What happened to Roman Black?

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
24,205
you logged into ftp://romanblack.com?
What credentials did you use?
Well if they're selling things that he designed, that may be patented/copyrighted, and he's dead, then the patent/copyright might be toast and they don't want people to know that.
No I just meant I logged in to view, maybe I used the wrong terminology.
How far does the patent laws work if you are just designing an improved mouse trap? IOW something that has been around for a long time in one form or another.
Or is it the method that is patentable? In this case, Firmware.
Max.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,752
No I just meant I logged in to view, maybe I used the wrong terminology.
How far does the patent laws work if you are just designing an improved mouse trap? IOW something that has been around for a long time in one form or another.
Or is it the method that is patentable? In this case, Firmware.
Max.
I don't know. The extent of what I know about the patent system is that it only benefits megacorporations and if I invent something I should just try to make it as hard to copy as possible and try to sell the heck out of it before someone copies it.
He has no US Patents. Use as you wish.
A circuit design cannot be trademarked unless there is a non-utility identity feature that you can design out.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.htm&r=0&f=S&l=50&d=PTXT&RS=IN/(Roman+AND+black)&Refine=Refine+Search&Query=IN/(Roman+AND+Black)
He is an Aussie so it would be in the Australia PO if it exists.
Assuming his real name is Roman Black, it could probably be searched there.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
24,205
I have always been under the impression that if I invent a better mouse trap, to patent it, it has to depart markedly from any previous versions/designs, IOW it cannot be just an 'improved' or simple variation of previous designs.
Max.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Well if they're selling things that he designed, that may be patented/copyrighted, and he's dead, then the patent/copyright might be toast and they don't want people to know that.
I used to work for a computer store. When a salesman left the owner would instruct us under no circumstances where we to tell the customers. I am not exactly sure how long he would carry on the charade.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,752
I used to work for a computer store. When a salesman left the owner would instruct us under no circumstances where we to tell the customers. I am not exactly sure how long he would carry on the charade.
Hmmm... weird
Place I used to work, when someone left it was like they never existed. Nobody talked about them. It was like an unwritten rule. I was field service so I might not come in to the office for a week or more. I went in once looking for someone, started shouting out in the shop "Johnny!?, where's Johnny? Anyone seen Johnny?" One of the shop guys scurried over and took me aside and told me in a hushed tone that he had been let go. Like it was a secret. And he seemed all worried like he didn't want anyone to see him telling me that. Super weird atmosphere.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,552
Hmmm... weird
Place I used to work, when someone left it was like they never existed. Nobody talked about them. It was like an unwritten rule. I was field service so I might not come in to the office for a week or more. I went in once looking for someone, started shouting out in the shop "Johnny!?, where's Johnny? Anyone seen Johnny?" One of the shop guys scurried over and took me aside and told me in a hushed tone that he had been let go. Like it was a secret. And he seemed all worried like he didn't want anyone to see him telling me that. Super weird atmosphere.
o_O .... *whispering* ... the Morloks took him! ... let's move on! ...
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
24,205
told me in a hushed tone that he had been let go. Like it was a secret. And he seemed all worried like he didn't want anyone to see him telling me that.
When they get rid of someone, for what ever reason, a lot of employers want the guy off the premises ASAP, so often they pay the guy for the 2 weeks notice etc, and ask him to take all his personal stuff and leave.
They do not want the fire'ee spreading gloom and doom among the ranks during his notice period.
Max.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,552
When they get rid of someone, for what ever reason, a lot of employers want the guy off the premises ASAP, so often they pay the guy for the 2 weeks notice etc, and ask him to take all his personal stuff and leave.
They do not want the fire'ee spreading gloom and doom among the ranks during his notice period.
Max.
They also don't want to give the guy the chance to retaliate somehow, by stealing files or damaging computers, etc... that's why he's escorted at all times after he's been notified
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I have always been under the impression that if I invent a better mouse trap, to patent it, it has to depart markedly from any previous versions/designs, IOW it cannot be just an 'improved' or simple variation of previous designs.
Max.


I can patent an improvement on someone else's "patented better mousetrap". The problem is, I must use someone else's technology in order to practice my own improvement. So I need to either license the other guys Technology or wait until his patent expires before I sell my improvement on his better mousetrap.

Likewise, the other guy cannot add my improvement to his mousetrap without licensing my patent.
I don't know. The extent of what I know about the patent system is that it only benefits megacorporations and if I invent something I should just try to make it as hard to copy as possible and try to sell the heck out of it before someone copies it.


He is an Aussie so it would be in the Australia PO if it exists.
Assuming his real name is Roman Black, it could probably be searched there.
If I invent something and file only in the US, my right to prevent anyone from using my technology only covers the US. Therefore, anyone can use the Roman Black designs in the US, assuming...

1) Roman Black is his real name.
2) Roman Black isn't infringing on someone else's patent that is still in force (within 20-years of the application date).
3) maintenance fees are paid on the US patent (otherwise it is considered an abandon patent).
 
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JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
Roman Black could be of the Don Lancaster type that doesn't believe in patents.

After all ...
from: Roman Black website
Hippyware License;

  • $10 (or more) if you choose
  • Please get my permission before publishing or reproducing any of my work
  • Please respect a decent Copyright ethic and mention me if you use my work
  • Be excellent to each other!
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Hmmm... weird
Place I used to work, when someone left it was like they never existed. Nobody talked about them. It was like an unwritten rule. I was field service so I might not come in to the office for a week or more. I went in once looking for someone, started shouting out in the shop "Johnny!?, where's Johnny? Anyone seen Johnny?" One of the shop guys scurried over and took me aside and told me in a hushed tone that he had been let go. Like it was a secret. And he seemed all worried like he didn't want anyone to see him telling me that. Super weird atmosphere.
That ain't nothin. Same owner

He bought a new Mercedes. Good for him But he would hide it from the employees. No longer did he park in the store lot. He would pay for city parking. We would see him drive by the store every day in his new Mercedes. One day one of my co-workers needed to go to his home on a Saturday. Boss was working in the yard. Co-worker made a point to look in the garage. Boss! he said, you bought a new Mercedes! Noo, nooo boss said. IIIIts the the the neigh neigh neighbor's. He is parking it n my garage while he is away on vacation. One day he magically got a new Mercedes just like "the neighbor's". He would still park it blocks from the customer's site and make us walk when we were along on the call.

During our Christmas dinner he gave a little speech. He was so proud. He told the story about how I was his oldest employee. He told about how I built one of the first IBM PCs in Pittsburgh in his basement. Spinnaker has been with us for 5 years he said. And here at our store we have a new policy. Any employee with us for 5 years will get a WHOLE day vacation in addition to their 2 weeks.

It was a whole extra day! Whoppie! It waould have taken me 10 freaking years to get a 3 week vacation. :eek:

One day someone saw an ad in the Columbus newspaper that the store was up for sale (store was in Pittsburgh) Of course the rumor got passed around the store was for sale (and there were other signs too).
He came storming down to the tech office with wifey in tow. Wifey was in tears. Bossman was red faced. "I don't know who is been passing around the rumor my store is for sale but it isn't true! I have worked too hard to put this store together to just sell it! And if I hear anyone passing around that rumor again they will be fired immediately"! A little more than a month later the store was sold. Luckily I already had another job. I had enough.
 

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
I used to work for a computer store. When a salesman left the owner would instruct us under no circumstances where we to tell the customers. I am not exactly sure how long he would carry on the charade.
There's a lot of that shady business around. A number of guys I have worked with in the past had their certified mechanics plaques hanging in former employer's main customer lobbies for 3 - 5 years after they left. It was the only way those businesses could get by with saying they had certified mechanics working there.

If anyone ever asked to speak to any of them the standard story was they were out sick , on a service call or on vacation. The reality was they had a bunch of high school dropouts working for near minimum wage on vehicles and equipment that they billed out service time at 10x or more per hour than they paid their crew and their good guys with real certifications had walked out on them a long time ago.
 

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
They also don't want to give the guy the chance to retaliate somehow, by stealing files or damaging computers, etc... that's why he's escorted at all times after he's been notified
That's why I always make a point to copy any software I find interesting and useful right from day one when I get access to it. ;)

Downside is most places I have ever worked for were too cheap to have any software that wasn't already free to anyone to begin with. :(

Same with equipment. No reason to steal from a company that has lesser and crappier stuff than I have. :p
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
24,205
One company I worked for wanted me to sign a form that anything I developed while working for them would be declared their intellectual property.
I figured that if I came up with an idea while having a beer on the deck after work was mine, so I did not sign.
I did end up developing one product in my own time that I ended up marketing.
Max.
 

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
One company I worked for wanted me to sign a form that anything I developed while working for them would be declared their intellectual property.
I figured that if I came up with an idea while having a beer on the deck after work was mine, so I did not sign.
I did end up developing one product in my own time that I ended up marketing.
Max.
In of my first jobs I had a boss who liked to steal other ideas then try and pass them off as his own only to always fail at selling the ideas to those above him.

Initially I was not aware of that until I was working on fixing something in the CEO's office (super guy who didn't act like top dog) one day and he commented on some idea my boss had where then he asked what I thought about the company implementing it.

I said it was great, being it was my idea and I proved it by explaining it in detail way better than apparently he did in his presentation to the board a few days before. Oops. :oops:
 
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