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   Is this worth patenting?
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   Author  Topic: Is this worth patenting?  (Read 11329 times)
charstarstar
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Is this worth patenting?
« on: Jun 15th, 2007, 11:44pm »
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I am a college student at a major university. (thus very poor)
 
Me and some colleagues have developed a unique method for preventing software piracy.
 
Is this idea worth patenting? I have seen how expensive the prices are for attaining a patent and am hesitant to spend that unless I will get a sizeable return. (5-6+ figures )
Do companies often purchase patents like this or is most of the technology they use developed in house?
 
Secondly how likely are large-scale corporations to purchase the patent? I am just looking to make some quick money, and am willing to sell it for a moderate amount. I think I can get in the door at major companies (through contacts in the academic sphere)  but what kind of things should one do next? what is the process for selling a technology?  
Thanks.
 
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Wiscagent
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Re: Is this worth patenting?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 16th, 2007, 11:14am »
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"I am just looking to make some quick money ..."
 
Forgetaboutit.
 
It is unlikely that a business will be interested in purchasing your invention until you have a patent granted.  It would take four or five years (if ever) for your patent to grant.  By then you will have graduated college and learned grammar.
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Richard Tanzer
Patent Agent
still_studying
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Re: Is this worth patenting?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 16th, 2007, 1:48pm »
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Any company that might buy your antipiracy system/method/invention would have to (1) be large enough to expect a return on investment after spending "5-6+ figures", and (2) believe that your method is so much better than what they already have that it would be capable of providing such a return above and beyond what their current system provides.
 
If you want that much for it, then rather than selling your invention, you would probably have to form a company to market the technology to multiple clients.
 
However, something to consider for your future: patents (and to some extent, even patent applications) look good on a resume, even in academia.
 
So many companies have done so much to try to reduce piracy that you really need to do some digging through existing patents before deciding whether to file an application.  Google has a patent search feature now.  Keep in mind that straightforward combinations of existing ideas are not patentable, and that similar technologies can be cited against your application.
 
Richard, given that one doesn't have to comprehend simple English words and phrases in order to be a patent practitioner, one can hardly ding a college student over grammar.  Roll Eyes  (This sarcasm isn't directed at either of you;  it's regarding another topic that seems to be coming up a lot lately.)
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charstarstar
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Posts: 3
Re: Is this worth patenting?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 16th, 2007, 8:34pm »
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This is definitely a new idea, I have looked through 10-15 academic papers on the subject... which suprisingly is about how much is written on this field. I've looked at the patents that these papers cite.
 Software watermarking is a very new and unexplored field. I've looked at patents from Microsoft as well as popular techniques such as Collenberg-Thomborson algorithm. Our technique is much more secure than any method I have seen so far.  
What I want to know is how valuable such a technique really is, do business often buy technologies like this. I am thinking about just filing a provisional patent then marketing it to some companies. Is this a good idea? I simply do not have the resources to shell out $8000 on a patent.
« Last Edit: Jun 17th, 2007, 12:13pm by charstarstar » IP Logged
Wiscagent
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Re: Is this worth patenting?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 17th, 2007, 10:25am »
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You certainly can file a provisional patent application.  The filing fee is about $100.  If you were to write the application yourself, the fee and your time would be your entire initial investment.  So from that perspective you would have little to lose.
 
Unfortunately filing a provisional patent application, by itself, would get you no closer to making money on your invention.  If you are interested in making some money on your idea, then you need to think in terms of starting and operating a business.  A patent application would be an important part, but only a part of a business plan.
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By the way, college student at a major university, I suggest that you work on your sense of humor or at least develop a thicker skin.  If a wise crack about a grammatical error keeps you up at night, you will have many sleepless nights.
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Richard Tanzer
Patent Agent
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