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  1. #21

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    If you are serious about applying for a patent then be very careful about any kind of public disclosure of your idea or invention. Get a confidentiality agreement and have everyone sign it before you discuss or show your idea to anyone. There are disclosure laws that, if violated would compromise your ability to apply for a patent. Don't take this lightly. I wish you much success in your endeavor!

  2. #22
    Senior Member hikenbike's Avatar
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    I'd like to second what Dutch said... If you pursue a patent it should be part of a realistic and peer reviewed business plan. The objective of the patent could be to license the idea, or to protect the product you plan to produce. The business plan should support one of these approaches. If it doesn't, you may just have a really expensive idea (for you). Good luck.

  3. #23
    Member Buckeye Bill's Avatar
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    A friend of mine holds a few patents for various things. He told me one of the things he did was make a scale drawing on a sheet of paper and then he mailed it to himself. He never opened it until someone tried to say he stole their idea. The postmark on the envelope save him every time, proving when he thought the idea up.
    Buckeye Bill

  4. #24

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    I am not a lawyer but 100% of my work as a Forensic CPA involves LItigation. A retired Judge who I greatly respected (he passed last year) and who basically got me into this business once said after he retired: "If they really wanted justice, why in the world did they come to the Justice system?"

    If your very conservative, independently challenged business plan does not support $25-50,000 per year to defend your patent don't bother.
    Keep it a secret but my very best friends are patent attorneys and from what they have taught me I stay as far away from that area of practice as I can unless asked to by a Judge. (Yes you Honor; I would be happy to assist the Court anyway I can." It is darn interesting working for a Judge and my work is my #1 hobby.)

    If you are determined to proceed ,there are thousands of C+ and B and even some a- lawyers who have just got their law degree and license who can not get work and can barely eat because of their school loans. A lawyer friend of mine in Ft. Worth says he can get BUSLOADS of excellent new lawyers for less than $20 per hour. You probably could find a very bright new patent lawyer who would do the work for $5,000(Paid over time) plus a 33% interest or even less. Understand that China or Nam or someone else overseas will copy the idea and disappear when the heat gets turned on. I have worked for a federal bankruptcy Court where a pretty well (initially) capitalized US Company got cheated out of their intellectual property by people in China . Also, memorize The Art of War before you begin because everything done in China business basically follows that book.
    Regards and may you have good luck,

    Paul
    Paul or Sarge or Hawk; anything but Sue!

    Bless all of those who go voluntarily into Harm's Way on our behalf, whether they wear Blue, Red or Camo, and all of those who wait for them each night not knowing if.....

  5. #25
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    This video is long but good.

    24:50



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHjgK6p4nrw#t=1489

  6. #26
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    And then in the Q&A:


  7. #27
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
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    Good luck with your idea! I looked into a patent a few years ago----lots of info out there (very confusing!) Here's a couple of tidbits I learned: 1. a patent doesnt protect your product from being copied---it just gives you the right to bring someone to court who has copied your product(think lots of legal fees) 2. On the other hand, theres almost a mythology about patents and just seeing the words "patent pending" are enough to scare off most people who want to copy your idea. (but dont just put "patent pending " on your product--huge federal fine if you get caught!) 3. They changed the patent system a few years back--as a "micro entity" the fees are much cheaper. 4. The first year after you file is pretty cheap (a provisional patent) but after your patent has been issued, the fees are pretty steep. 5. if you have ever spent much time looking around Google patents, you quickly come to realize that lots and lots of people have wasted millions of dollars in patent fees, ---going thru the patent process for ideas that just arnt very good for any body! I read somewhere that only a very small percentage of patents ever make any money .
    An alternative is to design your idea with something unique built in---that the average person doesnt have the tooling or capability to copy. Also you have to realize that if its a good idea, it Will be copied by some one! If not here, in another country-(unless you get a international patent, us patents are limited to the USA)
    In my case, I gave up an moved on to something else---it just wasnt worth the effort and cost. Some people get around a patent by selling a book telling how to make the product---much cheaper to copywrite a document than to get a patent---plus alot less liability! Good luck!
    Last edited by stevebo; 08-05-2014 at 10:22.
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

  8. #28
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Bill View Post
    A friend of mine holds a few patents for various things. He told me one of the things he did was make a scale drawing on a sheet of paper and then he mailed it to himself. He never opened it until someone tried to say he stole their idea. The postmark on the envelope save him every time, proving when he thought the idea up.
    I've heard of that before (I believe they called it "the poor mans patent)----from everything I read, its not fool proof and isnt really considered legal evidence of prior art. (I believe they changed the patent rules a few years back---it used to be based on who invented it first---now its based on who filed the patent first?)
    does any one else have experiance with this?

    Heres something I've always wondered: As far as I know, the Jacks at "jacks are better" were the first to come up with the underquilt. What would have happend if they had patented it?
    Last edited by stevebo; 08-05-2014 at 10:23.
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

  9. #29
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    I'm a patent attorney. I thought I had commented on this before. Looks like I didn't. Regarding the "poor man's patent" (also known as poor man's copyright), it is completely worthless. Yes, keep good records about what you invented and when. But there is no need to mail it to yourself (or anyone else).

    Regarding the video posted above, I completely agree with what the speaker says at 24:50 and later at 1:18:45. I didn't watch the rest of the video, but those are the sections where the speaker discusses the value of patents (or lack of value).

    Generally speaking, acquiring a patent is expensive and time-consuming. Enforcing a patent is exponentially more expensive and time-consuming.

    Regarding the "what-if" scenario, I believe that Clark got some patents on some hammock technology. Folks sometimes get up in arms about "how could they patent something so basic?" Patents are highly technical legal documents. They are very specific. In most instances, the scope of protection is much narrower than what those owning the patent would have you believe.

  10. #30
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    If you can't patent your idea, at the very least open source it. It would be possible for you to start producing your product, only to have someone with more money patent your idea and then come back on you for infringment. Open sourcing would prevent that from happening.
    Read up on graphene, it's an eye opening look into our messed up patent system.

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