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Old 6th July 2010, 12:54 PM   #1

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Default Patents

What are some factors to consider before patenting an invention? How much does it cost to patent an invention? Is it really worth it?

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Old 7th July 2010, 10:29 AM   #2

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Default Patents

The first thing you need to know is if your invention already exists in patent form. You would look into the Thomas Register for similar products. Your invention has to be unique. A patent attorney will perform the search and prepare documentation that fully describes your invention for the application. I don't know how much this will cost, but I do know the application will take time. Once you have filed and you are waiting to hear from the United States Patent and Trademark office, you will be given a patent pending number to adhere to your product. Notification of the patent pending will be published in the New York Times.

More information about the process can be found at www.uspto.gov

Good luck,
Professor Moore

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Old 7th July 2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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You can also do a patent search for similar products.

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Old 20th July 2010, 10:25 PM   #4

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I think you also have to consider if your product can be patented. For example I don't believe food recipes can be patented.

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Old 20th July 2010, 10:53 PM   #5

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Default Track Existing patents for an idea of the process

There is also a service called Patent Safari I would recommend. It allows you to track existing patents and you can even see if a competitors status changes so you can move in. Just an additional thought.

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Old 21st July 2010, 11:06 AM   #6
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It is complicated, time consuming and often expensive. Doing patent searches is tricky and it is hard to find stuff. I thought I had done some really thorough searches and the patent lawyers came up with all sorts of stuff I hadn't found.

With all the legalese and rules on what constitutes a patent and the correct way to write one, it is much easier (and costly) to use a patent lawyer.

With a University, I started a patent. On the first refusal (expect several) we decided to not pursue it any further. I had a coworker with several patents; each one took over a year.

Sorry not to be more positive but it is a long difficult slog. I am not saying don't do it, but go into it knowing that it is a long frustrating process.

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Old 21st July 2010, 06:19 PM   #7
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I have first hand experience with Patents and I can tell you that unless you have very deep pockets, you will just waste your money.

First of all, since I was involved, there is a 'provisional' patent that you can get which gives you protection for the first year. It's not a patent; it is really just (like) a market that you started. You do not have to continue (from what I read)

However, understand that if you're just considering US patents, then you have to really think it through. Most lawyers will tell you to do US and Canada at the same time. But what about the rest of the world? The internet has shrunk the world. Your idea could be on You Tube within hours of being released... if you know what I mean.

Look. Here is the acid test that I devised. How much money do you have to protect it? That is, let's just say you find somebody 'stomping' on your patent in the US (where it would be a lot less to chase the person than if it were overseas). How much money do you have to shut it down?? Unless you're ready to put $50k on the table (just to start), then forget it.

Consider this. You go ahead and create this great patent. I look at it and (with all your great drawings) go ahead and duplicate it. The only people that POLICE YOUR PATENT is YOU! That means... unless you have the money to go ahead and STOMP ME... I can use your patent forever without anybody doing anything to me.

On another product, I did this same thing where a company (who I knew didn't have a lot of money) had a product/system that they CLAIMED to be patented. I never did see the actual patent nor number. Knowing there was a lot of talk that the system wasn't really patented... I took my chances and went ahead and developed something very, very close. Nothing ever happened.

The other issue in this particular case was that the 'per application' cost and profit was so small, it wouldn't be worth it for anybody to chase.

On the other hand, I was involved in another product where I knew that I was first in the field. My lawyers laughed when I walked into one meeting. They had 6 other compaines claiming 'prior art' against my patent. They also told me that I stood a very good chance of displacing each of these companies. Problem was that they wanted $25K PER CASE.

Solution? I went overseas to get a product I could import for 88 cents. I sold it for anywhere between $9.95 and $19.95. While all those guys were fighting... I was out selling. As of today, I am not sure ANYBODY actually ever went ahead. Besides, the product (in it's most expensive design) only sold for about $30-$50.00. So how much money is there in the product??

Save your money. Release your product with some special process or part that is not easily duplicated. Put the rest of your money into marketing and you will be years and years ahead of anyone trying to 'dupe' you.

Hope this helps. Sorry it's a long post!

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Old 4th August 2010, 02:21 AM   #8

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THanks BeTheBest..your reply is really helpful.

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