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What will he think of next?

3/7/2004 8:21 PM
anonymous What will he think of next?
Found this while sufring patents:  
United States Patent 5,793,252  
Smith August 11, 1998  
Power amplifier with switchable voicing elements  
An electronic amplifying apparatus for sound reproduction and musical instrument amplification including at least two pairs of power output devices which are independently switchable between triode and pentode operation. The amplifier further contains a switch apparatus to select the amount of negative feedback within the amplifier.  
Inventors: Smith; Randall C. (Petaluma, CA)  
Assignee: Mesa Boogie, Limited (Petaluma, CA)  
Appl. No.: 761364  
Filed: December 9, 1996  
Current U.S. Class: 330/3; 330/118; 330/123  
Intern'l Class: H03F 003/28  
Field of Search: 330/3,51,118,123,124 R  
Hmm...Weren't there any hi fi stereo amps in the golden age that switched between triode and pentode with a presence control?  
There was another I saw in there where he patented the notion of psuedo channel switching by altering one channel and making it footswitchable...Huh? That one was from 1980 though.
3/7/2004 9:47 PM
Dai Hirokawa

don't you know? "He who has the gold, makes the rules"... so to speak... ;)
3/7/2004 11:25 PM
Carl Gigun

Kevin O'Connor's "The Ultimate Tone" came out in 95 and clearly shows all those ideas specifically applied to music instrument amps. Actually maybe not the nfb switching, can't remember on that one. Anyhow, doesn't that qualify as prior art?  
-Carl Gigun
3/8/2004 12:10 AM
That's what I heard is called the 'golden rule'. The one with the gold, rules...  
3/8/2004 3:30 PM
Wild Bill

I always thought a patent office was supposed to check if your idea was truly new and unique BEFORE they approved it!  
I guess it's cheaper and easier to just approve everything and then let the applicant pay for his lawyer if the patent is challenged...  
---Wild Bill
3/8/2004 6:04 PM
Ian Anderson

you are supposed to make a statement detailing what makes your idea new or unique. You also need a convincing argument to show that someone with the relevant qualifications/trade would not have thought of this idea during normal working practices.  
I think we can safely say this patent would not stand up in court, but it's always the guy with all the cash that wins ($expensive lawyers$)  
... Ian :)
3/8/2004 6:54 PM

It has nothing to do with guitar amps, but as patents go its a fairly novel and specific design that seems patent-worthy to me. You can't say something isn't patentable because you could have thought of it. Thats an argument for how clever you are, not how dumb Smith is.

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