Flapping inverting foil (patent pending)

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by frogger1225, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. frogger1225
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    frogger1225 Junior Member

  2. myark
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    myark Senior Member

  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member


    This 'flapping' method of propulsion has been investigated for 100s of years, and not 10% of variations appear in patent lists. Your optimism is commendable, but I would take odds on it ever being successful, if you can arrange a bookmaker.


    To define 'successful', I guess, somehing like "a method of achieving a result that exceeds those of competing systems in regards to output V input, cost, reliability, cost of maintenance and ease of use"


    Here's a serious commercial variation that really should be added to the contenders -

     

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  4. frogger1225
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    frogger1225 Junior Member

    The two prior patents referenced in the patent filing are attached.
     

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  5. frogger1225
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    frogger1225 Junior Member

    Very discouraging comments that I have heard with no resolution provided:
    - The $$$ mirage drive sank
    - The bicycle feel is not the same as recumbent bike
    - I can't go backwards

    My simple statements as a "marine engineer"....

    - Build flotation into the mirage unit so it doesn't sink
    - employ my blade technology
    - see above

    As for testing, I find it hard to believe that I can find no other performance data other than I found in this attachment..

    For fairness to competitors, I include a hobie patent...
     

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  6. Jeremy Harris
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    Jeremy Harris Senior Member

    The problem I think you, and your patent agent, face is that there are many other examples of very, very similar, if not near-identical, systems, the details of which are in the public domain (as many have already pointed out).

    They may not appear in patents, but that doesn't stop them being prior art and making your patent worthless and unenforceable if it is granted. All anyone has to do is show that your invention was invented and published by someone else before you filed, and that then makes it pretty much impossible for you to defend your patent.

    It's a very common problem, and becoming more common as more people release details of their ideas on the internet (on forums like this) without seeking any form of patent protection. As it's pretty easy to check publication dates for anything on the web, proving prior art is pretty easy.

    As mentioned before, the patent system is really seriously broken, especially as far as the small guys go, who may not have the funds to hire big shot lawyers to defend themselves. I think it's one reason why the Open Source licensing movement is growing and spreading beyond just software and electronic stuff.

    The best hope for an inventor who comes up with something really novel is to design and test it, and develop it to production status, in secret, start mass manufacture and then claim design rights. Often design rights are more useful as protection than a patent and may allow the inventor to have a few years of successful production before the idea gets copied and sold by someone else at a lower price.

    It's also worth remembering that many countries (particularly China) barely recognise patents. It is quite normal in China to copy absolutely anything and manufacture and sell it around the globe, which further undercuts the value of any patent. The patent becomes, in effect, the means of providing copiers with the way the product works.
     
  7. frogger1225
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    frogger1225 Junior Member

    Thank you mark for the "hope my partner pushes as hard as I do" plug for...
    Another platform needing my invention !!
     
  8. frogger1225
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    frogger1225 Junior Member

    Let's see. I don't have an agent. I have a patent lawyer. What this means is that I personally wrote the patent filing based on both patented and published information. Papers include many byMr. Triantafyllou.
    http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=jnkvZCIAAAAJ&hl=en
    If he hasn't seen it, I bet it hasn't been done with 99.999% confidence.
    The last .001% is me !

    That is why there is a patent reviewer and the courts to sort it out should those who wish to test the "prior art" defense. Don't get me wrong, there are some but it is not mine.

    File then discuss is a very good rule of thumb but ensure you research first.
    For the most part, Hobie did my research.....
     
  9. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    Estimates are not data, and until you gather the actual data you will find it very hard to get anyone to take you seriously.

    Even a crude test of "can I make this boat go faster with my system or with oars" would give you some very useful info. Just from eyeballing the videos you sure look to be working harder to get moving than you would be paddling or sculling. I doubt you are going more than one or two knots, a speed I can achieve sculling a 12,000 lbs sailboat using an oar that is poorly designed for sculling.
     
  10. frogger1225
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    frogger1225 Junior Member

    Agree with more data ! I will get that.

    Hard work. No, it was just like moving a vacuum cleaner on both arms for that 1 knot.

    My opinion: arms capable of 1/4 horsepower continuously, legs at 1/2 horsepower continuously. Now look at attachment...(replace wind turbine with prop, fin or my blade)
     

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  11. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    100% agree with all the above! I've been saying this to people for years... Patents are almost worthless these days, even market branding is worth more. What I mean is, if your the first to bring a product to market in a successful manner, everyone will remember the brand name associated with the new and novel invention. This recognition in the minds of consumers, carries more worth than any kind of design or patent protection. Obtaining and keeping the market share is more important , and to do that, people need to know your name and associate it intrinsically with the type of product regardless of competitors or imitations. Examples are ebay, and go pro , etc... Either of these products could be easily replicated or copied, but none would be successful competitors...
     
  12. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    Well said, for example www.kickstarter.com are making millions and the name did it, also investors who screw inventor are no longer in the game thanks to Kick Starter.
     
  13. johnhazel
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    johnhazel Senior Member

    That would be elite athletes for a few minutes.

    With the better paddlers, our north american marathon racing canoes travel about 3m/s and have drag of 60N (based on Michlet results). That comes out to only 180 watts = about 1/8 HP per elite paddler at several hours time span.

    also:
    http://aerosociety.com/Assets/Docs/About_us/HPAG/Papers/HP_evans.pdf
     
  14. Jeremy Harris
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    Jeremy Harris Senior Member

    The other point is that the bodies continuous power output isn't usually governed by the group of muscles used, but by the bodies aerobic limit. Just because leg muscles are more powerful that arm muscles doesn't mean that the continuous output will be any greater, as that that will pretty much always be aerobically limited, so depend on heart, lung and general circulatory system fitness, rather than muscle strength.
     

  15. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Thanks. I'm not sure what your claims will be or in which way your patent will be "unique", but the first patent seems to have captured having a flexible blade, and is long expired and in the public domain. The second is interesting in the sheer number of prior art references cited, around 120, and the number of claims made, 57. On the one hand it shows the concept has been worked to death for 150 years, yet you having only two prior art references seems to indicate you haven't done an adequate search. That the McCarthyfin patent has 120 prior art references and still manages to make 57 claims for the "uniqueness" of his patent, reinforces the idea that a USPTO patent is pretty well just a rubber stamp receipt for money received, not that the patent is defendable or even valid.

    Keep in mind that after spending $5 to $20,000 to receive a patent, every few years you will owe hundreds, if not thousands, of $ more in fees to keep it in force.

    When I was trying for a patent in the '90s, the first lawyer I talked to said almost no utility patents were ever capitalized on or made money, and if you ever have to defend it in court it would cost a bare minimum of $250,000. That was 20 years ago. Even then, the vast majority of patents that went to court were ruled invalid.

    You can file for and get a patent without a patent lawyer, as the USPTO is required to assist anyone doing it on their own. You're trying to show them your idea is valid, their job is to make a case against you. It starts with a patent search. If you just give the few you have to get them started, they will do a pretty thorough search then to prove you wrong, and so you end up with a valid patent search that didn't cost you anything. They also have to help you with writing it and with the drawings. The whole process takes a number of meetings and rewrites to refine it and get it acceptable, so it takes months of appointments and lots of correspondence. As in most things it is supposed to be an objective process, but subjectivity has a large role and especially determines how smoothly it moves along. If an examiner or searcher doesn't like you, appointments are strung out and your arguments are not easily accepted.
     
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