|Again, a different segulah ring|
I understand the desire to keep a monopoly on the Segulah Ring. And some such monopolies have historically had their place. There is an idea of hasagas gevul. So a yid found a parnassa selling a silver segulah ring to a believing public, and wants to protect that parnassa.
As part of the advertising on the website (now down) for the segulah ring was a patent claim:
The clear intent in both paragraphs is to dissuade copying, or passing along the ring to others. In this way, Mr. Schwartz maximizes his profits, eliminates competition, and increases his customer base. It seems (to me at least) telling that he is willing to use claims about it efficacy or lack thereof to discourage people from doing this -- 'nor could any help from the segulah be expected... kept in mind that no help could be expected.' Some might interpret this as evidence that he is deliberately scamming people, and is willing to take advantage of people's gullibility towards that end. The more charitable interpretation is that he honestly believes it, as a result of honestly believing that anyone encroaching on his business or not compensating him for the segulah he brought to the fore is acting unscrupulously.Additionally, it should come to your attention that Mr. Ahraham Leib Schwartz was granted the patent to manufacture this segulah ring; no one else in the world is allowed to manufacture it at this point in time. Copying it would be against secular, as well as, religious Jewish law, and legal and / or rabbinical action will be taken in the event someone is caught committing such a transgression. Nor could any help from the segulah be expected when doing something of that nature against it.Also importantly, despite being mentioned after everything else, the ring cannot be lent to anyone else other than a very immediately close relative – wife, husband, and children. It is certainly to be kept in mind that no help could be expected from a ring that has been borrowed from a non-immediately close relative – cousin, uncle, and aunt – or from a friend.
I wonder about his claim to having a patent. Forget that this is a magical / mystical thing, not a scientific invention. The big problem is this: Patents are for people who invent something, not for people who simply put into effect something that has existed for a while and has been implemented for centuries. He openly admits that his basis if Reb Yoel Baal Shem's segulah ring, which he faithfully implemented.
That is, when it comes to patents, there is an important consideration called Prior Art, which:
in most systems of patent law, constitutes all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent's claims of originality. If an invention has been described in prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid.This is pretty basic patent law. That which makes his segulah a genuine segulah is that same thing that invalidates his patent application.
As part of the application procedure, he had a requirement to disclose any prior art:
In the United States, inventors and their patent agents or attorneys are required by law to submit any references they are aware of to the United States Patent and Trademark Office that may be material to the patentability of the claims in a patent application they have filed. The patent examiner will then determine if the references qualify as "prior art" and may then take them into account when examining the patent application. If the attorney/agent or inventor fails to properly disclose the potentially relevant references they are aware of, then a patent can be found invalid for inequitable conduct.Meanwhile, looking at patents (which is data made public) under the name Avraham Schwartz yields nothing. Looking under Abraham Schwartz yields 28 hits:
But none of them have anything to do with a segulah ring. Maybe it is filed under a different name than the ones I searched for. So what is this? Is this a false claim to having a patent, or did he file the patent falsely?
Maybe someone else can find out more information on this, and I should stress that IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), but as far as I can make out, he does not have a patent and any patent he would have had would be invalid.
All in all, this makes his claims rather dubious, and makes me view the rest of his claims with suspicion. (Even though I would have viewed them with great suspicion anyway.)
If it were possible to patent such things, then I really should patent Chai Rotel mashke and saying parshas haMon on Tuesday of Beshalach, and collect royalties. (Or, for that matter, for bris milah, shechita, and tefillin and collect royalties.) That would be a true segulah for wealth.