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Prototypes, Patents...How to protect your invention..?

 
 
Sofia
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 07:15 pm
OK.

If a person had what they considered to be a pretty good idea for a product that would sell---and they'd drawn a picture of it, and worked out it's function---

But couldn't make a prototype, and didn't want to have the idea stolen, or foist over the bulk of the royalties to a corporation for being able to make it--

What to do?

What is to say that the atty, who you give your information won't steal your idea? How protected can you be in a situation like this?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,951 • Replies: 12
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 07:30 pm
Do any legal brains have an idea of the cost to me for the patent package?

I'm reading some legal advertisements, but wanted to get a little basic info from someone here to compare to what I'm reading.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 07:32 pm
I'm so secretive, I'm finding myself leery of the patent attys...
<yes, she's paranoid>
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 08:09 pm
If a patent attorney stole your idea, he or she could be disciplined pretty severely by the Bar Association. So I wouldn't worry too much in that area.

Why not ask your local Bar Association if they have people they can recommend, and if they have an idea as to general prices?
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 08:13 pm
youll need help to research the uniqueness for your patent. Your lawyer shhould have patent experience and you draft an agreement dated and signed. Its not difficult. The lawyers fees may be negotiated for consideration of royalties. We hhave a few patents in oil field and metal processing. but always had patent attornies on a strict fee basis, no considerations. I dont want to have a potential conflict.
Also get the international patents ,they are more important than US patents . We lost royalties on a piece of oil recovery chemical processes and equipment when we didnt have the International patents. Someone else filed for those and we got screwed. That was our first attempt many years ago, we got wise (and) a new lawyer.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 08:21 pm
Thanks.
I guess the key is finding a good atty.
Thanks for the idea of consideration of royalties and international patents, farmerman.

Thanks, jes.

I live in the middle of nowhere, and will have to rely on someone I don't have any knowledge of--Maybe a lot of web research. I'm just ready to get started, but I'd better slow down and find someone good first.

Still, this information was helpful.

Its always good to bounce things off people who've been there.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 09:28 pm
One thing Ive been told (dont have any personal experience though) stay away from those "invention assistance" companies that advertise on tv because they are pretty much just there to extract your money. A patent attorney is usually on staff of most big companies, So if you know any contacts in industry, you could ask for a meeting with one of their in-housers and try to find out a name of one that they wrok with.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 09:59 pm
Thanks, again!
I have run across a few "invention assistance" companies on the net.

I appreciate the advice.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 10:01 pm
Watch out for the invention assistance guys, many of them are scams designed to make money off of dreamers and not help the dreamers make their dream come true.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 10:08 pm
Yeah.

I think one of the "jobs" of a patent atty is to do a feasability study--to see if it has a market-- The kind of stuff I can't do by myself.

And, to do a profitability study-- Lots of little hurdles...

I'm trying not to get excited. I know I want one-- I think there's a good market... I can't believe I've never seen anything that does this. But, there may be a good reason for that...

Anyhoo, I'm going to look into some of what Farmer said, and try to find an atty...

They also research to see if there's ever been a patent on anything like it-- If so, and they failed, I guess that's my answer.

<guarded enthusiasm>
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2004 07:14 am
All of my father's patents except for the last one all came through the companies he's worked for. It is easier to do it that way, as the company handles feasibility and does the research. He was paid a nominal sum ($1) for each patent but of course his salary, raises, promotions and bonuses were all tied to his being able to crank out inventions.

The last patent is a whole other animal as he got it while freelancing. So he has a patent, sure, but no real way of marketing the idea. I don't know if patent attorneys look into feasibility but of course it's best to check.

My Mom's run out of wall space for his certificates. Sofia, if you like, I can direct you to a website where you can see where his stuff is listed. Just send me a PM.

PS Definitely stay from invention submission companies. Anyone can submit an invention to the US Patent Office; they (the submission companies) are not selling you anything you can't do yourself.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2004 07:49 am
Congratulations for your idea, Sofia!

I second everything Jespah and Farmerman have said about help from lawyers. In addition to that, I'd suggest that you browse some patent databases to see just how new your invention really is. If it isn't, it's better to be disappointed now rather than after you've invested time and money in the patenting.

Here is a page with online patent databases. It will depend on your field which one is best suited for your needs. For what it's worth, at my own employer (multinational, IT/electronics), we have made good experiences with the IBM patent server, and we use it by default.

Sofia wrote:
I think one of the "jobs" of a patent atty is to do a feasability study--to see if it has a market-- The kind of stuff I can't do by myself.

I'm not sure if that's the case in America, but it isn't in Germany. A patent attorney's job is to look if your idea is patentable and write the broadest patent application that won't infringe on other people's patents. Feasibility studies and profitability studies are not the domain of the patent lawyer, as they deal with problems of engineering and marketing, not law.

Good luck!
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2004 08:47 am
Yeap, congrats to your idea, sofia!

As Thomas already said, patent attorneys in Germany (and most Europe) do (perhaps) another job than in the USA.

Some more -perhaps helpful links- HERE
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