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/diy/ - Do-It-Yourself - Getting a Patent

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Getting a Patent Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)04:40 UTC+1 No.641923 Report

I am trying to patent an idea. I already have a working model, have tested it and I feel very confident that I could sell it to a company. Only problem is I can't really afford to pay a patent attorney 5k or whatever to get it patented. I know you can do it yourself but the US patent web site seems like a super pain in the ass. Anybody have experience with getting a patent and how to navigate the obtuse website. I can't find any direct links to where you actually fill in forms or anything. Is saving my pennies for an attorney really going to be worth it in the long run?
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)05:16 UTC+1 No.641935 Report

>>641923
If you can't afford a patent attorney, can you afford to defent your patent?
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)05:42 UTC+1 No.641944 Report

Well if the patent is accepted is there any reason I would need to defend it? If somebody steals it and makes it it would be a cut and dry case, I woulndn't even need an attorney
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)05:51 UTC+1 No.641946 Report

>>641944
there are cases where people have submitted patents, the patent application is seen and before the paperwork is done, a large company issues three patents covering different aspects of your patent and its processed faster. you need to establish prior art too. a guy patented touch screen interfaces and had made installations for zoos and various places like 2 decades ago. apple comes out with the ipad, he sues apple, the patent courts say because he never took his idea mainstream, the patent is void and all the smartphone manufacturers dont have to pay a dime.

so basically, dont bother trying to patent anything unless you have a billion dollar manufacturing firm already producing the product.
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)05:58 UTC+1 No.641951 Report

Hi OP, patentologist here.

You *can* do it yourself, but you probably should not. Patents have been described as the most difficult legal document to write. There are all sorts of traps that the inexperienced can fall into just in the specification (the long, rambling explanation), and the claims in particular (which define your legally enforceable rights) have their own unique pitfalls. Every word needs to be chosen with care, and in the claims you want to use as few as possible because every single word you use is a limit on what you claim.

There is one patent that is somewhat famous in patent attorney/agent circles. The inventor wrote it. It was groundbreaking technology at the time, and he did a great job of explaining every last fucking detail. In the claims. So, if you make a supercapacitor that follows exactly every single fucking one of the 26 steps that he explains in great detail and precision, then you infringe. If you change, say, a temperature range to 490 deg. C instead of 500 deg. C, you don't infringe. You've got literally hundreds of parameters in the 26 major elements that you can vary, and not infringe. Great job by the inventor, anyone can use his work and never pay him a dime.

As far as needing to defend it, of course you'll have to -- if it's worth anything, anyway. Because the government isn't going to enforce it, and if you think you're going to just send a letter and get money, you're in for a shock.

All of this talk about "patent trolls" misses the key point that they are often the ones who defend patents written by people like you. They buy them from you, then they enforce them. Because you don't have the million or two dollars to run a patent infringement case, and major companies know that and aren't going to worry about infringing your patent.
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)06:03 UTC+1 No.641954 Report

>>641951
lawsuits esp in US land can cost 300million. your shitty country bankrupted our best ISP with court costs over trying to get them to police filesharing.

http://delimiter.com.au/2011/08/30/wikileaks-cable-outs-secret-iitrial-background/
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)06:04 UTC+1 No.641955 Report

>>641946
>>641951
'murrica
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)06:15 UTC+1 No.641966 Report

>>641923
also, dont forget, an american patent is worthless. you need to submit your patent to the US, PRC, german, indian, pretty much every major manufacturing country. there's no such thing as an international patent and you'll need to defend that patent in each country individually.
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)06:33 UTC+1 No.641975 Report

>>641966
Not true. There are many ways of looking at patents, One is as a business tool. As such, it allows you to raise the price of a desirable product in proportion to its benefit, as opposed to its commodity-priced cost of production.

You don't need to bother with India for such a use, because nobody in India can afford to buy your high quality product anyway. You patent in your target market countries and accept that the money you make in them more than covers the cost of obtaining a patent.
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)06:34 UTC+1 No.641976 Report

So basically I need to hire someone to do this for me and hope they aren't a shitty patent lawyer? Will they defend the patents that they write as part of your fee?
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)06:36 UTC+1 No.641978 Report

>>641954
>lawsuits esp in US land can cost 300million. your shitty country bankrupted our best ISP with court costs over trying to get them to police filesharing.
Well fuck you and your pirate haven ISP then. :-)

Also, nothing you wrote has anything to do with patents, or court COSTS (as opposed to DAMAGES from losing).
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)07:12 UTC+1 No.641989 Report

>>641976
>Will they defend the patents that they write as part of your fee?
Of course not.
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)07:35 UTC+1 No.641991 Report

>>641923
Patent or not, the chinese will still make a cheap copy of it,
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)11:01 UTC+1 No.642053 Report

I have done this. NOLO has an excellent guide with all the forms. I wrote it myself and hired a patent attorney to review and critique it. That cut the costs significantly. The process takes years. Be ready for an ignorant and lazy Patent Examiner to reject your first try out of hand hoping you will just give up and go away.
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)11:14 UTC+1 No.642057 Report

>>641978
they won, but damages paid by the MPAA only covered two thirds of the costs. they never recovered from the 100 million dollar hit and got bought out.
it's intellectual property related. big companies win even if they lose.
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Anonymous 05/23/14(Fri)14:14 UTC+1 No.642101 Report

>>641923
>Is saving my pennies for an attorney really going to be worth it in the long run?

No.

I can tell you from experience that patenting is really for the big league companies that can throw money at anything. Often times, you'll get your patent and then go around to companies to sell the idea. They will all tell you "no, fuck off" and if it is a good idea they will have their own R&D people make it based off yours. Since they know patent law inside and out they will make their design just different enough to circumvent your patents. They make millions while you lose money on the original patent costs. Another trick is to wait until you patent runs out and fast track theirs and basically scoop up yours in a way that makes it fucking useless.

It is better to have your own company to register the patent under instead of as an individual. That's the number one thing that really helps every process.
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Anonymous 05/24/14(Sat)12:55 UTC+1 No.642567 Report

>>642101
My company tried to license a patent last year from some random individual inventor who approached us by emailing a YouTube video of what he was working on. We were offering him $600,000 up front plus royalties. He went with someone else.
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Anonymous 05/24/14(Sat)13:22 UTC+1 No.642574 Report

>>642567
Sounds like total bullsit, but I'll bite: what was it?
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Anonymous 05/26/14(Mon)21:37 UTC+1 No.643739 Report

>>641991
This. You already lost the battle.
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Anonymous 05/27/14(Tue)19:29 UTC+1 No.644204 Report

>>641951
Intellectual property in this county is so fucking abused at this point in time, for our country (US), that it just needs to be scrapped and built from scratch.

It's possibly even worse than our tax code.
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Anonymous 05/27/14(Tue)19:31 UTC+1 No.644205 Report

>>644204
>It's possibly even worse than our tax code.
hell yeah it's worse. the tax code successfully raises money every year and our IP system only debatably does anything positive.
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Anonymous 05/28/14(Wed)05:51 UTC+1 No.644451 Report

>>642574
>Sounds like total bullsit
No, it's not.

It was an EE thing. As we're one of only three companies that has such a product on the market now, I don't want to go into specifics.

Not being able to license his work cost us six months of time. It's debatable whether it would have been worth it or not, but upper management thinks it would have been, if only to keep out the place that licensed it from him. If you play with economics and pricing models, two producers is a much, much stronger position than three.
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Anonymous 05/28/14(Wed)05:54 UTC+1 No.644452 Report

>>644204
It really isn't, that's just what Apple and Microsoft want you to believe. Because if IP is weakened (and it's being badly weakened with all the "reform" bills that Obama is ramming through), they have the money and engineers and lawyers with which to destroy the competition.

If he keeps succeeding, we'll end up in a situation like Europe's, where there is no longer any way for individuals to compete, and it all becomes "industrial property" instead of "intellectual property".
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Anonymous 05/28/14(Wed)15:28 UTC+1 No.644571 Report

Yeah, patents suck! Take a look at US 7.637,791 and US 6,022,249. With those, Hobie Cat managed to block people from using a trivial idea that came from observing fish for the last 17 years!

No, wait, I mean: having read those two patents, I can now build such a drive system for my own kayak. Without them, I barely would have known how to get started, and even then only if I happened to see someone using one of their boats and then could stop the person, get them to take the boat out of the water, taken the mechanism apart . . . yeah, some random stranger is really going to allow that.

Patents suck!

BTW, the first one will expire in about three years, after which anyone can make and sell the propulsion system. How dare they exploit us in the meantime! It's not like that took any work!!!
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