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Old 07-04-2018, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Minnesovia
2,451 posts, read 632,215 times
Reputation: 1497

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Please help. I'm not sure where the best and most fitting forum is to post this, so I will post it here.



I have an idea for an item for a sporting good - it's a personal idea I have that I want to invent and write up a patent/legal document to secure it to my name.


For starters, who would I go to to invent this contraption I have in my mind?


And if/when I did come up with it, how hard is it to get a legal document/patent on an invention you have come up with???



ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED!!


Happy Fourth of July.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
183,827 posts, read 74,970,778 times
Reputation: 128835
A patent attorney. Not a businessman.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
29,745 posts, read 26,775,195 times
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Put all the details on paper and mail it certified to yourself with a postmark and required signature to receive it, don’t open it. This will establish a date and time that you had the idea first before giving information up to others. Trust no one!

^^^
Then do what Normadicus said - see a patent attorney.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:41 AM
 
3,266 posts, read 2,336,935 times
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First, do a patent search to see if someone else already holds the patent.

Go to www.uspto.gov for official info on patents.

Can you make it yourself?
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:17 AM
 
608 posts, read 281,196 times
Reputation: 1932
Patents are a waste of time and money for individuals and small businesses.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Minnesovia
2,451 posts, read 632,215 times
Reputation: 1497
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimAZ View Post
Patents are a waste of time and money for individuals and small businesses.
So basically it's a NECESSARY evil?


I'm going to invent this idea...that is something I'm going to pursue, one way or the other.


So...I have no choice but to dance with the Devil...?
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:41 AM
 
608 posts, read 281,196 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavalier View Post
So basically it's a NECESSARY evil?


I'm going to invent this idea...that is something I'm going to pursue, one way or the other.


So...I have no choice but to dance with the Devil...?
I ran a small high-tech business for thirty years. We developed many innovative gadgets but I took Mr. Lancaster's advice and never pursued a patent on any of them. We simply made and sold them at a nice profit.

We did have some contact with the Patent Office. In 1990 a competitor came after us claiming infringement on one of their patents. I had to hire an attorney and they advised us it would cost ~$500K if the case went to trial, an amount that would have put us out of business. Alternately, we could file for a reexamination with the USPTO at a much lower cost. We chose the reexamination route, found lots of prior art (even in one of the other company's tech manuals!), and the patent examiner ended up voiding all of the claims in their patent. This process took four years and cost upwards of $60K.

In another instance, we licensed a patent held by a university and agreed to pay them an 8% royalty on sales of products derived from the patent. That worked out well for both of us until the patent expired in 2008.

You obviously have to find your own path. Know this, a patent only gives you the rights to sue someone. Getting involved with patent attorneys and patent litigation is ridiculously expensive, to the point that it makes zero sense for most individuals and small businesses. Your may be 100% right, but you can't afford to be right.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:55 AM
 
3,266 posts, read 2,336,935 times
Reputation: 5622
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimAZ View Post
I ran a small high-tech business for thirty years. We developed many innovative gadgets but I took Mr. Lancaster's advice and never pursued a patent on any of them. We simply made and sold them at a nice profit.

We did have some contact with the Patent Office. In 1990 a competitor came after us claiming infringement on one of their patents. I had to hire an attorney and they advised us it would cost ~$500K if the case went to trial, an amount that would have put us out of business. Alternately, we could file for a reexamination with the USPTO at a much lower cost. We chose the reexamination route, found lots of prior art (even in one of the other company's tech manuals!), and the patent examiner ended up voiding all of the claims in their patent. This process took four years and cost upwards of $60K.

In another instance, we licensed a patent held by a university and agreed to pay them an 8% royalty on sales of products derived from the patent. That worked out well for both of us until the patent expired in 2008.

You obviously have to find your own path. Know this, a patent only gives you the rights to sue someone. Getting involved with patent attorneys and patent litigation is ridiculously expensive, to the point that it makes zero sense for most individuals and small businesses. Your may be 100% right, but you can't afford to be right.
Great advice. I invented a product back in the 80's. I did a patent search to make sure I wouldn't infringe on anyone else's patent. Went ahead and produced it and made some decent money off of it for about 3 years, then it started getting copied by the Chinese and I couldn't afford to make it anymore and moved on to other things.

Even if I did have a patent, I wouldn't have spent the money to fight it out in courts. It wouldn't have been worth it.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:27 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,027,668 times
Reputation: 2071
just remember if you patent a food item, you have to give out the ENTIRE ingredient, even your mamma secrete sauce.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:47 AM
 
1,705 posts, read 679,496 times
Reputation: 636
I'm curious on this as well. A few years ago after helping a friend with a project I came up with a product that would have made the project better. I have design experience so I did some basic drawings and developed it to where I was pretty sure it would work. No this is for something I have no experience with it's really just a simple mechanical part for energy sealing doors and windows. I researched prior patents others had looked at the problem but most were to elaborate or did not fully take care of the problem. Interestingly I looked for current products on the market none of the elaborate methods seems to be sold but some of the half way solutions are doing well in the market.
I have no real interest in building this thing. I looked at patents but they are pricey with no guarantees as mentioned.
at the time I was playing with this I found a guy on another forum who had sold a design for a tool to a company that produced it so PM'd him. He is an industrial designer but no experience with tools. He came up with the product mostly for himself. He used his design contacts to get a meeting with a tool maker. They ended up making a deal with no patent. He got the first couple of tools from the production run (a few hundred bucks each) then he got a tiny royalty (like a fraction of a percent.) he said it won't make him rich but he gets checks every couple months.
I'm wondering if I could do the same. Of course they could just steal the idea but they kind of could anyways.
Any thoughts.
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