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IPFS News Link • Business/ Commerce

How Satellite Companies Patent Their Orbits


What is somewhat surprising, however, is that orbits can be patented. Well, sort of.

I'll let patent attorney Andrew Rush, creator of IPinSpace, make the distinction. "New orbits/orbital maneuvers can be patent-eligible if used for some useful purpose," Rush wrote in 2012.

"It is important to keep in mind however that the orbits themselves aren't patented," he added, "useful systems which incorporate particular orbits, such as technological solutions for providing telecommunications which utilize equipment in those orbits, are patent-eligible."

So while a company couldn't attempt to patent a specific set of gravitational dynamics, it could exert control over an orbit by patenting the specific set of innovations needed to keep a satellite in that orbit.