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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Ideas, Inventions,Programs no help, no money
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   Author  Topic: Ideas, Inventions,Programs no help, no money  (Read 1322 times)
Sandra Roberson
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Ideas, Inventions,Programs no help, no money
« on: May 24th, 2006, 1:16pm »
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I have alot of good ideas to include money making inventions.  Who do you trust and how can you get an invention off the ground if you dont have the funding.  Right now I have two questions:    
1. Should a furniture type invention be patented?  
2. Would it be safe to make a model, develop a brochure and market it. without a patent?
 
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JimIvey
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Re: Ideas, Inventions,Programs no help, no money
« Reply #1 on: May 24th, 2006, 5:51pm »
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on May 24th, 2006, 1:16pm, Sandra Roberson wrote:
1. Should a furniture type invention be patented?

Yes, if the patent is expected to generate more revenue than the cost of obtaining the patent discounted by the probability of success in getting the patent.
 
on May 24th, 2006, 1:16pm, Sandra Roberson wrote:
2. Would it be safe to make a model, develop a brochure and market it. without a patent?

I suppose that depends on what you mean be "safe."  Many people create and market new products all the time without patents and presumably successfully.  Then again, many new businesses are crushed by pre-existing, larger competitors all the time -- regardless of whether the new business has patents.
 
You're never completely safe from competition with patents and you're never completely unsafe without them.  In generally, you're probably safer with patents than without them, but how much safer is extremely difficult to predict.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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RMissimer
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Re: Ideas, Inventions,Programs no help, no money
« Reply #2 on: Jun 1st, 2006, 11:01pm »
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Nice response Jim.  
 
Wouldn't you say though that it would be good to publish if patenting wasn't attempted.  Then no competitor could come in and patent your invention.    
 
I am thinking of the trouble some of the local medical equipment manufacturers were in for not patenting their designs just to later find that another inventor file a patent.  They spent millions resolving the matter in court.  They have since hired lots of patent agents.
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RS Missimer
Patents Penned, Inc.
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JimIvey
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Re: Ideas, Inventions,Programs no help, no money
« Reply #3 on: Jun 2nd, 2006, 12:28pm »
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on Jun 1st, 2006, 11:01pm, RMissimer wrote:
Wouldn't you say though that it would be good to publish if patenting wasn't attempted.  Then no competitor could come in and patent your invention.

Ah, wouldn't I say that defensive publication is always better than trade secret protection?  Nope, I wouldn't.  Sometimes defensive publication is the right thing to do.  Sometimes it's not.
 
Is your idea easily reverse-engineered?  For example, let's say I've made a whoopy-cushion phone, the kind you might have received free with your subscription to Sports Illustrated.  Once someone has one of these in their hands, they can see how it's made and, with proper funding, have 2 million of them in the Port of Oakland here in 2 weeks.  Trade secret's not going to be of much value -- can't keep it secret.  
 
On the other hand, suppose your idea is a clever approach that can be used in a search engine to provide much better results than even the allmighty Google -- and no one can tell how it's done; they just submit a query and get better results.  Maybe you don't want to publish that.  Maybe you'd like to keep your trade secret for a while.
 
Or, suppose you've made a really tasty beverage by combining carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, and a cocaine derivative -- publish defensively?  Or, do what Coca-Cola did: keep it secret?
 
Like just about every question in IP, the answer begins with "it depends..."
 
Regards.
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RMissimer
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Re: Ideas, Inventions,Programs no help, no money
« Reply #4 on: Jun 2nd, 2006, 9:02pm »
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I agree that trade secrets can be used to protect something that is sold to the public as long as the process of making it is not determinable to the extent a piece of furniture would be.  
 
A piece of furniture can't be trade secret protected.
 
The hidden process of making it or coating it or whatever might be.
 
But that was not what was asked.
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RS Missimer
Patents Penned, Inc.
PO Box 486
Butler, WI 53007-0486
(262) 565-8200
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