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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2002, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
I Might Just Know What I'm Talking About
 
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OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

Ok... I have several HALF-baked ideas stewing in my melon. Any advice on cracking it open and getting the ideas onto paper?? Anybody with any REAL world experience, have a patent, tried to get a patent? Can I do it without selling the jeep? Anything I should be asking??

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2002, 10:47 PM
 
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

This seems to be a good resource for this..

<a target="_blank" href=http://pw1.netcom.com/~patents2/How%20is%20Patent%20Obtained.htm>http://pw1.netcom.com/~patents2/How%20is%20Patent%20Obtained.htm</a>
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2002, 10:48 PM
 
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

I've done a trademark but never a patent, which I'm sure is much harder. The official place to go is <a target="_blank" href=http://www.uspto.gov>http://www.uspto.gov</a>

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2002, 10:55 PM
 
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

One thing I've read is that as long as you can prove you were the first to invent something, then you have x number of years to patent it regardless. There was an article somewhere that companies would wait to patent something until other businesses were doing the same thing, then get the patent and force them to pay heavy royalties or give up. So, like if you were to have plans for your doohicky drawn and notarized, witnessed, etc. then you're safe. But if it were worth anything to you I wouldn't listen to a stupid jerk like me, I'd find an attorney who can handle it correctly.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2002, 11:09 PM
 
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

I have never tried it ,Had some good Ideas from time to time,but never folowed them up.Some advice is stay away from those places that promis to help you get a patent.The news did a story on them quite a while back and they couldn't document one case of helping anyone get a patent,although they still took the money.
If you conviction is strong that your Idea has merit you should seek advice of a patent attourney.If all you have is Half baked Ideas ,you had better bake them well done before anything else,cause I don't think its cheap.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2002, 12:44 AM
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

I've gone throught the process, but with the help of a specialed law firm that deals in Patent filing and litigation support.

The patent laws are fairly complex. You really need to file the preliminary application with your process, product, drawings, explanation first. You have some time to make it final. There are firms that charge a couple of thousand to file everything (you still will do a lot of the work in doing your descriptions, drawings, etc.)

A patent is really only a barrier to entry. Any patent can be challenged and can cost hundreds of thousands to defend. So, you really are just buying a perceived (and somewhat real) barrier to entry for someone else. The fact is if someone big wants to steel your idea, they can do it by spending enough litigating your patent until you basically go out of business.

If you get an attorney involved, definitely get one that specializes in patents.

Good Luck.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2002, 06:43 AM
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

I agree with Raymo, get a patent attorney.

You want your patent description to be as broad as possible, especially where it is possible to make minor changes.

If you do a lot of the work yourself you can expect to pay between $3000-5000.

Patent drawings can be quite expensive per page, but the USPTO has strict requirements. If you choose to do your own drawings make sure you are able to fit the requirements and that your drawings convey all important info without being too specific.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2002, 08:03 AM
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

I don't know the merit behind what i recall aobut this, but I heard that it can run upwards or $15K by the time you get done withthe patent. My company holds a few patents and that's what I recall them saying aobut getting their patents. Just remember, think about every possible thing your invention could be used for, even if it's not what you intended it for. Otherwise some one else could say "hey, with a minor altercation to this it could be used for this and I could make money off it" and you would never see a dime of it.

Brent
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2002, 12:01 PM
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

something else to keep in mind,somebody can change one little thing on your exact design and your patent will not affect them.i designed a chassis dyno for radio control cars back in 1988.after selling them myself for 4 years i was hired by a LARGE company to do design work and to build the dynos for them to sell.we sold the little buggers all over the world.i sold out to them completly in 1997.while i worked for them they flew me all over the country to promote this product and to race.it was a lot of fun.and it paid the bills while i was laid off.
post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2002, 02:23 PM
 
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Re: OT - Anybody ever try to get a patent??

I have half a dozen patents.
Expect to spend $30,000 to acquire a patent.
Expect it to take 3 to 5 years.

There are a lot of con artists out there claiming to be patent lawyers.
If you want the name of a real lawyer, let me know privately.

If you can't afford the time and money, there is a 'Poor Mans Patent'...
Write and draw out your idea, and if you can include a working prototype in pictures. (self publish, anywhere from $3,00 to $10,000)
Do a self published book, and apply for an ISBN or library of congress number. This will prove absolutely when you first had the idea published.
You will still have to do a court battle for payment if your idea is used, but your time frame is carved in stone.

You can apply for a patent for about $3,000 also, and you have like 3 years to submit the rest of the search and paperwork for final review.
Once you apply, you are covered.

I strongly recommend you at least self publish before you pitch your invent to anyone. This establishes your time frame just in case you get ripped off by someone you pitched to manufacture or market your idea.
<hr>
What we do is design a product, and produce it.
When it goes into production, we apply for the patent.

If the item sells, we continue to pursue the patent.
Like I said, it's a bare minimum of 3 years and usually at least 5 years to finalize a patent.
(We have one going on the ten year mark now...)

If the item flops on the market, we drop the patent. No point in spending money on something that isn't going to sell.
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