious art" clause as well. Seriously, why would a company be so arrogant to think they have to patent sliding dovetails or hidden joinery. I could see a specific table design but seriously. I wouldn't buy crap from these people.
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dayvo wrote:

I actually think it's reasonable to patent the concept of "self-locking self-hiding joint to enable flat-pack shipping and toolless assembly".
Given that they're the only ones doing it (the toolless/fastenerless bit in particular, have you seen the number of fasteners that come with an Ikea table, or cabinet?) it must not have been all that obvious.
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

Not to mention that they manage to make shippable knockdown furniture that is gorgeous. Using Ikea in the same post with theirs is blasphemous...
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If you had read further you would have discovered that they didn't patent sliding dovetails. What they patented was a method of building furniture with interlocking joints that allows assembly with a very minimum of fasteners, due to their use of sliding dovetails and other hidden joints that makes their furniture hold itself together.
Charley
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In museums I've seen furniture from Egyptian tombs using hidden interlocking joints that require no tools or fasteners..
At least every other project that I've seen Roy Underhill make has too.
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Hidden interlocking joints date back thousands of years. You can find more recent examples in furniture museums and even toys/puzzles. Repeating prior art in a different form (mail order) doesn't qualify and new art either, according to legal precedence. I read the entire patent btw.
Anyone who thinks this is patentable is out of touch with how broken the patent system is. Congress has taken a stab at changing it but still hasn't done so. Try DAGS on "broken patent system". Patents today are used to stifle innovation because companies have the attitude that if they don't profit from something then nobody else should either. This thought process has royally screwed tech companies to the point where they can't develop any software without violating some patent. Most of which shouldn't have been granted in the first place. When a company can patent a button widget then you know the system is broken. An example you can related to, Microsoft had to change Internet Explorer to require you to click on an Active X control because of some patent troll. For those who don't know, patent trolls are companies that do nothing but patent every day things that haven't been patented yet. Then they sue for money.
The company in this thread is only trying to stifle innovation and competition. They're doing nothing to protect a new invention or idea because they haven't produced one. I'm sure if they were challenged then their patent would go out the window. To bad congress hasn't passed the reform bill yet (allows for easy challenging of frivilous filings).
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By far and large, most patents taken out these days are for the application of something, not the creation of a completely new product.
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