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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Start production without a patent
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pzura
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Re: Start production without a patent
« Reply #10 on: Jan 6th, 2005, 2:57pm »
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Jeff is absolutely correct.  By discounting your patent rights, you stand to potentially lose everything down the road.  Think of it this way - by not patenting, you are serving as an R & D outpost for all your competitors, or anyone else that wishes to profit from your ideas/concepts.  As Jeff said, you should speak to a registered patent attorney about the specifics if you are serious about protecting your device.
 
If you want to wait a year before filing for a patent in the U.S., that is certainly a viable option.  Some inventing entities like to market-test products before filing for any patent protection (often referred to as "reactive patenting").  The advantage here is that you can fiddle with the invention and possibly discover other useful features you didn't originally know.  However, keep in mind that under foreign law (e.g., Europe), you lose your rights to a patent the moment your invention is disclosed or sold.  So if you have any inclination to file for patent protection abroad, you'd better get something on file as soon as you can.  Also, you need to keep VERY close tabs on what you disclosed to other people and when.  The one-year time limit starts from the moment you disclose your invention - not necessarily when you start selling or using the invention.
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JSonnabend
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Re: Start production without a patent
« Reply #11 on: Jan 7th, 2005, 10:59am »
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on Jan 6th, 2005, 2:57pm, pzura wrote:
Some inventing entities like to market-test products before filing for any patent protection (often referred to as "reactive patenting").

PZura makes some good points.  To clarify one point, while the one year period to file your application after public disclosure may not start when a disclosure is for testing purposes, economic testing (e.g., testing market demand for the product), does not count as "testing" for these purposes.
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SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
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Alex
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Re: Start production without a patent
« Reply #12 on: Jan 7th, 2005, 3:50pm »
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Thanks Jeff, Pzura.
 
Generally, there is not only patent law problem in my situation. Mostly there is economic / technical contradiction. Let me describe in some example. Assume we have an automotive device with unusual features, and moreover based on "crazy" scientific concept. We have two engines to test this device: 30 years old very simple one, and other very modern with everything what the people can make in this period (ECU, lots of valves, sensors, etc.). Let say, the efficiency of each before the test is 1.0 for new one, and 0.8 for old one. During the test we've got not bad result of efficiency: 1.1 for new one, and 1.2 !!! for old one. What the hell! Old one is better than new one! (For the reference, 10% difference of efficiency in automotive industry is incredible. The companies spend millions of $ to achieve 1%.)
 
Go to economics. What does it mean the result like that. At first glance, that's perfect! Go ahead, get a patent, start up the company!...  Stop guys! It's not so easy. Don't forget it is automotive/oil alliance. Don't forget how much money (and power) there in a circle. Don't forget how many patents, startups, and big investors were to achieve those 20% from 0.8 to 1.0. And everything is working, everything makes huge money.
 
And unfortunately the law, particularly patent,  is stopped to be working at some point than as it should be. I'm not waiting from you, guys, any well-defined advice. I just want to discuss my concerns in good community I like. Maybe I'll get more useful things simply listen your discussion. And all I want now is to do my job, and don't be scary that somebody using his money and existing law and patent system will bother or stop me as it's happened before. (PS Some time I offered my research for free for government institutions. What's happened you could guess.)
 
So, I hope this topic will be in life. And I very welcome your discussion.
 
Thanks again,
Alex
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Penny_Ballou
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Re: Start production without a patent
« Reply #13 on: Jan 13th, 2005, 9:48am »
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- (a) open the technology secrets prematurely;  
- (b) spending money and time, big money and lots of time;  
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1. If Alex is the U.S., what about a Provisional?  
 
It would appear he is of sound mind so could possibly write it himself especially if he gets a handle on terms such as: enabled, best mode, and preferred embodiment and uses an outline from a patent in his field of invention as a guide. On the other hand, of those I've read written by independent inventors the weakest two links have been (i) lack of adequate disclosure (ii) going into "too much" minutia.
 
2. If he reviews downsides to it, it might appear a good solution to each of his above two issues. But first, I suggest he review the following articles :  
 
---"The Problem with Provisionals": www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/resources/jun03/inve.html
 
and
 
---"I think I need a Provisional application. What do you think" : www.iveylaw.com (cursor to FAQ section to find it).
 
3. If he intends to publicly disclose it, so be it. But he could do both by filing a provisional before he exposes it which would accomplish, if only for one year from its from filing date, the right to mark it and promo materials "patent pending".  
 
4. It would accomplish (b) since cost to file is merely US $80.
 
5. Who would know that only a provisional and not a formal had been filed, no one. It would drop into a dark hole at the patent office discoverable by no one.  He would then acquire up to one year from filing to work out any production bugs, correct them then include into the formal any new material acquiring the later filing date. It would buy him to make money on the front-end and pay later on the back end. A cost shifting tool if you will.  
 
<<My other question, how long does USPTO hold the application before it goes to the public? <<
 
The answer would appear to reside in whether or not you will file a "Non Publication Request" [SB35]
when filing a "formal" application. If not, the answer would be eighteen months after filing irrespective of whether you had received a Notice of Allowance (doubtful) or whether the application had reached an examiner's desk or not. I suggest you read the base of that form found on the PTO "Forms" page for it provides, for want of a better phrase, a "change your mind" time period.  
 
PB
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