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   Design patent? Business process patent, or ?
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   Author  Topic: Design patent? Business process patent, or ?  (Read 3219 times)
D_Philip_A
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Design patent? Business process patent, or ?
« on: Nov 1st, 2007, 9:29pm »
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Hi,
 
I am a designer and manufacturer of automotive performance parts. I am tired of the manufacturing and would like to package my designs for downloading from my website for do-it-yourselfers. The last thing I want is to see my designs purchased once and published on public forums, or adopted by other manufacturers for use in their businesses.
 
Is there a way to protect the designs and give each buyer  permission to produce ONE useful item from the download?  
 
Many of these potential downloads may not see much action as they address obscure applications, so investing mega bucks in their protection doesn't make sense. Is there something simple I can do?  
 
Is a contract with the buyer of any use?  
 
Thanks in advance for any and all input.
 
Philip.
« Last Edit: Nov 1st, 2007, 9:30pm by D_Philip_A » IP Logged
DJoshEsq
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Re: Design patent? Business process patent, or ?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 17th, 2007, 10:57am »
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Difficult to answer in the abstract.  
 
I feel like I am giving everyone the same advice, but before you spend/invest a substantial amount of money in an endeavor - you should consult a patent attorney.  Some answers on this forum may be correct from a legal sense but, if the person posting the response had more information, then the response would likely be vastly different.  In addition, even sometimes when the advice is correct, the person asking the question may be unable to actually follow the advice for a number of reasons, including lack of experience/knowledge of the patent process OR interpreting the advice incorrectly.
 
However, back to your question, I would probably start with printing the designs, binding them, and filing with the copyright office.  Please note that other actions should be examined depending on the designs, including drafting contract/license terms with purchase of designs.
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D. Joshua Smith, Esq.
Registered Patent Attorney
McDonald Hopkins, LLC
Cleveland, OH
216-348-5400
bcapehart
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Re: Design patent? Business process patent, or ?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 17th, 2007, 4:15pm »
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DPA - Josh is correct in that a copyright is one way to go.  You may consider reposting your query in that forum.
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Brent A. Capehart
Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights
Deep in the Ozark Mountains
bcapehart@ozarklawyer.com
CriterionD
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Re: Design patent? Business process patent, or ?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 17th, 2007, 4:23pm »
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on Nov 1st, 2007, 9:29pm, D_Philip_A wrote:
Is a contract with the buyer of any use?

 
If the contract is written well and clearly agreed to, yes and maybe not.  Its up to you to try to ensure the contracts are enforced - if you are as succesful as you would like to be, you will likely have many contracts to enforce.  More than likely, a contract will only be useful in reserving your right to sue for breach of contract in a situation where the stakes are high enough to justify doing so.  
 
Filing copyright registrations as suggested by Josh can't hurt you in general, and that may be a good idea as it is not very expensive to obtain copyright registration.  Though, copyright law only protects against others from copying your design, and if you are selling your designs with the intent of allowing others to copy them, a contract with the buyer will still be needed to accomplish your goal of limiting buyers.  And you yourself will still need to enforce your copyright rights, too.
 
Design patents may be useful here.  Note that if a design is incorporated as part of a useful "utilitarian" article, such as  an automotive performance part, copyright law will not generally provide protection in the US, but a design patent will (although it may provide a narrow scope of protection).
 
« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2007, 4:30pm by CriterionD » IP Logged

www.criteriondynamics.com
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