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
Patented sliding dovetail? *Huh?!*
That aside, I think this guys designs are some the most pleasing
furniture designs since Charles and Henry Greene.
Ok. So on their web site it explains further -
The sliding dovetail isn't patented, but using it (or other self locking
joints) to assemble furniture is.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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