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30DodgePanel

Filing for a patent ?

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you do realize that marketing, sales, manufacturing and most importantly customers wanting to buy have very little to do with patentability? A patent may (not "will") prevent a fast follower from making the same thing, but something being patented does not enhance a customer's desire to buy, and industrially sometimes inhibits it (he may perceive a patented item as being more difficult to get a good price on)

The old patent is "known art" - remember your thingie needs to be different in a way non-obvious to someone skilled in the art. Be sure you're not hung up on the patent when the business case is more critical

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I don't mean to rain on your parade but I see a lot of possible issues here.

First, you've apparently uncovered that something quite similar to your product was granted a patent in the not-to-distant past. This is potentially a major issue and something that (at least in my opinion) should be signaling you to drop everything and check into it before you spend another dime on your product with the intent to patent it and bring it to market.

This is exactly where I'm at currently, checking on it before I spend another dime... Everything is only hypothetical at the moment. I'm just preparing to make the moves I need to make in the near future if I can get past the first stage. I still have a lot to learn and study but in the meantime these are critical moments to learn where all the negatives are and how to deal with them but more importantly, what if anything can be done to overcome any roadblocks that arise such as the ones you all are correctly pointing out.

You seem to be want to do everything yourself come hell or high water rather than using a patent attorney. You've mentioned that the services of an attorney are cost prohibitive, which I can understand, but I think you're taking a huge risk. Knowing that, plus the quote from you I've included in this post leads me to ask this: if you can't afford or don't want an to use an attorney to get the patent, how in the world do you expect to protect the patent without one if you believe it has a high potential to be stolen?

Not hell or high water at all... I believe the filing process is simple to follow and doesn't intimidate me so that's essentially my only motive to go through the initial filing process without the high cost's of an attorney. I'm no smarter than anyone else it's just that the tools are readily available for all of us anymore so I'm just going to follow the process that the US Patent Office has provided us with. I understand all of your comments and you are right on target as I've thought about all of this but with or without an attorney the copycat potential is there regardless as you have correctly pointed out. My strategy will be find out "IF" I can get a patent on it first then I'll have to go from there.

Having a patent gives you the right to defend your idea/product/design, but does not guarantee any sort of action would ever be taken by the government (patent and trademark office, for example) to actively stop anyone from stealing your idea or selling their own version (even an exact copy) that infringes on your patent. A copy-cat product simply would not be able to be patent, but that doesn't mean that others won't try to copy your product and sell it themselves. Keeping track of that sort of thing and going after those that exploit your invention is your problem. Personally, I don't see a one man operation having a very good chance in that kind of situation. An attorney isn't necessarily a golden ticket, but think of it this way...would you be more inclined to take a cease and desist from an attorney seriously or from the inventor himself? And if that someone didn't stop, what would you do about it?

So you do see where I'm coming from then.. your advice is well heeded, thank you I really do appreciate the feedback.

I believe whole heartedly that I will need an attorney, I just don't think I need one for the first eight steps of the application process http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/qs/ope/fee031913.htm. I believe I can follow the process through the first eight steps up to the "Patent trial and Appeals fee". If I need representation at that point I'm sure I will have enough revenue under my belt at that point not to worry about it as I do now, that's IF the idea takes off and is successful but if it doesn't then there won't be a need for an attorney anyway. Keep in mind I am assuming at this point in the process that I will have already began marketing and selling under the "Patent Pending" portion until I can finalize the process. This is one of the grey areas I know you all are concerned about but that's a risk I don't see anyway around, with or without any representation.

Not saying that I'm right on any of this, these are just my thoughts of the process. Please feel free to correct me or criticize my plan.

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you do realize that marketing, sales, manufacturing and most importantly customers wanting to buy have very little to do with patentability? A patent may (not "will") prevent a fast follower from making the same thing, but something being patented does not enhance a customer's desire to buy, and industrially sometimes inhibits it (he may perceive a patented item as being more difficult to get a good price on) I understand and your right on all points.

One thing that will possibly make my product desirable is the cost factor. If I can keep my cost under $2 out the door including tax then I doubt that would inhibit folks from wanting to try it, especially if I can get it closer to the $1-1.49 range which is very possible.

The old patent is "known art" - remember your thingie needs to be different in a way non-obvious to someone skilled in the art. Be sure you're not hung up on the patent when the business case is more critical I'm trying....and if I see that it's more practical to go that way I believe I'm ready for that also. Very good insight, thank you..

Thanks everyone!

This a topic that it's hard to be specific on but needs to be discussed. I have others I'm bouncing the approach off of. One in particular who is a paralegal for a worldwide law firm so I am getting great feedback from all parties and it's amazing what is being learned both pro and con.

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BTW, Scooter Guy,,, your not raining on my parade. I love this stuff and I fully accept everything both positive and negative that is being put forth. It's just a process... if it doesn't work or happen then I'm ok with it but I have to try first.

Thanks again for all the input.

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BTW, Scooter Guy,,, your not raining on my parade. I love this stuff and I fully accept everything both positive and negative that is being put forth. It's just a process... if it doesn't work or happen then I'm ok with it but I have to try first.

Thanks again for all the input.

No problem. I think it's extremely cool that you've invented something that sounds so interesting whatever it is. For $2, I'll probably by one just because of the story even if I don't need whatever it is. Anyway, I just don't want to see you having problems with things that an attorney (and I'm not one) could have helped you overcome. I really admire your "I'm going to tackle this" approach and the fact that it does not intimidate you. Honestly, I wish I was able to be a bit more like that, but I look at the process and think of all the potential issues and it just boggles the mind. Sorry, my comments probably stem from the fact that my day job is pretty much entirely based upon me imagining worst-case scenarios and figuring out what to do about them relative to my industry.

I really do wish you the best and hope that everything goes your way and is successful.

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No problem. I think it's extremely cool that you've invented something that sounds so interesting whatever it is. For $2, I'll probably by one just because of the story even if I don't need whatever it is. Anyway, I just don't want to see you having problems with things that an attorney (and I'm not one) could have helped you overcome. I really admire your "I'm going to tackle this" approach and the fact that it does not intimidate you. Honestly, I wish I was able to be a bit more like that, but I look at the process and think of all the potential issues and it just boggles the mind. Sorry, my comments probably stem from the fact that my day job is pretty much entirely based upon me imagining worst-case scenarios and figuring out what to do about them relative to my industry.

I really do wish you the best and hope that everything goes your way and is successful.

Thank you, and if I do get this rolling I will offer it to all on the board at a discount or may even just give one to whoever wants one. I guarantee you would use it maybe 1-20 times at least per week depending on your hobby or field of work. I have my own personal one made up and use it daily, and yet no one around me even knows it. I've said too much;)

One thing is for sure, if I can get through the process successfully I have 3 other ideas of my own that I will pursue and 2 other ideas for close family and friends. BTW by "successfully" I mean filing the applications correctly and in a prudent time frame, regardless if my claims are accepted.

As for my prototype -

I had several templates made up this week that are all identical so I could practice on, they were made by a firm using a CNC machine. This is the firm I will probably be using to supply me with these templates because he was the first to respond out of 3 individuals I've contacted, 1 dropped out because he didn't think he would be capable of possible supply demands and I have another reputable back up that may get a portion of the contract. The cost to have the templates made up was $0 because he wants my business, and no, he doesn't know what the item is because once I receive the template from him I make 5 changes to alter it's appearance, shape, color and texture so all the supplier sees is a shell of a shape and that's it. So far his cost is .45 cents per unit but I'm waiting to hear what the breakdown would be for 100K and 1 million units, he's still working on the figures because of the tooling and die portion on his end I'm sure their are hidden issues that I do not see that he has to deal with.

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)

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