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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   ok where do I start?
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sarahintoronto
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ok where do I start?
« on: May 22nd, 2005, 9:51pm »
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hey everyone
 
I have an idea for a product but completely clueless where to start.....it is an electronic product and I am in no way technical minded LOL. Its just an idea for a product that I think should be out there as I would use it. I have done a search through the Canadian patent datbase and didnt find anything like it. so my questions:
 
1. how do I go about designing the item? are there techy engineers that design items for people to patent, if so how do I find one?
2. I would like to hire a lawyer to do a proper patent search so should I hae it designed before then?
3. I see you need a drawing which makes me think it needs to be designed before you file, who does that drawing??
 
sorry if these are duplicate questions from elsewhere, I will read the forum tomorrow when I have more time Smiley
 
thanks in advance for any help!
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JSonnabend
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Re: ok where do I start?
« Reply #1 on: May 23rd, 2005, 6:57am »
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Sarah -
 
Generally speaking, you'll need to have a working design -- although you don't necessarily need an actual prototype -- before filing for a patent.  
 
You can look to hire a freelance engineer, if you'd like, to help you create the design; however, you would be well advised, in my opinion, to have an attorney draft a technology development agreement for you before starting to work with anyone.  You may lose valuable rights if you don't.
 
Once the design is done, you can begin the patent process with a search, if you'd like.  Depending on the nature of the invention, you may be able to conduct a search before creating the design, but it likely will be less valuable than one conducted after.
 
- Jeff
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SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
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keith brown
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Re: ok where do I start?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 16th, 2005, 8:03pm »
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I have a new idea for a golf gadget, that will be  a huge hit in the golfing world.
 
I spoke to a patent attorney who threw huge dollar numbers at me...dollars I don't have.
 
I found a company called "Inven Tech" online , and I am very suspicious about dealing with them.
 
Without specifically referign to "inven tech" (unless you wish to) can yo please tell me if these "types" of companies are generally reputable? What shoudl I watch out for.
 
Thanks.
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JSonnabend
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Re: ok where do I start?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 17th, 2005, 8:01am »
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Invention submission companies are by and large scams.  They tend to lose more rights for their clients than they ever obtain.
 
What kind of numbers did the patent attorney throw your way?
 
- Jeff
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SonnabendLaw
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JimIvey
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Re: ok where do I start?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 17th, 2005, 11:30am »
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on Jun 16th, 2005, 8:03pm, keith brown wrote:
Without specifically referign to "inven tech" (unless you wish to) can yo please tell me if these "types" of companies are generally reputable? What shoudl I watch out for.

I'm by no means an expert on all the ways invention submission companies can rip you off, but I've heard of a few.
 
One is that they promise to take you to "patent pending."  Almost anything filed in the US PTO to achieve "patent pending" status.  At that point, no rights are achieved.  You won't know if the application is any good for about 2 years or more.  
 
I imagine a variant of this is to file a provisional application which is no more than a few pages in length and tell you that you're "protected."  You're not.  My opinions regarding the gross misunderstanding and misuse of provisional applications are well-documented in these forums -- so I won't repeat them here.
 
Once you have your patent application on file and you have a filing receipt that indicates all requisite signatures and fees have been received, you shouldn't have to pay anything for your patent application for a year or so.  I've heard of invention submission companies asking for another $10,000 or so a few months later "to protect the idea."  I can't imagine what that means other than "Pay us if you want us to honor our non-disclosure agreement."
 
In many of the cases I've heard, the client ended up spending much more money for a horrible work product (as far as I can tell) at an invention submission company than they would have spent going to a top-notch patent attorney to get the same work.  What the attorney most likely doesn't offer is an introduction to manufacturers and/or interested licensees.  Personally, I'd take issue with someone working for the licensees writing the patent application -- the interests conflict with one another.  Just who exactly is the invention submission company working for?
 
Here's a site that has some warnings about invention submission companies (although the web design of the site is sort of scam-esque looking itself -- hard to say exactly why I get that impression):
http://www.inved.org/
 
Here's my long-winded take on the general process to capitalize an idea:
http://www.isrlaw.com/inventorFAQ.html#1
 
I hope that helps.
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