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(Message started by: creativemind on Jan 6th, 2005, 7:56pm)

Title: patents for poor people ???
Post by creativemind on Jan 6th, 2005, 7:56pm
:'( :'( I can not believe that in the land-of-opportunity that under priviledged people have to pay 100's to 1000's of dollars to have an idea patented.is there something a poor-person can do ?????????I need help PLEASE!!!!!! www,creativemind38@hotmail.com

Title: Re: patents for poor people ???
Post by jkudla on Jan 6th, 2005, 10:17pm
In the U.S. patent system, the majority of patent related fees are reduced by 50% if an inventor or assignee qualifies as a small entity. The general guidelines are that you have to be a solo inventor who has not licensed your invention to a large entity or if it has been assigned, the assignee has to have 500 or less employees or is a non-profit to qualify as a small entity.

In addition to the reduction of fees, the U.S. patent office offers various programs to assist the solo (and presumable short of funds) inventor in obtaining a patent. In view of the potential 20 year monopoly a properly crafted patent can provide, U.S. patent fees don't seem that outlandish - in my opinion.

Title: Re: patents for poor people ???
Post by marucoke on Jan 30th, 2005, 12:12pm
A provisional patent application can be had for as little as $1,000.  This gives you some time to entertain the sale of your invention to a company.

Further, you can always undertake the patent drafting, filing, and prosecution process yourself.

Nolo Press has a book called Patent It Yourself which seems highly recommend.

Also, there may be some patent attorneys that may be willing to be of assistance to you (there are IP volunteer programs out there and many of us are strongly encouraged to do pro bono work by our bar associations).

Title: Re: patents for poor people ???
Post by Daretodream on Jan 30th, 2005, 7:15pm
SCORE also can assist you with information to get a patent. Mine cost me around 2,000 I did most of it myself. Good luck!

Title: Re: patents for poor people ???
Post by eric stasik on Jan 31st, 2005, 4:01am
creativemind,

Here is a link with some information of the true costs of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent:

http://www.patent08.com/the%20cost%20of%20patenting.htm (self link)

jukdla is correct that small entities can obtain a 50% reduction of fees from the USPTO. Attorney fees are of course unaffected.

You will get what you pay for. Frankly, if you expect to obtain a defensible US patent for less than 5000 USD, or to do most of the work yourself without professional assistance, you should probably forget about a patent.

It is indeed a pity and a failing of the patent system that "innovation" has such a high entry fee, but this is the sober reality. The costs of the patent system in most countries have always been borne by the users and the result is high costs on applicants.

Regards,

eric stasik



Title: Re: patents for poor people ???
Post by JSonnabend on Jan 31st, 2005, 9:46am

Quote:
You will get what you pay for. Frankly, if you expect to obtain a defensible US patent for less than 5000 USD, or to do most of the work yourself without professional assistance, you should probably forget about a patent.  

This is one of the truest things I've heard in a long time.  The reason patents aren't cheap is that they provide significant benefits to the recipient (assuming a properly drafted patent) in the form of a government granted monopoly.  

The higher fees help to ensure that inventors apply for patents only for inventions they believe to be commerically viable; that is, if an inventor doesn't think he can recoupe his investment in the patent, then he should be discouraged from applying.  Whether the fees effectively achieve this goal is another issue, of course.

Title: I can't afford a Patent - now what?
Post by robertplattbell on Mar 5th, 2005, 3:27pm
I wrote an article on this exact subject.  It is too long to post here (I tried) but you can read it at:

http://members.cox.net/robertpbell/ARTICLES/I%20CANT%20AFFORD%20A%20PATENT.HTM

Good Luck with your endeavor!

Title: Re: patents for poor people ???
Post by robertplattbell on Mar 5th, 2005, 3:32pm

on 01/31/05 at 04:01:42, eric stasik wrote:
creativemind,

You will get what you pay for. Frankly, if you expect to obtain a defensible US patent for less than 5000 USD, or to do most of the work yourself without professional assistance, you should probably forget about a patent.


I disagree in part.  The big downtown law firms charge huge fees because they have high overhead (and I've BTDT, so I know).  And some of these firms will shunt off work for small inventors to first year associates or law clerks (yes, me again) and the quality of the work can be great or dreck.

In short, Patent law work is one area where you don't always "get what you pay for."

I've had clients come to me after paying $30,000 for a Patent Application (!!!) from some big firm, and the quality of the work was sub-par.

I think it all depends upon who you get.  Research the issue carefully.  Picking a lawyer is often more important than picking a spouse!

That being said, with filing and issue fees over $1000, it would be hard to get a Patent for much less than $5000, unless it was a first action issue.

Good Luck!



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