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(Message started by: The_Improver on Feb 7th, 2007, 12:34pm)

Title: Product improvement idea Where do I go from here??
Post by The_Improver on Feb 7th, 2007, 12:34pm
First, Let me thank you for taking the time to read my message.  I stumbled across this web site today and was very happy to find it.

Hereís a brief description:
I have an idea to improve an existing product in the radio controlled hobby industry.  It would involve taking two existing products used in this particular hobby and combining them into one product.  This would result in only having to carry one item instead of two for the user.  I would love to have one because Iím now using two and itís a hassle to keep pulling one of them out of my pocket.  

I believe many of the companies which manufacture one of the products would be very interested in the idea because it would be a huge sales advantage over their competitors.
I have done my own search on U.S. Patent and trademark online and have not found a product like it.  I do have the ability and funds to make one working prototype in my shop.  

Now that you have some background, here are my questions.
Do I build the prototype?  
Do I file for a U.S. Patent?  
Do I file a foreign patent?
Should I try to sell the idea to a company?  If so, how can I protect my idea?

Iím really confused in what direction to take this.  Iíve heard the saying ďOver analysis leads to paralysisĒÖI think Iím at that stage and I need to move forward.   Any comments or suggestions would be great!  

Title: Re: Product improvement idea Where do I go from he
Post by kennethc on Feb 7th, 2007, 1:21pm
The first thing you want to do is to conduct patentability test.  i.e. Whether if your invention passing Obvious test.


Title: Re: Product improvement idea Where do I go from he
Post by The_Improver on Feb 7th, 2007, 1:41pm
Do you mean the following?

New or Novel: The invention must be demonstrably different from publicly available ideas, inventions, or products (so-called "prior art"). This does not mean that every aspect of an invention must be novel. For example, new uses of known processes, machines, compositions of matter and materials are patentable. Incremental improvements on known processes also may be patentable.

Useful: The invention must have some application or utility or be an improvement over existing products and/or techniques.

Non-Obvious: The invention cannot be obvious to a person of "ordinary skill" in the field; non-obviousness usually is demonstrated by showing that practicing the invention yields surprising, unexpected results.

If not, could you give me a little more detail.  I'm new at this whole process.  Thanks


Title: Re: Product improvement idea Where do I go from he
Post by kennethc on Feb 9th, 2007, 10:33am
yes the above...


Title: Re: Product improvement idea Where do I go from he
Post by The_Improver on Feb 10th, 2007, 11:37am
By following the patentability test (the above post) and the invention passing Obvious test.  It all seems to be a go.  So what would be the next step?

Title: Re: Product improvement idea Where do I go from he
Post by Bill Richards on Feb 11th, 2007, 5:06am

on 02/07/07 at 12:34:57, The_Improver wrote:
Do I build the prototype?
This is not necessary at this time. †If your application is, as it must be, enabling, a prototype at this stage is not a requirement. †In speaking with potential licensees or investors, it would be a plus, but getting a pending application should be your first priority. †This assumes you've fully "fleshed out" your invention on paper, however. †

Quote:
Do I file for a U.S. Patent?
Yes, if you feel comfortable with your search. †Especially with independent inventors who are not well-established in the technology, I recommend a search. †For two reasons: †It can save money in the long run if it turns out the invention is already out there, and it can save money in the long run by giving you an idea of the kind of protection you might be able to get, thereby possibly making your prosecution more efficient. †If you've already done a search, you might engage an attorney to do a supplemental search and give you an opinion as to the patentability of your invention. †

Quote:
Do I file a foreign patent?
You can apply for foreign protection if you feel your product has sufficient market potential in foreign countries. †This generally involves filing under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). †You can do that first and use that route to the US, or you can file US and use that route to the PCT. †There are, however, some 12-month limitations of which you should be aware. †For example, if you file in the US, you have 12 months to file via the PCT for foreign protection.

Quote:
Should I try to sell the idea to a company? †If so, how can I protect my idea?
It's always a good idea to file an application first. †Even then, you should only do so under a signed confidentiality agreement.

Finally, here's my last bit of advice. †If you want to just dabble in this and make one for yourself and maybe sell some to your friends,you may find the expense of patenting your invention not worth it. †On the other hand, if you truly think this is a great marketing opportunity that can make you some significant money, then treat acquiring a patent that gives you adequate protection with at least as much priority as you would your marketing, advertising, or manufacturing expenses. †It's a cost of doing business.



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