View Full Version : "Patenting" math formulas or something like that

02-21-2003, 07:18 PM
I figured out a few math formulas for doing certain functions (I don't want to be specific, so my formulas are not stolen!). I searched the net for formulas just like the ones I figured out, but couldn't find anything. Also, I don't know of any like them.

Does anyone know what I can do to coin a math formula or somehow claim credit for it?

Ok ok, I know this sounds so stupid, because there's hardly much more formulas to make!

But anyhow, what can I do?

02-21-2003, 08:07 PM
Tell me what they are and I'll see if they've been discovered already.

02-21-2003, 08:19 PM
contact the patent office? :P Watch maybe nasa will come break your legs for uncovering their hidden formula :P

Mister C
02-21-2003, 08:22 PM
You can probably get credit for the names of your formula. I do not think you can patent math formulas. Think about it - does Fermat or Heron (or kin) get a royalty for every time some uses the formula they are credited with--I highly doubt it!!!

Check the patent office on what can be patent and what cannot. Use a google search.

02-21-2003, 09:41 PM
I seriously doubt it. Did Andrew Wiles get a patent for proving Fermat's Last Theorem?

Besides, it's math. Math is very abstract. Chances are someone else will find it, too, independantly. And a patent wouldn't be fair to them. Or to the mathematical community at large.

What area of math does your function deal with?

02-21-2003, 10:25 PM
I really do think that this is something somebody has already done before, but it has to do with numerically reversing the digits of a number (Would you even call this a formula?).

I really don't even see how it's useful, but I figured out how to do it myself.

Anyone seen anything like this before?

02-21-2003, 10:44 PM
u mean


is reverse of 3? ::math moron::

02-21-2003, 10:50 PM
....no, I'm not sure what you meant by that :confused:

02-22-2003, 12:10 AM
You mean like...

if (reverse(123) == 321)
cout << "Hi!" << endl;

Im absolutely positive someone has done this before :D

02-22-2003, 12:15 AM
well sure it'd be easy to do it with programming, but with just numbers i mean.

Like could you make a graph of x and y where x is a number and y is its reverse? (using say a graphing calculator)

dP munky
02-22-2003, 01:51 AM
no, you CAN patent a formula, i know that when nintendo software technology made wave race blue storm, that the waves in the water were some form of patented sin wave...

you can go HERE (https://www.delphion.com/fcgi-bin/patsearch) sign up for the 1 week free trial, and search for granted patents

Polymorphic OOP
02-22-2003, 04:12 AM
Originally posted by deltabird
Like could you make a graph of x and y where x is a number and y is its reverse? (using say a graphing calculator)

In order to allow it to account for all numbers, you'd have to use a form of mathematical recursion, at least thats the only way I can think of right now. If you somehow did find a way without it, then i'd be impressed (though logically, I can't imagine it as being a possibility). If not, this has been done already.

02-22-2003, 07:03 AM
Something like that would be specific to base 10. Which implies that you would be using some expanded form of the number; ie: 3*10^2 + 2*10^1 + 1*10^0

You're saying that with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and god knows what else, you can reverse that number? The simplest way of doing that mathematically would be:

3*10^(2-2) + 2*10^(2-1) + 1*10^(2-0)

Although I can't think of a formula or operation which would do that.

02-22-2003, 08:01 AM
>but it has to do with numerically reversing the digits of a number

So it is more an algorithm than a formula? You can patent algorithms, in fact a lot of algorithms are patented. Like algorithms for encryption methods etc.

However also lot of famous algorithms are not patented. Hoare's quicksort was never patented, but it is very famous and used a lot.

Here is some more info on patents.

Polymorphic OOP
02-22-2003, 09:11 AM
double Reverse(double n)
double a;
int d,r,b;
b = int(a);
return a;

That's one way to do it in code. Without mathematical recursion I don't see it as being possible and common to the entire number system. If you have come up with a nonrecursive solution, post it. I'd be interested in seeing it.

If you really are concerned just do the "poor man's copyright." I've done it numerous times with several things (including a mathematical process) -- write it down on paper, mail it to yourself (so it gets postmarked), and then keep it, but don't open it. Then, if anyone ever tries to steal credit for it, you have proof that you created it before them. In the US, whenever you create something, you have an unwritten copyright for it, and so as long as you can prove you made it, no one else can claim that copyright.

02-22-2003, 11:04 AM
So mail the algorithm / formula to myself and then I can feel safe releasing it to the public?

02-22-2003, 11:08 AM

02-22-2003, 11:16 AM
This is a very interesting topic, well it's stimulated my imagination anyway. I've been having a play and have come up with a recursive mathematical function, which can return the reversed version of an integer, there's just one thing still missing, which I'm working on (it's related to finding the fourier series of a particular step function). I'll report any progress back here.

I have managed to create a sort of prototype recursive function, which only seems to work for n smaller than about 500. I'm working on improving this, hopefully introducing an infinite series I'm working on to replace f in the below definition. Anyway, I've attached the function, p so far, as an image for ease of viewing.

02-22-2003, 03:34 PM
You can get credit for an original formula if you have discovered one. However you cannot patent a formula. Thats like saying "I made it, so I can use it, and if anyone else wants to then you have to pay me." it wouldn't work(Imagine Newton copyrighting physics equations). However, there have been issues with algorithms such as MP3. Fraunhofer got all ........ed at people who made MP3 encoders/decoders and sold them, so now any company which sells them is supposed to be paying Fraunhofer some sort of royalty... which I think is just stupid. I dont think people should be allowed to copyright algorithms, cause eventually we'll get people copyrighting absoluetly everything to the point where if you want to use XOR encryption then you have to get the rights for it. Anyways, thats just what I think, but there are complexity issues to having to copyright an algorithm. For example the Rijndael algorithm is copyrighted but I dont think that you are legally allowed to copyright the mathematics of the algorithms, but more-so the 5000+ keys that are used during encryption, and things like that which dont stand a chance of being reproduced even by accident.

Mister C
02-22-2003, 03:53 PM
Check this site out:


This site will answer your formula can be patented or not. I agree with what Xei said. you could copyright something.

02-22-2003, 09:45 PM
... what if the man who discovered fire said "ima patent this!"

02-22-2003, 10:58 PM
Then he's also invented a time machine, since patents weren't really around then...

Polymorphic OOP
02-22-2003, 11:20 PM
Also, you can't patent "discoveries"

02-23-2003, 01:30 AM
/* Moderator edit. This post had no substance */

02-23-2003, 06:07 AM
>Fraunhofer got all ........ed at people who made MP3
>encoders/decoders and sold them, so now any company which
>sells them is supposed to be paying Fraunhofer some sort of
>royalty... which I think is just stupid.

Patents are a big part of the income of a company, if it has patents. I read that companies like IBM and Philips, having lots of patents, get a lot of money from it. They use it to keep people working and to keep their company alive and in front of technology field. Patents and the money they from it stimulate them to invent new things. So in that way I do not completely disagree with patents.

02-23-2003, 06:11 AM
I heard that at around 1900, a guy from the patents office said that there was nothing left to be invented

02-23-2003, 05:35 PM
Do you think the guy who invented that patent...patented it?

02-26-2003, 01:22 AM

02-26-2003, 04:47 AM
I think so also.