Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Patent advice?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by George Bulliss View Post
    If your fear is of getting sued, maybe just limiting your exposure might be enough to make you comfortable with going forward with this. It's easy and cheap to put together a limited liability company in the states and there's probably something similar in Canada. A few second hand machines in a home shop isn't going to look like much of a reward to most lawyers.
    Thanks George, I'll look into that also. Something I've been considering anyway as the garage shop gets busier and busier with cash jobs (one of the reasons the putters have taken a backseat).

    I'm not really sure what the repercussions would be. Getting sued for millions is highly unlikely, but even sued for thousands is more that I'd want to deal with. I doubt it would even come to that, maybe just a cease and desist? I don't know what I don't know here, and prior to a couple months ago I didn't think stuff like this was patentable and protectable like that. Turns out, from a quick glance people file patents for any wacky club idea that pops into their heads even if it would never be marketable of profitable in a million years. I'm just looking to make and try and sell a few putters every few months, with whatever ideas and designs pop into my head without stepping on toes.

    Thought about that too Matt, but for the time being I'd rather hold off just in case. Reminds me of the old tales of songwriters mailing themselves lyrics of their songs just to have the postmark dates for proof.

    Perhaps I'm just reading too much into this.....If I was just planning on selling them locally I would just go for it, but I plan on going the instagram/etsy route to try and reach a larger audience.

    Comment


    • #17
      In most cases, the patent holder does not want to break you, they want you to stop making things covered by their patent. If you have made a lot of them, there might be some sort of demand for a "retroactive royalty" payment. But getting sued for millions is generally not what anyone wants to do.

      The patent trolls might, they are purely in it to extract the maximum possible money from anyone they can. They buy up patents with the idea of searching for anyone they can claim is infringing. Even if the person is NOT infringing, it will cost a lot to prove they are not, and most settle to avoid the cost of "proving they are right". The Patent trolls are usually a firm of lawyers, so it costs them only their time and incidentals to go to court, and they have deep pockets from prior "extractions". You on the other hand, have to hire a lawyer, at several hundred dollars an hour.

      Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
      how about if you're completely open about how you do it and post the process on here - would that count as prior art if someone else tried to patent the same process?
      It would count as "disclosure". Nobody can patent it if it is disclosed before the patent application is submitted
      Last edited by J Tiers; 05-07-2021, 06:01 PM.
      CNC machines only go through the motions

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
        Hello... YES you can go to the patent office yourself and do online searches, and document what you find. If you publish it here, it can not be patented.
        So If I publish it here nobody else could patent it? Even myself? Or could I file at a later date should the idea turn out to be fruitful?

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post

          So If I publish it here nobody else could patent it? Even myself? Or could I file at a later date should the idea turn out to be fruitful?
          Nobody, not you not anyone. Once "disclosed", it is public domain. If shown here, it would actually have international disclosure....."loose lips sink ships".
          CNC machines only go through the motions

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post

            So If I publish it here nobody else could patent it? Even myself? Or could I file at a later date should the idea turn out to be fruitful?
            If you reveal it or publish it, it may not be patented. So much BS by folks who think they know, the book someone referenced here about Patent it Yourself I think the name is, get it and read. Go to the US Patent Office and look for prior art. I spent months off and on before filing my Provisional Patents.

            One source https://www.amazon.com/Patent-Yourse...dp_ob_title_bk
            Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

            Comment


            • #21
              Heck, if you have a limited liability company, you don't even have to have the machines at risk.

              Just have that company RENT them from you. The same for all the other tools and shop space. The company would only own the materials used in the process and some office supplies. Just be real sure to have a rental contract on file and proof of all the payments. I suspect $1 a month or year would be enough.



              Originally posted by George Bulliss View Post
              If your fear is of getting sued, maybe just limiting your exposure might be enough to make you comfortable with going forward with this. It's easy and cheap to put together a limited liability company in the states and there's probably something similar in Canada. A few second hand machines in a home shop isn't going to look like much of a reward to most lawyers.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                Heck, if you have a limited liability company, you don't even have to have the machines at risk.

                Just have that company RENT them from you. The same for all the other tools and shop space. The company would only own the materials used in the process and some office supplies. Just be real sure to have a rental contract on file and proof of all the payments. I suspect $1 a month or year would be enough.
                There is a "legal specialty" which is "penetrating the corporate wall" and finding ways to hold the corporate officers personally liable.

                Plus, not all "corporations" provide a real shield. And some types of incorporation provide virtually no shield at all, they are really a sort of "legal fiction". I had this explained to me years ago by an actual lawyer who did corporate law. I would be unable to explain it properly now, but it only took him about two short paragraphs to make it clear.
                CNC machines only go through the motions

                Comment


                • #23
                  Dan, this is nothing personal, just my experiences in review, and please do not think I am demeaning your idea, as I know nothing about golf or its market

                  I use to have a sideline business making patent models 30 years ago...I am not a patent Attorney nor give legal advice. i would talk to inventors and help them with and by fabricating their "patent model"
                  What is strange Dan , is my first manufactured product was a golf club invented by my Uncle .. and it failed ,,,but that is another story !

                  In dealing with Inventors , the first things I learned is that they as a group feel they have an original idea and will make millions.
                  The truth is you are embarking on a well traveled road and there are sharks out there in the ditches . Before your search--- The very first thing to consider is the market for your product. What will it cost to make, what will it cost to advertise/distribute it and what will someone pay to buy it. the end is the expected profit ! The expected profit determines how far to go in the patent search and whether the work is worth it !
                  Most inventors do not do this !
                  We all remember the most famous patent when a guy (in Minnesota) invented a ratchet that Sears put in their wrenches and violated his patent and he got millions ( as I recall ) , well that is a one in a million shot in my opinion. Anyway back to the task at hand.
                  Doing the market research will tell you how far to go . If you think it's a "million dollar idea" , then be prepared to get financial backers --
                  a whole nuther world ! unless you have $$$
                  The comment about forming a S corporation is a great idea if you worry about being sued.. just make sure the patent has that corporations name on it with you as the inventor. .. If you have a small market , then do not over think the issue ..

                  FYI in all the ideas I made models for and worked with inventors , I did not do my work for money, but signed agreements where I got a portion ( 1-2%)
                  of eventual sales . Only one was for money upfront at the insistence of the inventor , and guess what ?
                  He made many $ and was the most successful of all my contacts and he sold his 25 cent cost product for 10 dollars and was successful.
                  The greatest invention cost me ( 10-20) thousands of dollars of work to build but i thought it was a true winner knowing the industry.
                  The Inventor spent thousands doing patents and it blew the soxes off the competition......BUT he could not produce it without spending 1.5 million on Laboratory tests and fees to change the "industry" specifications... and he was just an ordinary guy. To this very day, his idea is phenomenal but will not work if he intends it to be used for the industry he designed it for... a real shame to me to this day, but part of the battle in knowing your market.

                  Good luck
                  Rich
                  Green Bay, WI

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Poor man's copyright is not really a thing. Steve Lehto did a nice job of talking about it in this video. Of course take it with a grain of salt since he's a lemon law specialist.

                    Thought about that too Matt, but for the time being I'd rather hold off just in case. Reminds me of the old tales of songwriters mailing themselves lyrics of their songs just to have the postmark dates for proof.
                    Does a 'Poor Man's Copyright' Work? LL Ep. 5.296 - YouTube

                    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Thanks for the advice and stories Rich. I definitely don't think this is a million dollar idea, I've been paying attention to the custom milled putter market for almost a year now, and I realistically might be able to generate a couple thousand in sales a year eventually. Would take a while to build a base and marketing for sure. Not looking to get rich off it, just generate a small side income doing small batch production in my garage in my available time. I'm not claiming my idea does anything except look different and utilize a unique manufacturing method I've never seen in a putter before. I just want to make them and not run afoul of anyone else's patent claims, and if there are none then maybe pursue it, but maybe publishing it would satisfy my requirements also. Something to think about.....

                      I'm sure working with that group would provide some interesting stories over the years. I've only ever worked with one inventor, and he was an interesting and brilliant Man, albeit a bit eccentric. I guess that comes with the territory. I reverse engineered and ran a batch of his product after the previous shop wouldn't release his models, and drawings to him. He was in the process of bringing manufacturing in house so that would never happen again.

                      I wouldn't mind pursuing some of that work in the future, but on the other hand I don't seem to be running out of hundred dollar ideas of my own stuff to make anytime soon.

                      Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post

                      If you reveal it or publish it, it may not be patented. So much BS by folks who think they know, the book someone referenced here about Patent it Yourself I think the name is, get it and read. Go to the US Patent Office and look for prior art. I spent months off and on before filing my Provisional Patents.

                      One source https://www.amazon.com/Patent-Yourse...dp_ob_title_bk
                      I just ordered it, and will give it a read when it gets in.

                      I also have been searching the Canadian patent site more today after posting this thread and rekindling the project, and have found 2 similar patents filed by Callaway I hadn't found earlier. I say similar as they both have a similar end result, but we get there via different methods. Not sure if my way is different enough or not. I think it is, but the patent office might not think so.

                      I've literally searched through 100's of patents so far over the last few months on and off and found nothing, and then find those 2 in the first 5 minutes.

                      They were both filed in may of 2001, so....patents expire in 20 years correct?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
                        Hello... YES you can go to the patent office yourself and do online searches, and document what you find. If you publish it here, it can not be patented.
                        I think you need a patent lawyer Publishing on an Internet forum may or may not be enough to block someone else from patenting it.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by elf View Post

                          I think you need a patent lawyer Publishing on an Internet forum may or may not be enough to block someone else from patenting it.
                          When you do talk to a patent lawyer, you will probably find out that disclosing to anyone without an NDA in place is technically sufficient, but that the chance of it being an issue is not large for one or two people..

                          However, "selling, or offering for sale" a product with the feature that you want to patent is enough to mess up patentability. A good description on an internet forum is very much a disclosure that is sufficient to ruin the patentability. You have "told the world" how to do it. That is definitely disclosure, as your attorney will no doubt tell you.
                          CNC machines only go through the motions

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                            When you do talk to a patent lawyer, you will probably find out that disclosing to anyone without an NDA in place is technically sufficient, but that the chance of it being an issue is not large for one or two people..

                            However, "selling, or offering for sale" a product with the feature that you want to patent is enough to mess up patentability. A good description on an internet forum is very much a disclosure that is sufficient to ruin the patentability. You have "told the world" how to do it. That is definitely disclosure, as your attorney will no doubt tell you.
                            Tell that to Thingiverse They patented many items people posted there.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              When it comes to doing searches, the key is often that you have to figure out how others described their inventions. Yours, for instance, may be "a process to apply subtractive machining to the production of mallets used in lawn based sports."

                              I've had success by looking for similar patents and then looking at the patents that THEY mention. If a putter is often referred to as a "short range golf club", then search for that term. Apply that technique to any term that you see coming up on patents about putters.

                              If I remember properly, you are only concerned with two classes of patents. Those that have expired mean that you are free to use their ideas. There are companies that have people searching every day for patents that recently expired so that they can produce and market the idea. Those patents that have not expired are the tricky ones. You have to ensure that your idea does not impinge, but you can make improvements that make yours patentable again.

                              Dan
                              At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                              Location: SF East Bay.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                so do you need permission from kobe if you use scifer?

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X