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How do you know if you can write a patent on something you built

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alphacat

New Member
There's a nice product which the company i work at has built.
I'm interested knowing whether we're able to write a patent on it.

Where do i start?
I dont want to approach a patent writer and ask him whether i can write a patent on my device, since he could claim the rights for it.

I'd appreciate any help.

Thanks :)
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Getting a patent takes money and time.
Being a patent lawyer brings in good cash flow for very little work because they get paid whether the patent works or not.
So why bother stealing something that would create more work for yourself and possibly never amount to any thing worth the effort involved.

If its a very application specific item or device that has little to no practical us or application outside of what it is your doing with it right now I wouldn't bother with it. You could easily spend a great deal of time and money just to have the right to say some basic thing that no one else cares about is yours. Or even worse just have claim to one more item that does the same function as countless other items that serve the same purpose.

You can patent almost anything you want. whether its worth it is a whole different issue. :(

I met a guy years ago who was pursuing a patent on some device that did a simple thing that I knew a considerable amount about from a field that he was not familiar with but I was. He had already spent a great deal of time and money up to that point as well.
He thought he had the world in a corner and would make millions off of his idea. He vaguely described what his device did and I promptly described every detail of how it worked and what it did plus a few added thoughts on possible improvements that could be done to it. :D
What was his great and amazing discovery in one field of application was as common and ordinary as a door knob in another and had countless mass produced variations of it all ready on the shelf too! :(
He didn't talk to me much after that. ;)
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
A patent layer will also do a search for prior art.

Remember a patent can be local >$10K or international >$100K you'll need deep pockets plus the Chinese can/will copy it and good luck suing them.

PS a corporation can keep you tied up in court till you beg them to take your patent and leave you alone and broke.
 

alphacat

New Member
I got you, thanks.

The thing is that I dont know how to define something that has patentability.
If i dont know what patentability means then i dont know how to search for such things in my product (which performs many processes).

any tips on that?
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
Get a patent lawyer. Really.

You can also try searching for prior art (something similar) which will make it un-patentable. Did you read the .pdf I posted in #2? Do you understand it? Do you want a patent just for France or worldwide?

Also be prepared to spend $5K US on just the lawyer.
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
I met a guy years ago who was pursuing a patent on some device that did a simple thing that I knew a considerable amount about from a field that he was not familiar with but I was. He had already spent a great deal of time and money up to that point as well.
He thought he had the world in a corner and would make millions off of his idea. He vaguely described what his device did and I promptly described every detail of how it worked and what it did plus a few added thoughts on possible improvements that could be done to it. :D
What was his great and amazing discovery in one field of application was as common and ordinary as a door knob in another and had countless mass produced variations of it all ready on the shelf too! :(
He didn't talk to me much after that. ;)

Seen this countless times, Alplacat try to describe your idea without giving it away I bet I can find plenty of similar devices (assuming it's a worthwhile patent)
 

smanches

New Member
Lawyers won't even touch patent infringement cases unless there are millions of dollars involved as well. My dad's company has some patents that are blatently being copies by competitors (the competitors have even admitted to it and said "get a lawyer") and no lawyers will touch it since the product only brings in a couple 100k a year in revenue.

Patents are only useful if you have a LOT of money. They do not protect you at all otherwise.
 

psecody

Member
You could do like magicians do when they invent tricks, video tape the trick and method (or in your case put the design and details, description, blah blah) in an envelope and mail it to yourself. That way you have a way to prove that you had that idea and its dated so there's no denying when you came up with it.
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
There's a nice product which the company i work at has built.
I'm interested knowing whether we're able to write a patent on it.

If you have to ask, you should not bother.
 
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Vizier87

Active Member
How about university research, eh? Shouldn't it mean when a paper is published, anyone who read it, and built the gizmos accordingly should have to give some royalty to the author?
just asking.. I built something I think worth patenting for my final year project.. But I don't have the foggiest idea of how the system works in university research.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Unfortunately from what I have ever heard and read about universities and colleges are about the last place you want to try and do patentable or royalties claimable research if you want any possible recognition or reward for it.
They have fine print all over every document related to you being a student there that basically says what you did is their property since they taught you how to learn to do it.

You may be best off to nose dive your own work and then rebuild it after your clear of the university for a few years if its possibly worth that much.
 

Vizier87

Active Member
Unfortunately from what I have ever heard and read about universities and colleges are about the last place you want to try and do patentable or royalties claimable research if you want any possible recognition or reward for it.
They have fine print all over every document related to you being a student there that basically says what you did is their property since they taught you how to learn to do it.

You may be best off to nose dive your own work and then rebuild it after your clear of the university for a few years if its possibly worth that much.

Damn. No wonder when I saw a project my friend did went up an expo, only to end up him being the 'project member' with his supervisor's photo in the poster. I mean, that kid poured blood, sweat, tears and poop to complete his gizmo.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Theres a reason that when you graduate from a college your professors sit up on the stage where everyone can see them any you sit in the front rows of the audience then walk up get your diploma and then walk back down to never be seen again. :(

The whole experience of college is to let you know there is someone else who thinks there greater than you and that all of your efforts you put forth where to make sure that they continued to be seen by everyone else as being greater than you. :(

And welcome to the world of business. At least here you get paid for working to have someone try and steal your ideas! :rolleyes:
 

spoil9

New Member
If I'm not mistaken, aren't patents on product ideas are only good for so many years, then it's fair game?
 

Vizier87

Active Member
Theres a reason that when you graduate from a college your professors sit up on the stage where everyone can see them any you sit in the front rows of the audience then walk up get your diploma and then walk back down to never be seen again. :(

Touche, tcm.
I'll graduate next May as an EE student, and my thesis project (hopefully) will be displayed. Hope that my projects will be in store for a better appreciation. Screw those upper management guys big time. :p
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Yep, but as has been stated, making a patent is just about useless because unless the damages are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars minimum even if you win you'll never recoup your legal costs unless the damage are that high. You're better off hiding under trade secret laws if it's code, but that can be reverse engineered pretty easily now days.
 

Vizier87

Active Member
Yep, but as has been stated, making a patent is just about useless because unless the damages are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars minimum even if you win you'll never recoup your legal costs unless the damage are that high. You're better off hiding under trade secret laws if it's code, but that can be reverse engineered pretty easily now days.

Oh.. that sucks. I guess for the self employed 'scientists' are better off sitting in their garage tinkering with their protos then. Like me. :(
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Nahh, nothing wrong with trying to make a buck, but it's only generally useful to hide behind trade secret law unless you've already done all the buisness work to find out if your patent is worth applying for in the first place. Even if you don't apply for a patent though getting similar documentation notarized is a good idea in case someone else tries to patent your idea at a later date, with a notarized schematic/block diagram can get you out of a lot of pinches.
 
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