Contacting the family is probably the easiest route, the WIPO database (Patentescope) only has GB patents from 1900, other search engines in the public domain like Espacenet (EIPO) won’t find it either, this also applies to search engines used by IP professionals ( I used to work for an IP consultancy). But knowing the IPO many will have slipped through their process, as I know only too well when conducting searches.
Assuming the number G328Y is the full application or publication number it’s likely this patent dates back to the 1800’s, perhaps earlier, this is where things get tricky, the patents prior to 1900 are in the National Archives, the link below explains how to find it.
However several problems now rear their head;
The old IPO records are frankly in a mess and many haven’t been cataloged or cataloged incorrectly.
Modern patents are supposed to contain enough information for an expert in the field to go and make it, however back in the early 20th century and earlier things get interesting as details were left out or even altered to make the invention useless. This was to stop IP theft.
The inventor according to the IPO around the time of WW1 was Kenneth Ottway, he’s the only one listed as inventor during this time.
Ottway Engineering in Chandlers Ford was registered in companies house in December 1968, W Ottway & Co Ltd started in 1630 until 1964, I wonder if the current company is connected in anyway with the old one and what happened to it’s archives.
One observation I have is G328Y is very short unless it’s a very old patent, the earliest patent that I know of was registered in 1617. Even though patents do expire after 20 years, once they are published, (not necessarily granted) it prevents anyone applying for a patent which infringes the prior art, even if the prior art is extremely old.
1912 is probably the date it was made, however taking the above information into account the patent could be considerably older, I have come across several cases where the patent number is incorrect, that’s usually to frighten off anyone thinking of copying it or to prevent them seeing exactly what was patented.
Patents in the UK are prefixed by GB, just the G is unusual and could be an early English patent circa 16xx-1800.
In a nut shell it’s dealing with the national records office.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Daryl Dobbs.