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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Patent pending: Is it safe to disclose details?
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Sunny
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Patent pending: Is it safe to disclose details?
« on: Jan 28th, 2005, 3:46pm »
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I posted several times earlier, but I hardly received ANY replies. Please help me, before I commit a mistake and be a loser.
 
I have an ornamental design for a finger ring. I wish to license it to some company like Tiffany. I was thinking, may be I can write a summary about the design of the ring with photographs, and send it to some companies including Tiffany. I will wait for the response and according hire an attorney to make the deal.
 
Alternatively, I was planning to advertize the ring with photographs in some leading jewellery magazine, saying I am looking for manufacturer, who could license it.
 
I was again wondering, is it safe to disclose in this manner. Orelse, who will be interested to pursue the matter.
 
Thank in advance.
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marucoke
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Re: Patent pending: Is it safe to disclose details
« Reply #1 on: Jan 30th, 2005, 11:29am »
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First, please consult with an attorney so that you can have a non-disclosure agreement drafted.  I do not think you should disclose your information without that company agreeing to enter into a non-disclosure agreement with you.
 
Even then, I would go through a law firm and ask them to negotiate for you.  Companies might rip-off inventors that they believe are unrepresented.  You want to even the playing field.
 
Further, by "patent pending" please tell me what you mean.  It can mean that either you have previously filed a provisional patent application or a nonprovisional patent application.  
 
Again, I would recommend that you seek the advice of a patent attorney or a patent agent, ask him or her to review your patent application(s), review the nature of your disclosure, and determine whether it is safe to disclose your information to these companies, even subsequent to the non-disclosure agreement.  It does not hurt you to protect yourself on multiple levels - by way of contract (non-disclosure agreement) and by securing your patent rights (before they do).
 
Feel free to e-mail me off the list and I can explain this more to you in detail.  Plus, depending upon your location, I might know of some good firms in your area, etc.
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Sunny
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Re: Patent pending: Is it safe to disclose details
« Reply #2 on: Jan 30th, 2005, 6:16pm »
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Mine is a non-provisional appliction. It is patent pending now. Do you think, still I have to take a non-disclosure statement, before I disclose? I thought, the manufacturer will be scared of any possible litigation, as I have a proof of invention (date on patent application).
 
I already made the ring and I incuded the photographs in the patent application.
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robertplattbell
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Re: Patent pending: Is it safe to disclose details
« Reply #3 on: Mar 5th, 2005, 3:46pm »
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Well, if you don't show them the ring, how will they buy it?  Think about it.
 
The whole point of getting a Patent is to preserve your rights, whatever they may be, so you can go out and sell the invention.
 
Getting large companies to sign Non Disclsoure Agreements (NDAs) is difficult if not impossible.  And beware - their form NDA may be a DISCLOSURE agreement, not a true NDA.
 
See:
 
http://members.cox.net/robertpbell/ARTICLES/To%20NDA%20or%20Not%20to%20N DA.htm
 
The main thing is, you have to SELL the product  to these people, and you can't do that if you can't tell them what it is.  
 
Most companies are NOT interested in outside ideas, so don't get your hopes up!  If you can get a company interested in buying your design, that is 99% of the battle.  See:
 
http://members.cox.net/robertpbell/ARTICLES/Not%20Invented%20Here.htm
 
Good luck with your project.  As others have noted, a Design Patent covers only the ornamental external appearance of an object.  For a ring, I am not sure how else you could cover this invention.  But bear in mind they could alter the design fairly slightly and probably avoid your Design Patent.
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JimIvey
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  jamesdivey  
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Re: Patent pending: Is it safe to disclose details
« Reply #4 on: Mar 6th, 2005, 11:53am »
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on Mar 5th, 2005, 3:46pm, robertplattbell wrote:
Getting large companies to sign Non Disclsoure Agreements (NDAs) is difficult if not impossible.  And beware - their form NDA may be a DISCLOSURE agreement, not a true NDA.

 
That's good advice and I'll second it.
 
on Mar 5th, 2005, 3:46pm, robertplattbell wrote:
The main thing is, you have to SELL the product  to these people, and you can't do that if you can't tell them what it is.

I'll have to disagree here.  In most cases, it's sufficient and even better to describe what it does rather than what it is -- or how it does it.  Focus your initial discussion on impact in the marketplace -- with researched and actual numbers based on fairly pessimistic assumptions.  That's one way to garner interest without disclosing your invention.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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