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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Extremely Simple Invention Poses Complex Problems.
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   Author  Topic: Extremely Simple Invention Poses Complex Problems.  (Read 846 times)
chairleg
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Extremely Simple Invention Poses Complex Problems.
« on: Oct 2nd, 2004, 8:45am »
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Extremely Simple Invention Poses Complex Problems.
 
I have invented a device which technologically speaking is as simple as a water butt.
 
It is aimed at a niche market which I know very well and am confident that nothing
like it currently exists.
 
I have made a UK Patent Application and will soon be filing my Claims.
 
I have approached a couple of the largest manufacturers in the field who have declined
my new product proposal. Although they thought it an excellent device they didn't want to
take something on that did not have a proven track record. (Typical). Why oh why do they
keep saying that they are looking for new innovations?
 
Undetered, I would like to take this as far as I can but like most of the posters here, I also
suffer from a financial resources deficit.
 
Anyone, right now, could virtually go to their dustbin and pull out certain discarded items  
and construct a device similar to mine. My prototype device was made from recycled bits  
and pieces. It is very low tech but suits the purpose for what can be done with it, admirably.  
 
I know that a lot of people would say, why buy his device, when I can make my own? My
answer to that is, laziness, inability to make things, and a preference to buy a ready made
one that doesn't look like it was made on Blue Peter.
 
My problem is that because it is so simple and cheap, it's going to be simple to copy. I am  
wondering if it is worth taking out a Patent. The Patent would only protect me in the UK unless
I consider international protection which is beyond my means. I have been considering whether
to go-it-alone on this one, but what with the cost involved and possible copying that could follow
I am having difficulty in making my mind up.
 
It would have been nice to have the security and support of a large organization behind me
who would have legal resources to call upon but as a loner I wouldn't stand a chance.
 
There are only two UK companies that I have already approached with this idea, as the market is  
somewhat specialised. Unfortunately, there are companies abroad who I could approach but  
my Patent is only for the UK, plus, the largest demand for my device would be from the Orient and  
Asia. Can you see my problem now?
 
I would be most grateful for any thoughts or expert advice on this one please, it's really driving
me nuts.
 
 
 
 
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JimIvey
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Re: Extremely Simple Invention Poses Complex Probl
« Reply #1 on: Oct 3rd, 2004, 9:23am »
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on Oct 2nd, 2004, 8:45am, chairleg wrote:
My problem is that because it is so simple and cheap, it's going to be simple to copy. I am  
wondering if it is worth taking out a Patent.

Under circumstances such as those, patents are often your best and only form of protection.
 
on Oct 2nd, 2004, 8:45am, chairleg wrote:
The Patent would only protect me in the UK unless
I consider international protection which is beyond my means. I have been considering whether
to go-it-alone on this one, but what with the cost involved and possible copying that could follow
I am having difficulty in making my mind up.

You have one year from your UK filing date to file applications for the same invention in most of the industrialized world.  You should try to make as much money out of your idea in that first year, giving you sufficient funding to have meaningful options with respect to filing abroad.  You should budget about $5,000 per country (very rough estiamte) when setting your targets.
 
You can also file PCT which could buy you another year and a half -- budget another $4,000-6,000 (roughly) to go through both chapters to delay the full year and a half.
 
on Oct 2nd, 2004, 8:45am, chairleg wrote:
There are only two UK companies that I have already approached with this idea, as the market is  
somewhat specialised. Unfortunately, there are companies abroad who I could approach but  
my Patent is only for the UK, plus, the largest demand for my device would be from the Orient and  
Asia. Can you see my problem now?

There are a number of things to consider in determining what countries are valuable to you.  Primary markets is a big one.  Some thing you should have protection in places where you plan to manufacture.  Some say to think about where you'll have offices (it's best to have local people manage a litigation which is necessary to actually enforce your patent rights anywhere).
 
Even if you never manage to find funding for it on your own, you can tell potential licensees that your foreign rights are in tact (within that first year and/or during the pendancy of any PCT application you've filed).  That might encourage them to buy your foreign rights and pursue the overseas patents themselves.
 
I hope that helps some...
 
Regard.
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James D. Ivey
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Dingleberry
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Re: Extremely Simple Invention Poses Complex Probl
« Reply #2 on: Oct 5th, 2004, 11:58pm »
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I have an extremley practical invention as well but mine targets anyone and everyone who travels.  I can't make the product myself even though it's made completly out of plastic.  I didn't think it would be this hard to come up with something so simple, yet have to spend thousands to get it up and running.  It's a piece of plastic for God's sake!  
 
I don't really sit at home and think of things to invent all day long because I work and go to school but I'm sure that this product would make it in the world.
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