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  • #31
    Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
    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?
    That is the usual course of events. Talk to a lawyer of course, but if you've infringed your liability is generally the financial loss (damages) the holder has incurred...if its millions it means you've sold a lot of putters. However if sued you will have to defend which is expensive and many unsavory firms use the courts system to bully rather than for justice. You can incorporate for 300 or 400 with a credit card (but it carries an admin burden). Assign the patent to the corp (its only asset) and make away until sued then fold. Again, seek competent advice before acting.

    Many will tell you getting a patent is not worth it based on the logic you won't be able to defend to it. They don't know what they are taking about, at least if the idea is worth it, as the value of a patent isn't to let you become Global Putter Inc, its to lead to a licensing or sale deal if you get enough market share to get noticed by a big player. Without a patent they'll just copy it. With a patent, its adds huge value to them as they are large enough to defend it giving them a monopoly for years left on the patent.

    A cost almost nothing approach is a provisional patent. File it and get to market and see if its going anywhere.

    If you do proceed, you need a patent lawyer or agent (somewhat cheaper) and if sued a patent litigator. They are specialized fields.

    The small inventor took a huge blow with the passing of Leahy Smith in 2012. It kind of converted a patent from a property right to a license through greatly enhanced post granting review. Its really expensive to defend in a review (500,000 one figure I heard) so mean nasty corps abuse the patent system, and invoke a post grant review just to get you on the ropes. Thanks Government, and way to insure big corps (big data lobbied for this and greatly benefits) steam rollers the little guy
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 05-08-2021, 06:27 AM.
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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    • #32
      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 Tell that to Thingiverse They patented many items people posted there.
      Proof on Thingverse that is speculation!!

      I have been through the process have you? Both J.Tiers and I have done it and we speak from experience. The other book I recommend is "Will it Sell" a book that leads you through the process of some simple market research. I would take Georges advice, Incorporate and form a limited liability corp, that I know nothing about, but Incorporating is not a big deal.

      https://www.amazon.com/Determine-Inv...0476551&sr=8-2
      Last edited by wmgeorge; 05-08-2021, 08:39 AM.
      Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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      • #33
        [QUOTE=Mcgyver;n1941953]

        .........
        Many will tell you getting a patent is not worth it based on the logic you won't be able to defend to it. They don't know what they are taking about, at least if the idea is worth it, as the value of a patent isn't to let you become Global Putter Inc, its to lead to a licensing or sale deal if you get enough market share to get noticed by a big player. Without a patent they'll just copy it. With a patent, its adds huge value to them as they are large enough to defend it giving them a monopoly for years left on the patent.
        .............[QUOTE]

        That strategy works sometimes. As you say, it depends on the idea.

        However, your statement that the defense argument folks "don't know what they are talking about" is a curious statement. If it is meant as a "strategy" comment, i.e. that selling the patent is better than using, then OK, sort-of.

        I worked for a roughly hundred million dollar company (sales volume). We had the best patent firm in the area doing our patent work. Their advice was that a patent was good, but could be expensive, and that a copyright actually was better and far easier and cheaper to defend.

        The comment relative to patent expense went two ways. An example is best here: Once, we wanted to use one of two patents (by others) that actually conflicted/overlapped. Both applied to our case, due to the overlap. Our choice was to license, or to infringe, because the patents were actually both technically invalid and "anticipated", yet they were both valid US patents. We did not want to pay two sets of royalty payments. One of the patent holders was an established company, the other an individual inventor. We could have bought the patent from the inventor for what was an almost reasonable amount (he overvalued it to double, approximately, and would not budge).

        The lawyer advised that if we did not want to pay two, that we should only license from the established company... the idea was that the company might try to defend (they were smaller than us by a fair bit) which would cost usmoney, he estimated that we would need 2 million to throw out the patent, and said that our court district was known for never throwing out a patent unless there was pretty much a textbook with all the same drawings, sp invalidating had a 5% chance max. The advice was to ignore the small inventor, because there was no way that he was going to try to defend the patent, he was known to simply not have the money. The comment was that it "would take $50k to 100K on the part of the inventor to get in the game".

        The license amount was not too much, it actually was a bit cheaper than buying the other patent outright at the asking price, and considerably cheaper than attacking the patents.

        The reason that selling is only "sort-of", is the same as the above. In the absence of the established company, we could have (per the lawyer) simply infringed happily, with the knowledge that the inventor could not defend it, and that lack of defense would invalidate it after a certain time (which I do not recall). The other suggestion was that after a bit we could probably buy it cheaply.

        So your chances of selling vs just getting "run over" by an infringer may not be as good as thought. And even if you do end up selling, the purchaser is likely to be one of two companies.... either the one who is infringing, who will buy it cheap, with the threat that they can always just ignore you, or a patent troll firm, who will want it to use to sue others. The trolls also pay only a little, because they use the threat of walking away and leaving you with nothing except being in the hole for the cost of the patent.

        It's a rough world out there in the patent law arena. The idea of selling your patent was OK back 25 years. More companies had actual ethics back then. These days, it is "How do we do this the cheapest way?", and that is usually to run over anyone who is small enough to simply overwhelm with costs.

        Your ONLY advantage is that you can sell to one of their competitors, and then the infringer could be in the soup. And that if the idea goes into the public domain, then all their competitors can use it also.

        That may or may not work, depending on the patent. The time taken for the patent to go public domain is probably enough for the infringers to become established, and competitors would be behind far enough that they are no issue. And the patent may or may not be good enough to interest a competitor, depending on how integral it is to whatever product is involved.

        The other strategy is to simply "invent in order to sell to the trolls". Figure on selling for maybe 2-3x the patent cost to a troll firm assuming someone does infringe.
        Last edited by J Tiers; 05-08-2021, 12:56 PM.
        CNC machines only go through the motions

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        • #34
          Jerry is right. You can spend thousands of dollars to get a Patent, then when someone infringes on it unless you have the $50-100 k to defend it your SOL. Oh you can hire a attorney to write them a nasty letter and tell them to Cease and desist but unless you have the funds.... see SOL above. That is why using a Copyright (if you can) is the smarter thing to do.
          Last edited by wmgeorge; 05-09-2021, 02:24 PM.
          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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          • #35
            To be fair, most small companies will stop infringing and you will be OK. They may decide, during your negotiations, that they should license the patent. If your fee is reasonable, that will work. They do not want to pay lawyers any more than you do.

            It is larger companies with lawyers available who will run over you in many cases.
            CNC machines only go through the motions

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            • #36
              Dan- One of the statements on a patent form is [ what was the prior art ] I found a club head that's similar to yours. Not sure you would be granted on a slite change in the joggle. I do have one and they are costly !! I would go with trade secret route and peruse it on your own. They can take 4 years to get confirmation. I wish you luck.
              Last edited by Fasturn; 05-10-2021, 10:29 PM.

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