4747 NORTH CHANNEL AVENUE
PORTLAND, OREGON 97217-7699
December 3, 1996
14 Dianov Street
Thank you for your letter we received December 2, 1996. We sincerely appreciate the interest of people outside Freightliner who wish to submit ideas or inventions.
However, for the reasons set forth below, we are unable to pursue discussions with you until the conditions below have been satisfied.
Every year we receive many unsolicited suggestions from share owners, customers, suppliers and other friends who do not work for the company. These suggestions include ideas for new or improved products, manufacturing techniques, service improvements and many other related subjects. All of us at Freightliner Corporation appreciate this interest and confidence in our company. Because we realize that useful suggestions may come from unexpected sources, we welcome these communications and the opportunity to review them.
In connection with these suggestions we have encountered some problems in the past. Some of the ideas and suggestions submitted were good but could not be used by us. Others had previously been suggested. Some duplicated areas where our own people were currently working or had already covered. Some were in the investigation stage and had not yet crystallized into firm developments. In order to avoid problems with such suggestions, we must avoid obligating ourselves or restricting our future operations by reviewing a disclosure you might wish to make. In order to prevent misunderstandings, we have developed the following procedures as conditions of our review of your materials:
1. We will only review ideas presented in written or pictorial form. This procedure must also be followed for any supplemental information augmenting the original presentation. Since we must keep this information in our records, you should prepare a duplicate for your records.
2. Preferably, the written information should be in the form of a copy of a patent application filed in the U.S. Patent Office with the filing date and serial number omitted, or if no patent application has been filed, a complete written description accompanied by sketches or drawings or photographs of the idea or invention, duly witnessed by persons familiar with the idea or invention. Since quite often these ideas require evaluation of many people, possibly including persons outside the company, you agree that any of the material submitted will not be treated as secret or confidential and that its disclosure does not establish a confidential relationship. This, of course, applies to any supplemental information given.
3. Since we are in a very competitive business and must protect our competitive position, we cannot discuss any of Freightliner's current activities which may be running along the same or similar lines that your ideas may cover.
4. Any rights arising out of the material submitted to us are to be measured and defined by the patent protection that may be given under the patent laws of the United States. We are to have all rights that the public would have with respect to the idea of
5. We prefer to deal directly with inventors or legal owners to whom the inventors have assigned their rights, or with their attorneys. The receipt by us of any information, or our negotiation for the purchase of any idea or invention submitted, or an offer for its purchase shall not in any way prejudice Freightliner or be deemed an admission of the novelty of the idea or invention or of its priority or originality on the part of the person submitting it. Freightliner's only undertaking, in consideration of the submission, is a preliminary review and reply to the submitter.
The foregoing conditions may not be modified except in writing, agreed to by one of our duly authorized executives or officers. If you would like to submit your idea to Freightliner and you are willing to comply with the terms and conditions set forth in this letter, please read the paragraph on the following page signifying your acceptance, sign where indicated and return all original pages of this letter along with your written or pictorial explanation of your proposal.
Address it to Patents, Freightliner Corporation, P.O. Box 3849, Portland, Oregon, 97208, attention Legal Department. The second copy is for your own records, if you have any questions concerning the conditions of Freightliner's offer to review your ideas, we urge you to contact a patent attorney before you send any information to us. Thanks again for your interest.
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