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To patent or not to patent ?

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Kentuckyfarmer
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To patent or not to patent ?

Postby Kentuckyfarmer » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:45 pm

I have came up with the idea for a simple yet usefull item, in my ine of work ag related it has use and i have never seen anything close to it.
With all that said does anyone have any experiance with patents on thier items good or bad, also i dont know if the the cost outwiegh the benifits. Any advice would be a big help
Thanks Mike

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby stdave66 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:02 pm

I had the same questions and spent a lot of time looking for answers from the "experts".
General message I got was: If it's a good idea it will get copied anyway. Next step is you better have the money to back it up and fight them copying it. After all is said and done all they have to do is change a detail on it and they can make it anyway. Message was--make and sell your product as fast as you can until it gets copied.
Now that isn't what I wanted to hear either. If there is anyone out there with better experience please speak up.
I do know if an item is "patend pending" no one can legally make anything like it. Again, you have to have $$$ to enforce it but "patent pending" will keep some away------and with that, I was told many mark/stamp things patent pending even when they aren't! Just to possibly have more time to produce and sell. Good luck! and someone please tell me I'm wrong and there are actually more 'teeth' to protect you!

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby twicecustom » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:16 am

The big thing is, you need the money and lawyers to fight to keep it. Now what you can do is get an invention book, write down EVERYTHING and get it dated and signed by a witness that will not get any monatary gain from the product. Write a letter stating all the information, send it to yourself by certified mail that requires a sig, and DO NOT OPEN IT. Then when you have the finished piece, you atleast have something to state the claim that you came up with the idea on such a date..

Is the part plasma made? Are you going to do all the work? Why I'm asking is we hired a contractor to build some parts for us from our prototypes, they tried pushing a contract on us after they seen how well the product worked a year after we sold the first one. We never filed a patent on the product, but behind our backs the other company did, even though it was our idea and concept. We thought he was a friend and a straight shooter, but now days you need to be verrrrry careful and get documents before any work is done stating that it is your idea.. That $200 lawyer bill to draw up a paper is cheap insurance that it is done right.
Jack of all trades, Master of none.
Benjiman

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby boodog710 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:10 am

Mike, go to the web site USPTO.GOV. You can initially, and with out a lawyer, file what's called a provisional patent. This is good for a year and it protects your invention during that time. You can show it to others, test and even sell it to test the market. It it show promise then contact a patent attorney who can convert your provisional patent into a regular on. That should cost around $5,000.00 if it is straight forward and not a lot of back and forth with the patent examiner.

The web site will instruct you as to how to file. Costs $110.00 if you are a small business or an individual.

I hold one patent and one provisional patent.

Jack

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby mdwalker » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:25 am

stdave66 wrote:I had the same questions and spent a lot of time looking for answers from the "experts".
General message I got was: If it's a good idea it will get copied anyway. Next step is you better have the money to back it up and fight them copying it. After all is said and done all they have to do is change a detail on it and they can make it anyway. Message was--make and sell your product as fast as you can until it gets copied.
Now that isn't what I wanted to hear either. If there is anyone out there with better experience please speak up.
I do know if an item is "patend pending" no one can legally make anything like it. Again, you have to have $$$ to enforce it but "patent pending" will keep some away------and with that, I was told many mark/stamp things patent pending even when they aren't! Just to possibly have more time to produce and sell. Good luck! and someone please tell me I'm wrong and there are actually more 'teeth' to protect you!

Last I checked "Patent Pending" gives you absolutely no legal protection. It only lets others know that a patent is in the process & discourages others from producing it knowing that a patent will most likely be issued in a relatively short time. In most cases someone else can produce a like or similar product right up until the time the patent is granted. I think it is a federal offense to place the words "Patent Pending" on a product unless there is actually a patent application on file. I'm no attorney, just information I had from research in the past.

Danny

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby boodog710 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:31 am

Danny, the provisional patent allows the use of "patent pending" legally. One more thing I would like to point out, the provisional patent is issued without review by a patent examiner. There is no guarantee that you will receive a patent after the year is up.

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby Eagle Mtn Metal Works » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:55 pm

Hi Danny
I have just went through this and the provisional is only good for one year and can not be renewed. You will need to file for a full paten with a lawyer to drew up the legal documents. Without the lawyer drawing up the documents it will take forever and there is no guarantee that it will go through. Be prepared to spend lots of money.
Rod
Rod S in AZ

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby pony » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:59 pm

If your idea is not already patented, and can be patented, and you believe in it, then go ahead and patent it.

You do not need any money to enforce your patent if you sell it to someone with big enough pockets; also some companies will defend your patent on a contingency basis.
Here is one I selected at random from a Google search:
http://www.ip-holdings.com/patent-enforcement

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby Arthurmetal02 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:07 am

Hi,
here is one more suggestion from across the atlantic.
For what it is worth, this legal stuff is different all over the world.
My wife is a lawyer in "intellectual propperty". (I am very happy that I am not :lol: )
An IDEA can not be patented; an INVENTION can.
Sometimes there is confusion between an invention and a DESIGN, a design is copyright protected. You don't have to take any legal action beforehand.
Only by the time they start copying your design :mrgreen:
This is how it is arranged over here,
Arthur

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby Wine Country » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:25 pm

Years ago and friend of mine and I created the laser parking guide for garages. I worked with companies in CHINA and sent them drawings for prototypes. Prices were cheap for the laser unit,power cords,and power supply. We obtained a provisional patent at SCI3 in Santa Clara which was a satellite patent office. We contacted QVC, the TV sales show about our product.The first question asked was,"is it patented?". Our product was "The Spot to Stop"and we even ran TV commercials for it. With a less than satisfactory response,we let it slide. I even incorporated into the patent application all of the different laser colors available to cover our bases. Now you can buy the laser parking guide from many sources
in car magazines. Patents only allow you to spend countless fortunes to enforce your right to the invention. Design patents are worthless as well. It only tanks a minor change of your product, and now it is different than the one you patented. I would say unless the product is very unique or would be bought by millions, save your money and sell as many
as possible before it is copied. The Chinese have no regard for patents.
When I was doing electrical work at Cisco Systems,there was a department that handled patent infringements,and the biggest culprit was China. They were making Cisco routers and switches with their logo on them.I know I stated that we
were working with China on our product,but thats where all of the components were made and it was 15 years ago.

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby stdave66 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:59 pm

Wine Country wrote:Years ago and friend of mine and I created the laser parking guide for garages. I worked with companies in CHINA and sent them drawings for prototypes. Prices were cheap for the laser unit,power cords,and power supply. We obtained a provisional patent at SCI3 in Santa Clara which was a satellite patent office. We contacted QVC, the TV sales show about our product.The first question asked was,"is it patented?". Our product was "The Spot to Stop"and we even ran TV commercials for it. With a less than satisfactory response,we let it slide. I even incorporated into the patent application all of the different laser colors available to cover our bases. Now you can buy the laser parking guide from many sources
in car magazines. Patents only allow you to spend countless fortunes to enforce your right to the invention. Design patents are worthless as well. It only tanks a minor change of your product, and now it is different than the one you patented. I would say unless the product is very unique or would be bought by millions, save your money and sell as many
as possible before it is copied. The Chinese have no regard for patents.
When I was doing electrical work at Cisco Systems,there was a department that handled patent infringements,and the biggest culprit was China. They were making Cisco routers and switches with their logo on them.I know I stated that we
were working with China on our product,but thats where all of the components were made and it was 15 years ago.

As I thought. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby Turboedgs » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:50 am

Patent it Yourself, by David Pressman
http://www.amazon.com/Patent-Yourself-S ... pd_sim_b_4

I would recommend this book, it?s a good read...if you like that kind of stuff.

I am a degreed ME and Industrial Designer and I work for a large consumer product consulting house. We deal with patents on a weekly basis. I recommend this book to a lot of clients as it is a good source for patent information and is written in non lawyer language.

Oh, and dont even think of posting any pictures or information regarding the idea to the public. Because if you did as of that moment it will be public domain. If you sell one without a patent it also becomes public domain.

Hope this helps
Brian

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Re: To patent or not to patent ?

Postby mdwalker » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:49 am

I think at the end of the day when it's all said & done the guy with the most money & best lawer wins!

Danny


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