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  1. #11
    Senior Member JalapeñoBen's Avatar
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    My head hurts from reading this thread.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevebo View Post
    I've got a quick question for you guys . . . patent protection . . .Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated!
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  3. #13
    Jcavenagh's Avatar
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    There is currently pending a change in US Patent law to make us a "first to file" jurisdiction.
    I actually practice law, but NOT PATENT LAW, which is a recognized specialty. So any advice I give you is worth every penny you pay for it.
    Even if you do obtain a patent, you might still find yourself out in the cold if someone with more re$ource$ makes an improvement and then gets a patent on the improved product.
    I suggest you talk to Dutch and see what he is doing to protect his ideas. Maybe he can refer you to someone that can help you out for a reasonable fee.
    There is a lot of idea borrowing happening on this board. That is actually one of the great things about this resource. You can do the same thing several different ways, and many of us use some of this and a little of that. But for those who are selling, the cottage industrialists, the members here support them pretty well.

  4. #14
    Jcavenagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by storm View Post
    I was investigating getting a patent on an item a few years back. Sent the idea to one of those places that said they help you market your idea. Long story short they wanted a bunch of money up front plus about 90% of any royalties. I declined and they informed me that since I made the idea public they could patent and market it one year later. And a little over a year later a big outdoor chain was selling the product. I don't know that this is the law but this is what I was told.
    Yes. Those places are a ripoff scam. That is why using a patent lawyer is the best route to take. What you divulge to your attorney is privileged and cannot be disclosed to third parties without specific authorization. What you discuss with your lawyer is not, and cannot ever be, considered to constitute information in the public realm.

  5. #15
    Senior Member backpackingZombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alamosa View Post
    Also not a lawyer, but it looks like I am in good company here. My understanding is:

    - Much of the world uses a first to file system, but the US is still a first to conceive the idea holds the rights. Of course you must be able to prove the date the idea was conceived.
    Check out in the last month what just occurred. I believe Obama just signes something into law making it "first to file"
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Timberrr's Avatar
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    I'm also not a lawyer, but don't let that stop me from offering advice...

    There's a old trick known as a "poor man's patent."
    Basically, you make a copy of all the details and drawings and notes and pics of protypes and everything else related to the development of your gizmo, seal them in an envelope and mail it to yourself via USPS registered mail. (Not FedEx). When you get it back in the mail - LEAVE IT SEALED and file it away where you can find it years later. The seal and the cancellation dates "prove" when you had the idea.
    I don't know how well this trick would stand up against a high powered law firm that's defending the dirt bag who got rich on your idea. In short, you pay a lawyer up front to keep you out of trouble, or in the end to get you out of trouble. Or you just give up and give out.

    Good luck! I hope whatever you're up to works out well for you.
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  7. #17
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Much to my disappointment, almost everything I've read says that getting a patent is pretty useless for small scale producers.

    I've posted ideas and things I've developed online. In some cases others have contacted me and asked about using my idea for something they would be selling. In other cases they've just incorporated my idea without asking.

    Best I can tell nothing legally prevents people from using the ideas but it's nice when they ask.
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  8. #18
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberrr View Post
    I'm also not a lawyer, but don't let that stop me from offering advice...

    There's a old trick known as a "poor man's patent."
    Basically, you make a copy of all the details and drawings and notes and pics of protypes and everything else related to the development of your gizmo, seal them in an envelope and mail it to yourself via USPS registered mail. (Not FedEx). When you get it back in the mail - LEAVE IT SEALED and file it away where you can find it years later. The seal and the cancellation dates "prove" when you had the idea.
    I don't know how well this trick would stand up against a high powered law firm that's defending the dirt bag who got rich on your idea. In short, you pay a lawyer up front to keep you out of trouble, or in the end to get you out of trouble. Or you just give up and give out.

    Good luck! I hope whatever you're up to works out well for you.
    I can save you the hassle and tell you that this does not hold up in court what so ever. People used the same technique to get basically a free copy-write and tried to take publishers to court when their work was printed without compensation or attribution. The court stated that since it was never registered then the creation date could not be verified.

    Short answer, if you want any say in how the product is eventually used/produced, whether privately or placed in public domain, then talk with a patent lawyer.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    However good your idea and however good the implementation, before resenting that someone else profited from it before you did, be certain the idea was original, never before presented. That's a tough standard.

  10. #20
    Member ScottH61's Avatar
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    Try just going for a copyright instead? The idea of mailing yourself a registered letter and saving it is a great way to prove the time frame that you had the idea. I hope you get some better help than I can offer, and that you make a million dollars with your idea! :-)

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