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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   approaching a company to pitch
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approaching a company to pitch
« on: Nov 26th, 2005, 1:02pm »
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I recently developed an invention that, to my knowledge, has never been created.  There is one certain large company that I believe could become even more successful with the purchase of my invention.  
Here is the problem.  I do not know what to do to protect my invention as well as pitching it to the company.  How do I gain interest in my invention by the company without "giving my invention away?"  
I have never sought out to "invent" or "sell".  However, I am very confident that my idea can be deemed as a great success.  I live in Canada.  Should I be requesting info. from someone else?  If so, could you point me in the right direction?  This would be greatly appreciated.  Like I said earlier, I am not a business person.  I am an average citizen that just so happens to have a great invention ready and able to sell to this company.  Living average also means that I do not have funds to use to litigate.  What is the most cost-effective way to go about this?  This financial barrier, along with not having business knowledge are my only obstacles.  Quite simply, I am holding the most valued part of this whole process - The awesome invention itself!!!
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Bill Guess
Junior Member

pro se .....all the way

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Posts: 64
Re: approaching a company to pitch
« Reply #1 on: Nov 26th, 2005, 2:12pm »
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Once upon a time a guy had a similar situation as you except that he also had a newly issued U.S. patent.  He also knew of a certain large company for which his invention was a perfect fit.  The company in question had the manpower, the equipment, the cash (50 million in the bank) and loads of credit.  The inventor wanted $100,000. to sell the patent outright.
The inventor's father in law, who was also a lawyer made the pitch to the large company.  The president of the large company, William Orton, looked over the material and calmly stated that he would not pay $100,000 for a patent for"a toy".
Failing at the above, the inventor and his partners (his wife and her father) decided to go for it themselves.  That's how much they believed in the idea.
After suceeding in the market, the inventor and his partners found competition from the same large company, Western Union Telegraph.  Orton had decided that WU needed to get into the telephone business and did so with Western Atlantic Phone Company.
A.G. Bell sued and won.  They painted over the signs to read Bell Atlantic Phone Company and took over that turf.  Orton would have gladly paid 25 million for the patent later, though later was too late.
The telephone patent, relative to the monolopy it launched, lasted one hundred years making it possibly the greatest ever.
Bette Nesmith, tried to sell IBM on her little nail polish bottles of white tempura paint idea, they passed.  Down the road she sold Liquid Paper to Gillette for 47 million.
Howard Aiken invents a mechanical computer  in the '40's  tries to get Monroe Calculating Machine Co. (ever heard of them?  me neither)   to build it, they passed.  International Business Machines (IBM)  builds it (The Harvard Mark IV) .  Howard Aiken wrote, "Don't worry about people stealing your ideas.  If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."  The Harvard Mark IV was essential in crunching data for the Manhattan project.
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patent pending...


Posts: 22
Re: approaching a company to pitch
« Reply #2 on: Dec 7th, 2005, 4:13pm »
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Before you disclose it you may want to protect yourself by at least getting a provisional patent application on file.  Read about them on the uspto website(  If you don't want to pay someone to write it for you, you can pick up a book, such as Patent it Yourself, and probably do a passable job of writing an app.
Also, it's probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with NDAs (non-disclosure agreements).  Many companies balk at signing an NDA, but it's a good idea if you can get one in place.
Best of luck.
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If ya read it on a forum, it must be true.
Senior Member


Posts: 2584
Re: approaching a company to pitch
« Reply #3 on: Dec 7th, 2005, 6:05pm »
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Or better yet, a real patent application.
Provisional applications are often misunderstood and misused, potentially leaving one without enforceable patent rights.
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James D. Ivey
Law Offices of James D. Ivey
Re: approaching a company to pitch
« Reply #4 on: Dec 7th, 2005, 8:18pm »
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Hi Jenny,
I Just signed a multi year, Multi million dollar deal for an idea that some people thought that was "cute". Met with a lot of large investors that said "yup" novel idea but couldn't see it. happening.
Get some legal adivice,(patent Law) and discuss it with people in the industry, without divuldging to much information.  I wish you the best.  
 By the way, I got some good advice from this forum. And onece again good luck.
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