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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Need Basic Patent Advice
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David
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Need Basic Patent Advice
« on: Jan 8th, 2004, 9:01pm »
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I have a great idea (at least I think so) and think it may be marketable.  I would like to protect the idea but am not familiar with patent law and the patent process.
 
I have several questions:
 
1. Can you take two existing products (each of which may or may not already be patented), combine them and use them for a different use and get a patent for that new use?
 
2. If so, how do you search to make sure a patent for such new use does not already exist?  I assume this would require a patent attorney?  Any advice on what a patent attorney would nomally charge for such a search?
 
3. If I do need to engage an attorney (or other party) to do the search, how do I protect my idea and disclose it to the attorney at the same time.
 
Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Thanks
 
 
 
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Re: Need Basic Patent Advice
« Reply #1 on: Jan 9th, 2004, 10:51am »
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Hi David,
 
1.  Yes, assuming the combination is new and non-obvious.
 
2.  The same way you search for anything.  I use the search available at the USPTO web stie(www.uspto.gov).  I'm a patent attorney, but I believe that searching is an entirely different skill that analyzing and getting patents, so I don't provide search services.  I use SCI3 in Sunnyvale, CA.  It's a branch of the USPTO library.  They have them all over the country.  The one here charges $120/hour with a 2-hour minimum last time I checked.  They provide very good results.
 
3.  In working with an attorney, your idea is protected by the very strict confidentiality that every attorney owes his/her clients.  If you work with an agent or search firm, they probably have some established confidentiality policy you can ask to see in writing.  If they don't have one, you can request that they sign an NDA.
 
I think that's a good place to start.
 
Regards.
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M. Arthur Auslander
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Re: Need Basic Patent Advice
« Reply #2 on: Jan 13th, 2004, 6:57am »
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Dear David,
 
You can take two existing products combine them and patent the combination.
 
Just getting a patent may be a waste of time, money and worry.
 
That is why we have the Reality Check®. We cannot tell what will be sucessful but we can, even before a patent search, see if what you have is patentable and be able to have a good idea of the scope of protection you might get if you had a patent.
 
Patent applications, even worthless patent application are expensive. We start with the reality of the invention in terms of the inventor's needs even before conducting a patent search.
 
There is a $100M a year scam industry getting patents for inventors. They make the money. Only one in ten thousand get back more than they pay.
 
We cannot guarantee that you are going to make money but we can warn you went it might not even be worth investing in a patent search.
 
 
« Last Edit: Jan 21st, 2004, 7:45am by M. Arthur Auslander » IP Logged

M. Arthur Auslander
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law
3008 Johnson Ave., New York, NY 10463
7185430266, aus@auslander.com
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