Invention Advice

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Bahama, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Bahama
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Bahama Junior Member

    I have an invention idea for boats that is so good that I'm scared to botch it up. This is one of those seriously great inventions and I want to do this right.

    Is anyone here knowledgeable with the invention process and what to look out for and what to do. E.g. these TV invention places are scams for the most part. I know a fair bit of this myself, but this is truly too good to screw up. I would like to do as much grunt work as I can before hiring a patent attorney, so any advice is appreciated--especially if you know of some great patent lawyers who have a specialty with boats.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    In general, patents are an invite to steal your idea. Keep a complete trail of your work, emails, letters, notes, everything dated. Develop the thing, build it and discuss it with an expert not in the business of making money off of your patent. I don't know how to do this if you need investors but some companies have employees who's whole job it is to steal other's (intellectual)property and they then sit back and defy them to sue. By the time it gets thru the courts, the idea is old hat and the inventer is broke. Sucks, but search on inventer's blogs/forums if they exist. The internet isn't what it used to be...once, there were people willing to help just because it was so cool to help - Now, there's somebody trying to grab your wallet at every click of the mouse.
     
  3. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    tom kane Senior Member

    One of the first things you should do is to establish the difference, or the New and Novel Idea you think you have. Which is what an INVENTION realy is.What makes your INVENTION different and Novel from all existing ideas in your particular field..You will find that this is very difficult to do. You have to be able to explain to your Patent Attorney these facts in plain English so that a Search of present Patents can be made. Simple drawings and an explanation of how your invention works,or is different is the first start. If you cannot explain where your INVENTION is different you may not have an INVEVTION. You can discuss an INVENTION idea without loosing your claim but it must be kept private (secret) A Patent Attorney may possible help you to establish it`s Novel aspects or maybe you could secure a Design claim.
     
  4. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    Bahama, from your post I get the impression that you not only have a bright idea but also want to get rich.

    There have been several moments in my life when I had the same feeling, like when I designed a seat belt mechanism in an era where belts were only attached with a hook bolted to the doorpost. I hid my idea so well, that by the time I had a strategy worked out GM had an almost identical device installed in their top models....

    What looks like a dilemma to you now is in fact quite simple.

    If you are in the boating business, produce whatever it is that you've invented and don't talk about it until you're about to start selling. At that point apply for a patent. Others will try to copy it with the minimal modifications needed to come out on top if they should get involved in a law suit.
    With a really good idea you might get rich just because you have a good head start or someone takes over your business at a premium price.

    If you have a different occupation, don't spend any money on lawyers or patent applications but keep on doing what you did before because with all these predators you do not stand a chance.

    Enjoy the satisfaction of being the first to think of it and start working on the next invention.

    To make the decision easier, search the patent offices network for similar inventions. The amount of patents and applications is staggering and the majority never got past the invention stage.
     
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  5. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Unless you think you're really likely to make millions of £/$ out of this, design it, build it, sell it fairly cheap and move on to the next idea. Patents are very expensive to take out, and often hard or prohibitively expensive to enforce.

    Tim B.
     
  6. capt_jack
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    capt_jack Junior Member

    If it's something you plan to mass market to the general public develop it and look into home shopping network / qvc. They'll work with inventors if they see the potential for sales.

    If it's something more specialized then look for a partner - a small manufacturer who can bring the product to market and consult an attorney before and during the process. Yes attorneys are expensive but a good one will protect your property.

    It takes money to bring a new product to market, unfortunately.

    I'm in a similar situation - I have a novel solution for a problem which affects commercial boats, a very dangerous problem. I've researched existing and previous solutions and none are anywhere near my idea. I don't want to "get rich" on this, I want to help save lives but I can't get any of the people involved to even discuss it with me.

    If I decide to pursue it further I've realized I'm going to have to build the first couple of devices myself, video a demonstration and stick it on you-tube. Hopefully they'll be willing to check it out if they can just click on the link. Anyway, good luck and all the best with your idea.
     
  7. conceptia
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    conceptia Naval Architect

    contact Leo, AdHoc or Daiquri.. they are the Pros...
     
  8. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    I know the feeling :D
    I have a patent, boy I am wealthy in food stamp :p
    And my lawyer boy he is wealthy in real green :p
    And nobody want to still my patent, that the worst! stilling a patent is some kind of recognition !
    Daniel
     
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  9. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    tom kane Senior Member

    If you display your Invention to the Public before you proceed with Patent Applications you will loose any chance of receiving a Patent,bcause you have placed your Invention in Public Domain
     
  10. Bahama
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Bahama Junior Member

    Thank you to all for the real world of hard knocks advice. I've had 2 inventions that were manufactured differently than what I came up with and so I've lost out twice and so I realize that I haven't be doing it right, so I wanted to ask around. I'm an inventive person, I have a book that I keep and have a little over 100 invention ideas, all very good, some great, but I have 2 ideas for sailing that actually took my breath away and scared me when I thought of them because they are booth jaw dropping, why didn't I think of that type of ideas. I would like to make some money but realize that manufacturers get their share as well. I don't have the money right now to invest in this because I've been out of work, but I think I just landed a future job possibly and so that will help.

    One idea is for a common boat item that we all have a few on board and I've checked, it's not invented, but there are a handful of leaders in the market (as always) and so I would like to just get a piece of the sales from them, but have no idea how to approch them without getting ripped off.

    The other idea came to me when I read in a boat book something like, "this works great for racing boats but it's expensive and won't find its way into the cruiser market for many years to come." I looked at that and the idea popped into my head instantly how to crack the puzzle. It's one of those ideas where it's so simply I have no idea why no one has thought of it yet--it could be modified enough to "own it" from someone else if not protected by a patent attorney and would need legal fees to fight people off, and so, again, I'd have to talk to the leading companies or they'd put me out of business before I started.

    As I think this through my first choice would be to go with a leading company, but as recommended, maybe I just make my own or try QVC and try to get "namebrand recognition" with some cool catchy name. I hear that QVC are hard negotiators and really push you down on price so they can make their money... so I may be better off with the big gun leaders in the field. I'm stumped, it's a tough call, and I'm not overstating these ideas, I told my dad and my best friend, and both had that stunned look of "wow, what a great idea." Well, pray that I don't screw it up. Any more suggestions are greatly needed and appreciated.
     
  11. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    I disagree with all of the advice above. I don't know if I have credibility -- but I do spend most of my life fighting patents. You can make money fighting nonsensical patents (process patents are in limbo) -- ore real patents. You can also make money fighting expired patents. The point is, most people have no money, so when you challenge them -- and they look for a lawyer -- and the lawyer wants a $20k retainer -- they back down. We represent the people who don't back down. The winnings can be incredible -- but only if your patent filings are in the jurisdiction . Best to shoot for the Netherlands ;)
     
  12. Bahama
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Bahama Junior Member

    >>Best to shoot for the Netherlands<<

    Thanks for your advice. When i was reading the U.S. Patent Office it appeared that they had your use international codes so that your filing would be an international patent. Is this true or do you have to file with separate countries? e.g. the netherlands.
     
  13. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

  14. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    Dont forget if you make it first someone elses patent cannot be used to stop you from continuing to make it.....
     

  15. WickedGood

    WickedGood Guest

    Pictures?

    invention idea for boats??


    Well??

    What is it ??

    a Gas Powered Margeritea Maker? Its been done

    a Seagull Scarecrow? Its been dine.


    What did you invent?

    Pictures..


    Maybe you could invent the Wallett Pocket Fisherman

    [​IMG]
     
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