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Has any one had sucess filing for their own patent

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  • Has any one had sucess filing for their own patent

    We have a couple new products and feel they might have enough volume to justify a patent. Does anyone have experience applying on their own or should this be done by an attorney?

  • #2
    I have not personally filed for a patent but unless you have a pile of money to go after those that will infringe it really serves no purpose. I have been involved in development of many products in the end it's those that run faster than the competitors and have a pipeline of new and improved products that win the race, otherwise it's lost before it starts.

    Robert

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    • #3
      Originally posted by squirrel
      Does anyone have experience applying on their own or should this be done by an attorney?
      I intend to file without an attorney sometime in the next year, so will be greatly interested in any responses to this.

      I'd also like to know how to find a good patent attorney. Is there a website with feedback?
      Allan Ostling

      Phoenix, Arizona

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      • #4
        I think it's just like traffic court, you get served faster and with more respect if you are represented by council. I wonder how many, if any, of the patent applications that the patent guy stuffed up in the dropped ceiling years ago were represented by council who would be expected to follow up on it and know what to expect?

        I've developed a new style of underwear...... alright, I've developed a new underwear with factory made skidmarks. I will use an attorney in my quest for a chunk of the American pie.
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

        It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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        • #5
          I am not a lawyer.
          I have no patents.
          I have friends and relations who have patents.
          I have been involved with companies who have patents.
          I have been involved with companies who have fought unjust patents.

          Here's the deal:
          If you pay enough to lawyers you can patent green orange juice.
          If you can 'wiggle' some room you can work around an existing patent.
          If you develop something really innovative but don't patent it you will lose the right to make it if someone else patents it.

          So:
          Unless you have something REALLY new and innovative such as a gravity shield, or a time machine, then don't bother unless you are in the game to screw other people and make money that way. It works great if you know how.
          Mike

          My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

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          • #6
            I spent $10,000 and had to correct the patent attorney's spelling mistakes. Was not successful. One day maybe. I am getting older and have been saying it for a while though.

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            • #7
              I used an attorney and it's the only way I could have gotten there in '83. I have a friend who has used an attorney but then learned enough about the process and the language and description required to file his own.

              There's also a book titled "Patent It Yourself" by patent attorney David Pressman that has everything you need to know to pursue the process. It's not a trivial exercise, but it you're methodical and persistent (as we know machinists are) you can do it. I filed a provisional patent application a couple of years ago (with the help of the friend and the book).
              .
              "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MotorradMike
                I am not a lawyer.
                I have no patents.
                I have friends and relations who have patents.
                I have been involved with companies who have patents.
                I have been involved with companies who have fought unjust patents.

                Here's the deal:
                If you pay enough to lawyers you can patent green orange juice.
                If you can 'wiggle' some room you can work around an existing patent.
                If you develop something really innovative but don't patent it you will lose the right to make it if someone else patents it.

                So:
                Unless you have something REALLY new and innovative such as a gravity shield, or a time machine, then don't bother unless you are in the game to screw other people and make money that way. It works great if you know how.
                And even if you have something as innovative as a "gravity shield" or a "time machine", the moment you patent you've as good as given it away. Patents are generally not really defensible if someone else really wants to profit off your idea and has more money for attorneys than you.

                Last week I saw another invention similar to an idea I came up with back in the mid 80s. I've sat on several ideas for years, because even though prototypes can be created, there really is no reliable way for the little guy to protect himself, considering how incompetent and crooked the judicial system is in this country. The rich just use the system to stay richer or get richer.

                Darren Harris
                Staten Island, New York.

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                • #9
                  I've got 3 US patents with a 4th pending, and I'm preparing a fifth. First was done through my prior employer (they're the assignee). I did nothing other than be interviewed by the patent attorney and review the submissions. I bet it was very expensive.

                  2nd & 3rd through my company (I own the company), so money was an object. I used a local patent attorney, though I did the majority of the work for the filings myself. The attorney was very helpful in dealing with the patent office, helping with the patent jargon, etc. Both patents took two or three go-rounds with the patent office. You submit, they reject, you resubmit, etc. I think each was $15k or so for total costs, which I have been told is very cheap. It's not yet clear if they're worth it.

                  4th is a joint with one of my customers. Again, I was interviewed by their patent attorney and I reviewed the submission, and I have written a lot of notes for the attorney. This one is on the 3rd or 4th resubmission - it's complex. Again, I bet this cost them a lot of money.

                  I have seen the "Patent your idea for $99" ads on TV. They're nuts.

                  Re: Motorradmike's comment that someone else can patent your idea and lock you out, that is true, sort of, unless you release your idea to public domain in some manner. It then becomes "prior art", even if it is not patented. There's an entire indistry devoted to getting around patents, too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Pattens are generally worthless to an individual.

                    I think that Robert called it right. Ten years or so ago I did some work for a guy that was an electrical engineer and an attorney. He basically had his own small company that subcontracted patten investigation for a large Houston based law firm specializing in Patten Law. He basically said that if you didn't have at least ten million dollars to spend defending a patten that it was worthless. I went to college with a guy that was on the team that pattened the ball typewriter for IBM. They were fairly generous in their compensation to all the members of that team. He is the only one that I have personally known that benefitted from having a patten. I think that it is a good ego boost and it looks good on the Resume but otherwise it is probably not worth the effort.
                    Byron Boucher
                    Burnet, TX

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Patent Bulloney

                      I designed and built some devices. One a transport truck safety device and the good one a well drilling tool. NOW basically after some hard work and replies like wow it saved us around 10 large a well it was a waste of my time. Basuically people will **** you whenever they can and thats it>>> Nothing to add. No im NOT Bitter Im just sick of stupid people who think they are smarter than I am. (which doesnt amount to much i must add LOL) BUT makes you more wary in the future for sure. basically having a patent is a waste of money because nanyone can copy youre idea and change it am iota and there you go.. he has reason for a new patent??? Waste youre money if you wish

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MotorradMike
                        If you develop something really innovative but don't patent it you will lose the right to make it if someone else patents it.
                        Mike
                        You are correct on all points except this one.
                        Once an idea has been shown to the public it is now considered "public knowledge" and can no longer be patented.

                        Basically a patent is a pretty document that you can hang on your wall and empress your less enlighten friends. It is like locking the doors on a convertible, it will stop people who would never think of breaking-in in the first place from breaking in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TGTool
                          I used an attorney and it's the only way I could have gotten there in '83. I have a friend who has used an attorney but then learned enough about the process and the language and description required to file his own.

                          There's also a book titled "Patent It Yourself" by patent attorney David Pressman that has everything you need to know to pursue the process. It's not a trivial exercise, but it you're methodical and persistent (as we know machinists are) you can do it. I filed a provisional patent application a couple of years ago (with the help of the friend and the book).
                          I've filed a couple of provisional patents, not a big deal. I have the same book, its for sale if someone is interested.
                          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Part of thr mandate of the USPTO is to not only allow you to file without legal representation but to actively assist you when filing. There are some interesting programs and incentives to file without an attorney.

                            Programs and Policies for Independent Inventors and Small Businesses
                            Inventors who qualify as a small entity (e.g., independent inventor, a small business, or a nonprofit organization) are eligible for a 50 percent reduction in the USPTO’s filing, issue and maintenance fees. That translates into a savings of thousands of dollars when compared to what large corporations pay.

                            The USPTO Inventors Assistance Program that is specifically geared to small inventors and entrepreneurs by:

                            Creating and posting computer training modules on the USPTO Web site.
                            Posting podcasts on the iTunes system. The computer-based training module, "Concept to Protection," has proven to be very popular.
                            Webcasting presentations to university business and entrepreneurship classes
                            Receiving and responding to inventor questions via a dedicated mailbox: [email protected]
                            Staffing a dedicated toll-free number for independent inventor inquiries (1-800-786-9199)
                            Maintaining an Inventors Resource page within the USPTO Web site
                            Hosting education conferences. For example, the 14th Annual Independent Inventors conference will be held at the USPTO campus November 5-6, 2009, and will bring hundreds of inventors together with private- and public-sector experts in intellectual property and entrepreneurship.
                            The USPTO publishes a notice in its Official Gazette that a patent is available for licensing or sale. There is a modest fee (currently $25) for this service, which provides great visibility for independent inventors.

                            The USPTO also maintains a Trademark Assistance Center for help on trademark matters and, in particular, in understanding the trademark searching, prosecution and maintenance processes. This information is also available on our website and the Trademark database through which small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) can search for potentially conflicting federally-registered marks and pending applications.

                            The USPTO manages a hotline (1-866-999-HALT) under the Strategy for Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP) initiative to protect their intellectual property rights in the US and abroad. This hotline is managed by attorneys with in-depth expertise in the protection and enforcement of the full range of IPR within the US and throughout the world. .

                            The USPTO also offers the following free programs to independent inventors:

                            o Intellectual Property Awareness Campaign (IPAC) "IP Basics" programs, offered nationwide since 2005 to more than 1,000 SME’s. These events include presentations on how to protect and enforce patents, trade secrets, trademarks, domain names, and copyrights domestically and internationally.

                            o USPTO China "Roadshows" offered to businesses throughout the US, most of which are SME’s that lack resources and expertise available to larger corporations.

                            o Web-based seminars on a full range of intellectual property topics that are tailored to the IP issues most critical to small businesses and independent inventors.

                            The USPTO, in cooperation with the Small Business Administration, provides a 1-1/2 hour Web-based "SME IP Training Tutorial" through the STOPFakes.gov Website. This provides a comprehensive overview of intellectual property including patents, trade secrets, trademarks, domain names and copyrights.

                            The USPTO has a network of Patent Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDL), which are a rich local resource for small businesses, research and development firms, university and governmental laboratories, and independent inventors and entrepreneurs. Services at the libraries are free, and include assistance in accessing and using patent and trademark documents, training on USPTO databases, obtaining access to the USPTO Web site, and hosting public seminars on intellectual property topics for novice and experienced innovators. There are 82 PTDL libraries in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

                            The Obama Administration recently announced a "one-stop shop" initiative to streamline government bureaucracy and bring services directly to the businesses and entrepreneurs. The new initiative, announced by Secretary Locke in June, integrates departmental programs that can assist businesses at nearly every point of their life cycle. Commerce's varied agencies--including USPTO--support this initiative.

                            On October 22, Director Kappos held the first in a series of roundtable discussions with independent inventors to hear their thoughts and concerns and discuss how the USPTO can be helpful to them.

                            Other USPTO Programs with Benefits for Inventors and Small Businesses

                            The USPTO has several patent programs that hold benefits for inventors and small business. These programs help accelerate patent prosecution so that the applicant finds out more quickly whether a patent will be granted, thus speeding opportunities for potential investment and/or bringing products to market.

                            o Accelerated Examination: Guarantees a final action within one year. The Accelerated Examination procedure is designed to give applicants quality patents in less time. In exchange for quick examination, patent examiners will receive more focused and detailed information about the invention and the closest prior art from the applicants. This increased disclosure upfront by applicants will help examiners more quickly make the correct decision about whether a claimed invention deserves a patent.

                            o First Action Interview Pilot: An applicant is entitled to an interview with the patent examiner prior to the first office action on the merits in a new utility application. The program has shown that the patent process benefits when interaction between the applicant and the examiner is enhanced at the beginning of examination because patentability issues can be resolved early when the applicant and the examiner discuss them one-on-one. For the applications involved in the initial pilot, the First-Action Allowance rate increased six-fold when compared to applications from the same technology area not involved in the pilot.

                            o Pilot Program to Accelerate the Patent Process for Small Entity Inventors: A pilot program by which an applicant may have an application accorded special status for examination: namely, if the applicant expressly abandons another co-pending unexamined application. This program will allow applicants having multiple applications currently pending before the USPTO to have greater control over the priority with which their applications are examined while also stimulating a reduction of the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. The pilot will begin as a program for small entities, with expansion to other planned for a future date.

                            o EFS Legal Notice: This change in procedure allows contractors rather than employees to submit the patent application documents via the EFS-Web electronic system. Since small entities are more likely to benefit from contract support (as they can't dedicate a staff resource to it), this will be particularly helpful to inventors and small entities.
                            http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/independent/index.jsp
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                            • #15
                              Once an idea has been shown to the public it is now considered "public knowledge" and can no longer be patented.
                              Not quite. You have 1 year to file for a patent in the US after it has been disclosed to anyone, private or public. That doesn't count employees. The disclosure must be published, not just spoken. Private letters, forum postings, slide shows and any other method of creating a hard record of the disclosure all count as "publishing".
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