Invention Information

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 10:06 AM GMT
    Hey guys! I was just trying to find out if there was a simpler and cheap way to get an invention patented, instead of hiring a patent attorney which costs thousands of $$$. As a Canadian, I know that it would be better for me to patent my idea in the USA first as the market is 10x larger than Canada and would be safer, security wise.

    I've already searched the American Patent Office's database, but am basically wondering if I have to send in a detailed explanation of my idea, or do I need diagrams (the details would describe the invention without diagrams). I assume I have to include a fee with my application.

    I would think that if I directly contacted them, they would advise me to hire an attorney as I am out of country, so posting this question here, I'm looking for advice from anyone who has had dealing(s) with said patent office.


    Thanks!
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Nov 08, 2010 3:01 PM GMT
    Go here: www.freepatentsonline.com

    Set up an account. It's free.

    Then find the link US Applications. Review that.

    You need to soend a great deal of time looking at existing patetns and how the documents are composed. Securing a patent greatly depends on how this doucmentation is constructed. One cannot simply imply the patent covers a braod range of similar processes or devices. Patents are incredibly easy to challenge in court because they are so poorly written.

    The Patent Office will push the intial documents back to you id they see something obvious, but they are not in the business of helping you write your patent.

    Oddly, there are many patentable items we do not patent. They are simply hidden in a separate process decoupled from the normal 'flow'.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    Well, it's not helping your actual question very much, but I think that what counts is to get the submission formatted correctly. The content is almost immaterial.

    All kinds of patents are granted that have no merit. The examiners are clueless kids who don't understand what they're reading and know nothing about "prior art." If one ever tries to enforce a patent, it comes down to a matter of whether it's cheaper to pay the license fee or the lawyers fee to challenge it.

    I went through the maze once. For some reason, the university decided to patent my dissertation. It wasn't something that really ought to have been patentable. They paid some lawyer to re-write it - basically he cut & pasted a few sections over and over again behind the phrase "a process in which..." Somehow generating 27 separate claims that differed by one or two words each. As expected, the examiner rejected the thing. But... he rejected it for the wrong reasons. It was clear that the guy knew nothing about the field at all, and his objections were incorrect. We wrote a letter pointing out the flaws in the objections and resubmitted (plus more lawyer fees). The process was reiterated a couple of times. Eventually, the patents were approved.

    They made a little bit of money on royalties. I doubt it was enough to cover the legal costs. My cut (which came 10 - 15 years later) was enough to buy a big-screen TV and cover the property taxes a couple of times.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 4:35 PM GMT
    I have a friend who is going through this now. You need to have both a detailed explanation of your product and detailed diagrams. He tried starting the process himself, but found it to be too complicated and hired an attorney. He was able to write his own documents and diagrams which saved him some money. For something as important as a patent, I would hire an attorney and make sure everything is done right and you do not miss anything.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Nov 08, 2010 5:54 PM GMT
    Unfortunately, I have nothing to offer the OP with advice on his issue.

    But on a tangent, my 5th great uncle designed the original US Patent Office. I just had to share that.

    Old_Patent_Office_Bldg_Washington_DC_184
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 6:18 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]coolarmydude said[/cite]Unfortunately, I have nothing to offer the OP with advice on his issue.

    I'm supprised. You usually have an opinion on everything. I enjoy reading them.icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 6:22 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidUnfortunately, I have nothing to offer the OP with advice on his issue.

    But on a tangent, my 5th great uncle designed the original US Patent Office. I just had to share that.

    Old_Patent_Office_Bldg_Washington_DC_184



    I love that picture btw. Always been a huge fan of antique photos, they're just so damn.. interesting.

    Like look at these houses, the resemblance with 19th century northern european architecture is striking. If you would have told me this picture was taken in a city in Denmark, Netherlands, Norway or so, I would have believed it too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 6:37 PM GMT
    wade_in_BC saidHey guys! I was just trying to find out if there was a simpler and cheap way to get an invention patented, instead of hiring a patent attorney which costs thousands of $$$. As a Canadian, I know that it would be better for me to patent my idea in the USA first as the market is 10x larger than Canada and would be safer, security wise.

    I've already searched the American Patent Office's database, but am basically wondering if I have to send in a detailed explanation of my idea, or do I need diagrams (the details would describe the invention without diagrams). I assume I have to include a fee with my application.

    I would think that if I directly contacted them, they would advise me to hire an attorney as I am out of country, so posting this question here, I'm looking for advice from anyone who has had dealing(s) with said patent office.


    Thanks!


    After constructing and testing a number of prototypes over a few years, I filed a patent application for my invention in 2003. At the time, I had no experience in drafting an application and so I depended heavily on the US Patent Office guide/requirements, combined with searches and reviews of existing patents (especially those that might contain similar prior art). In addition to drafting the text of the application, I bought a set of drafting pens and created the supporting figures (total of 30). I was fortunate to have a friend who holds a healthy number of patents and he volunteered to read my application and make some suggestions--especially in the Claims section.
    The whole process from the time I started the review to submission of the Non-Provisional application took about 3 months of time and cost around $1000. Most of the cost was associated with US Patent Office fees. The present cost would likely be different as many of the fees have changed since then.

    The patent was granted in December, 2006.

    So...it's certainly possible to generate a successful US Patent application without any training in the field and at a modest cost. But since there's been no contesting of the patent to date, it remains to be seen how worthwhile it might be in practice.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 8:10 PM GMT
    The important things to remember are that:

    (i) Filing a patent stops someone else using your idea *only* if you are able to defend it.

    (ii) Patent lawyers---as detestable as they are---cost a lot of money because they are experts in drafting patents that are as general as they might be [preventing slight modifications] and as robust as that can be [so they are not overturned].

    Good luck with it, though! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Karnage

    Posts: 704

    Nov 08, 2010 8:25 PM GMT
    Also, remember that in the US, you have to file for a patent less than one year after it has been first announced. This includes lectures, websites, basically anything documentable. Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 10:11 PM GMT
    Can;t speak directly to the Patent Office process, but I worked forever at the Library of Congress which is the home of the Copyright Office, and I would encourage you to contact the Patent Office with your questions. You may get an asshole, but I strongly feel you will get someone who will try to help you as much as possible.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 10:18 PM GMT
    It will be difficult to do the whole process on your own. Afterward, I assume you will want to sell it to an interested party (another challenge), or else defend it from others' use, as someone else mentioned.

    I submitted one in 2004 through my company, and it took 4 & 1/2 years for them to finally approve it completely.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:27 PM GMT
    Thank You Guys! There's a lot of great info here (plus the pic is cool too)! It looks like quite a process, and I don't know if it helps or not, but I've already started on the "prototype", so when I get that perfected, most of the details and such should fall into place. I know that sounds weird, like putting the buggy before the horse, but I'm more of a hands on type of person.

    I was also wondering if copyright laws are more secure(stronger) than patent laws, as when someone copyrights something, they have the "intellectual property" thing going for their idea/song/design etc. But that's another problem for a different day. lol (I'm just wondering out loud on this part)

    It would be so much easier if life was like: "Here's my idea, here's how I came up with it, now don't screw me over!"