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Showing posts 1 - 21 of 21, (reverse)
04/27/2005 09:45:33 PM · #1
OK ... the community here seems pretty wide, diverse, and honest -- so I'm asking my question here.

I have this idea -- for a product that could seriously reduce workloads on a particular profession, increase their income, and also increase the satisfaction of their customers all at the same time...and keep them coming back for more.

I want to get a patent for this idea, but obviously, I can't produce the product or properly market it myself. I need some sort of business that can take my idea, give me credit, patent the idea, produce the product, and market it properly. I don't even care if I can get only like $.01 per product sold -- this thing could seriously go global...and I've been sitting on it for a good, solid year or so.

Any place that offers all that where I could request a 'kit' or whatever online? All the sites I checked seem like they could be scams.
04/27/2005 09:47:48 PM · #2
Tell me.
I'll take care of it. :-)

There are various kits out there. Most are probably just scams to make money. I believe it's a fairly expensive process. If you've got a really good idea, you should probably talk to a lawyer. Or try to sell it to a company.
04/27/2005 09:48:50 PM · #3
You need to retain a Patent Attorney first thing.

04/27/2005 09:49:41 PM · #4
Originally posted by rkfoote:

Tell me.
I'll take care of it. :-)

There are various kits out there. Most are probably just scams to make money. I believe it's a fairly expensive process. If you've got a really good idea, you should probably talk to a lawyer. Or try to sell it to a company.

Well, I don't really have the money at this time to get involved in expenses. That's why I want a company that will do it for me. There should be some legitimate company out there that would be willing to split profits even 50/50 -- I mean after all, it's my idea that would be earning them money, you know?
04/27/2005 09:51:07 PM · #5
Patents are pretty time consuming (and money consuming) to file for. It is less so to file "provisional documents" in anticipation of filing all the formal documentation and they give you some protection until you file the formal stuff. If you believe it's worth it, try filing provisional docs before taking the idea to others.

Agree with Bear Music ... you need a patent attorney.

I googled "patents inventions" and got a bunch of hits. I don't know if these are any good. Beware!

Message edited by author 2005-04-27 21:52:12.
04/27/2005 09:51:14 PM · #6
Id you're willing to accept so little on your invention, and if you're able to "sell" it convincingly, find a local attorney who's well-respected and cut him in on the action. He'll find a good Patent Attorney for you etc.

04/27/2005 09:51:47 PM · #7
What Robert said.
Also, if you have not done so, make sure that all your notes, drawings, etc. are dated and get them notarized so that it can be shown that you are their creator and that they have legally verifiable dates. This is important if/when it is necessary to determine who has "prior art".
04/27/2005 10:06:47 PM · #8
You will eventually need an attorney. But to get started, get the materials offered by Nolo Press -- for over 30 years a leading publisher/distributer of books on the law for "regular people" to do their own work. I know they have several books/products, and often have them bundled at a package price.

Beware of the kits and "invention submission" companies you hear advertised on the radio and such.
04/27/2005 10:10:13 PM · #9
two thoughts=

1= my grandfather disigned a machine for the cookie company in Chicago called "Morice Lanell"(spelling). the machine took the dough and combined the chocolate and vanilla flavor and swirled it together. He did not get a penny for his invention, or the credit because he did it on company time. We have the blue prints that he made for the company.
Just wanted to share that srory.

2= I also have an idea that I too have been sitting on. I bought into one of the commercials that claim to he 'inventors'. What I got was a generic prinout of who may, or may not be able to help. And for alot more money they would set me up with the "right people".

so my point is this.

Don't buy into those commercials you see on tv, and like kirbic said, keep track of all your stuff.

Then save your money, find a partner, or better yet, find an 'angel investor'.
04/27/2005 10:18:43 PM · #10
A patent will typically cost you in the region of $10k to $15k to file and then annual costs to maintain, at least for something in the area of electronic or digital design. Also, that doesn't take in to account any costs for defending the idea if someone infringes on it.

some reasonable info

Message edited by author 2005-04-27 22:22:04.
04/27/2005 10:21:29 PM · #11
I have been involved in a couple of patents with my current company and I am somewhat familiar with the process. We've (as Digital Quixote suggested) started with a provisional application which is supposed to be filed before you make any public mention of any possible claim in your future patent. That is not as unreadable as the official patent application. When I read the official application for the stuff I invented, I could not recognize it!

I'd suggest the following:

before you get involved into filing for a patent or finding someone to sell the idea to, do an extensive search. //www.uspto.gov has a very nice search engine that I believe is used also by the examiners. Search both the issued patents and pending patent applications for simikar terms that you want to patent. You may be surprised by someone suggesting the same process in their patents.

If you end up finding nothing, then you have a reasonable cause for filing a provisional patent. Now, do the search on the patent applications database (pick something similar to your area of invention) and look for the provisional application number. You can publicly view all the documents, including patent application forms with fees printed on them, that should give you an idea on what is needed.

Then and only then, write up something that looks like the provisional patent application. With that in your pocked (notarized and all) try to find an attorney that will file it for you.

I hope this helps you some. If you have further questions, you can PM me and I'll try to see if I can be of any help.
04/27/2005 10:34:05 PM · #12
There is some excellent advise in this thread, so heed it.

A lawyer is a must as patents are normally done in multiple jurisdictions when filing. Several of mine are registered in at least 20 plus countries.

A patent pending is often better than a final patent. Once a patent is issued, the work is in the public domain. While in patent pending, the work is still out of the public domain. With reverse engineering techniques and alternate paths to the same goals, it is not a big deal to duplicate a design without infringement.

Proof of no prior artwork is very challenging to defend and costly to establish. With all the people on the face of the earth, unique ideas are rare if ever.

I do not mean to be rude, but you hold an unrealistic expectation for profit sharing. A 50 / 50 split of profit is not realistic. Yes, you may have an idea, even a brilliant idea. But, if you expect others to research the market, promote, fund development, market, sell, distribute and to generally provide the rest of the product food chain within the lifecycle of the product for just 50%, then your share will / should be minimal - maybe 5% in the real world. I suppose that it all depends on the product and the market and the opportunity. Do a SWOT analysis.

If you hold a valid idea, then there are ways to go to market. My best recommendation is to find a mentor who can guide you through the process. Often, retire businessmen are available from business development offices, banks, embassies, etc.

Many times, a patent will not protect you and there are folks out there that make their living challenging patents. Perhaps, it is not necessary at all and you just need to find a way to advance the productís development stage. You might make some money to help you continue the advancement. Every product has a finite life span. So, maybe pursue the more sophisticated strategies with the next generation?

Message edited by author 2005-05-01 10:45:22.
04/27/2005 10:39:32 PM · #13
David, I hope this isn't the "Pet Rock". It's been done, albeit before you were born. >WINK<
04/27/2005 11:11:28 PM · #14
OK...too involved. I'll sell someone my idea for $1000 US who wants it? Maybe I should put it on ebay???
04/27/2005 11:43:05 PM · #15
Here are my quick thoughts:

First thing I have been involved in several patents during my professional career (now I am a photographer ...LOL) Have also faught many battles over them won most but lost at least 1 or 2. The first thing I would do is collect the important information - notes and drawing and make copies and send them to yourself via registered mail and do not open them.

Second do a patent search using www.uspto.gov and find out what patents are out there that are similar or use similar ideas - you will need them for reference. You will note that all these patents will start with claims - from the broadest claim to the most detailed claim and ultimately down to a design patent. Yours will do the same. Also note that all these patents will reference other patents to make their claim. A patent lawer will do the same but no one will have the heart that you do or the insight unless big $ are involved - so do your homework.

Never go to one of these places that will help you find someone that will take on your patent for a fee - they just do huge bulk mailings and I get them all the time - hit and miss kinda thing - basically a very longshot method.

The biggest thing I have learned over my 10 years experiance dealing with these types of things is - the only thing that is more valuable than a patent is distribution - A patent is usually the best way for someone to rip you off! What I mean by that is once you have a patent - all your claims will be public knowledge and that leave it open for loop holds (sometimes patent pending is better as there is limited information that is available to the public - so the fear that they might infringe on a patent is greater - so greater the threat to them (We have held patents in patent pending for just such reasons with huge payoffs and benifits - since once it is appoved you can hold it in patent pending - keep your info secret - and if something come up that infringes you can push the patent through and shut them down.

Back the the best alternative - Distribution - If you can get your product in solid distribution - it's worth way more than a patent - since without sales there is no money. Always sign a confidentiality agreement with anyone or company you may disclose info to about your product idea - in the hopes of finding some company that will back the idea. I have done this many times and usually offer the inventor between 1 and 3% of the wholesale value of the product sold.

I am an honest guy and the few ppl here that know me would say nothing but the same - if it helps you can always PM me - and I would be willing to help in anyway I can.

04/27/2005 11:45:38 PM · #16
Originally posted by ebertdj:

I am an honest guy and the few ppl here that know me would say nothing but the same - if it helps you can always PM me - and I would be willing to help in anyway I can.

Thanks for the offer. I'm going to look into that confidentiality agreement and see if I can't get a buyer, or large company to pick the idea up.
04/28/2005 12:19:11 AM · #17
Feel free to PM me. I'm a registered patent attorney (there had to be at least one at this site, right?) and can shed some light on the process and make some recommendations if you so desire.

I briefly glanced at some of the responses and many are right on - hit the PTO website first and learn as much as you can. Do as much searching there as you can (the free/public database is a bit limited, but still useful for most subject matters - I can guide you a bit there if you like since keyword searching a patent database can be frustrating/useless). After you are more informed and better able to participate in the process, find an attorney.
04/28/2005 12:30:11 AM · #18
I love this site. We really have all kind of people here.

Do we have any judges or congressmen/women? (federal govt, or state?) Just curious.. I don't need one right now.

04/28/2005 12:32:49 AM · #19
Originally posted by srdanz:

I love this site. We really have all kind of people here.

Do we have any judges or congressmen/women? (federal govt, or state?) Just curious.. I don't need one right now.


I don't know but I have an application in at the FBI...I heard that if you get selected, they ask your parents, they go back to your highschool and talk to them, they ask your neighbors and your neighbor's neighbors...some crazy stuff.
04/28/2005 12:48:44 AM · #20
I'm just a lowly graduate student, but I'm in the middle of filing my first patent right now and it is a long, expensive (especially if you file internationally and no one is footing the bill) and time-ccomsuming process. I would say everyone is steering you in the right direction. But I thought I would add my two cents. There are two major hurdles in filing a patent. It has to be novel and non-obvious to someone skilled in the art.

Novelty: Spend time on the PTO website and find anything that could be related to your idea. You will be amazed what ideas are already out there. If your idea is truly novel, it won't be in this database.

Non-obviousness: This is the hard one. To a professional photographer, would this be something that they would easily think of? This one is where you have to be poetic and having a good patent attorney is key.

Anyway, best of luck. If you're sitting on an idea it is always worth it to document that idea and get it notorized so if it ever was filed you might be able to swoop in with the better priority date.
04/28/2005 01:33:45 AM · #21
I did some graphic art work for an attorney who did all the legal work in exchange for a percentage of a new business with a new patentable product. He said he was partners in about 10-15 new companies at that time.

You might be able to work out the expensive part of setting up the product to make it marketable by sharing with the right attorney who's willing to work for his percentage.

I've also heard that it is good to describe and draw up basic key plans then place them in multiple sealed envelopes and mailed to yourself to prove when you had developed this idea. Do not open it until you appear in court and need to present it as proof of your claim.
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