I thought my ears were burning as my grandma used to say.
The Tapped horn patent application.
I don't know if that application will be granted or not, you never know what application will sail through and what one will be fought tooth and nail or even ultimately dropped.
Something totally new like the Servodrive woofer, actually took the classic trip to the USPO in Washington and my boss to demonstrate it on the guys desk, THEN he understood why, as other examiners ran in to see what was going on.
My approach to solving problems usually involve a different way of doing things, as such I was not aware of any prior art when I made the first few tapped horns.
After presenting a number of papers at AES in the 80's on several new transducers and the elimination of power compression, with no interest in publishing in spite of much interest at the presentations, I dropped my membership and focused on my own.
The idea of it I have described else where, an offshoot of considering the acoustical properties of the unity and synergy horns and developed about 6 years ago..
The purpose of the application was to give our new company some time where we were protected to use the invention.
Since the Tapped horns as we build and sell outperform the vented boxes, horns and Bandpass enclosures we sell against, this made some protection desirable and suggested it was in fact something new.
You don't punch a hole, even a small one in Hoffman's iron law that often.
Also, one of the things the patent office examines is the existence of prior art in the market place.
An argument can be made that IF any of the examples of prior art actually outperformed the other choices, then they would be ubiquitous now as the vented box, horn and BP are.
Rather, making a Tapped horn work properly requires a critical alignment of driver and acoustic parameters, a condition one would never find without computer modeling, but there is no doubt that they can significantly exceed what one can do otherwise and that result would suggest it really is something new.
Ultimately, it is what the examiner thinks that counts and so far there has been no adverse action.
Also, keep in mind a patent application is in legalese, not English.
It is a fascinating process to carefully describe an invention and then to see how that reads when converted to legalese.
I have generated a number of patents but have never seen any evidence that all it takes is money to get a patent. To apply for one, yes, but you can't buy an examiner, all you can do is argue if they disagree.
For these reasons, a patent is a crap shoot but if it's granted, you have some protection and the ability to seek damages from infringers if you can afford to pursue it.
This path (developing new / better things) is the only way I think our small company can compete with the large ones who can market much more effectively and generally have little real innovation.
Will this one be considered something new and different, like it's performance suggests or the same old thing, like how a bass reflex is a vented box, a front loaded horn is a band pass enclosure and many other over simplifications which miss the fine points?
The performance gain however in the Tapped horns we make, would have made this tuning as valuable back then as it is now, if it had genuinely been discovered.
Time will tell.