Invention Advice

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

  1. watchkeeper

    watchkeeper Previous Member

    It's good under any circumstance where there's money involved or the potential to make money and worth the very small cost outlay.

    This lesson I learnt the expensive way after having several concept designs I developed and submitted with quotations to 'clients' who then handed over my material to competitors with a lower quote. I sued but the personal costs and time involved outweighed the court awarded compensation.
    People become very honest when their names on the agreement that carries penalties.
  2. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    Rules are rules. Either you enforce them yourself, you give your attorney a $100K retainer and see what happens, you seek rent from the government, or -- in the worst case -- you go to court. Going to court is rarely advisable. If court doesn't work, sometimes professional talent can enforce rules.

    The only place a confidentiality agreement will carry any weight is in court -- and they're not as easily enforced in court as they are obtained. With most intellectual property it's easier to sculpt an audience than it is to find one.
  3. watchkeeper

    watchkeeper Previous Member

    By professional talent are you suggesting we engage those rather large gentlemen with a proclussion for dark suits, restructed noses and only sail after dark.
  4. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    I am an aging Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist libertarian posing as a civilized counter-party to a discussion of which I care nothing about unless it improves the life of people. The absurdity of my choice to go forward with this belief is always given to me as a reminder by people who don't understand it.

    Your intuitions are good, and the people who sail after dark may serve a purpose.
  5. watchkeeper

    watchkeeper Previous Member

    I do believe Sir, that we may be of one mind on this issue
  6. Marco1
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Marco1 Senior Member

    Lots of good advise.

    However the guy wants to make some money.
    You can make money by making something and selling it.

    Since you have a lot of inventions, try your sea legs on a smaller simpler idea and not the big "wow" idea. Keep that for later when you learned.

    Find someone willing to make your small idea and market it first with no much fuss nor patent and see how you go. Learn from your mistakes and stumble your way forward.
    I find the comments from people who have good ideas yet sit on them out of fear of them being stolen sad.
    It is true that patents mean nothing unless you have the money to defend them, as useless as a castle with no army to man the guns or the gates.
    But an idea that is not implemented is like living next door to the best girl in the world and not having the courage to tell her you like her.

    Life is to be lived in full, as fearless as possible. Get stuck into those inventions and tell your story afterwards. Play your music from the heart, the applause will come eventually if you have the guts to play in public.
  7. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    Well ... this is A safe harbor where we're always in good company ;)
    1 person likes this.
  8. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    IN other words our patent and IP laws suck....
  9. aranda1984
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Vancouver, B.C.

    aranda1984 aranda1984


    Oh well Eureka!

    The first thing to do is to start a day to day calendar, putting down all inportant steps in the process, drawings attached.

    Have the original idea's drawing notorised.

    Stay away from the people who advertise and want you idea...

    Draw up with somebody who knows what he is talking about a "Non disclosure form".

    Anybody that you take into your confidenece must sign it.
    Have it witnessed also!

    Get money somehow to produce it. (Steel, beg borrow...)

    Flood the market and make your money, before the copycats jump into the business and undersell you.


    Good luck.
  10. WickedGood

    WickedGood Guest

    So? Just what is this Invention idea?

    Will it be used for Fishing?

    I still can't get any decent Music from My Banjo Minnow.

    and these Beer Can lures dont even have any Beer in them.

  11. aranda1984
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Vancouver, B.C.

    aranda1984 aranda1984

    Inventions and patents

    I do not believe in patenting an idea.
    This is just giving the works away to anybody who wants to take it.
    If somebody wants to take my idea, they should buy at least one to get it!

    Patents are as good as the power (money) in your hands to protect them from being taken.

    However, if you must patent an idea (been involved with numerous patents) the real secret is to patent more then one version of the same idea.

    The competition might be able to brake one maybe two patents, but if you patent ideas around your patent, it will be increasingly difficult to steal them.

    However, with one client, it got to the point of tens of thousands of dollars per year just to maintain the patents.

    Ask yourself, can you afford it?

    About making a model or prototype with no money, space and tools...

    Been there, done that, more then once.
    In 68, when I was going through an atristic period in my life, I wanted to make ornamental iron and brass sculptures.

    Tough luck if you live in an apartment.

    I found a guy with a shop that suited my needs and made a deal with him.
    For every two hours of shop time I gave one hour of my labor for him in return. I made lots of lovely scupltures, but within a few months I abandoned the dream, I was good at what I was doing, the creations were well received, but I lacked the skills to "pile it high" as it is necessary in artistic endevours! (No pun intended!)

    This is how I started my business also... renting machine and fabricating time in return for my work...
    One of the many positive results that came out of that event, my ex wife from the (bad) first marriage is living with the owner of the shop I rented machinery from!:p:D;)
    ...(some other positive results were: a wife who puts up with me, twin boys working on their PhDs, my business etc...
    ...The moral of the story: there is always more then one way to skin a cat...
    (The right (positive) frame of mind will do wonders, when you are in a hole...)

    Note: No cats (or other animals) were ever harmed in the process! ;)


    Stephen I. M.
  12. RonL
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    Location: Central Texas

    RonL Junior Member

    You could say what it is and I would almost guarantee no one would give it a second thought, let alone try to steal it.
    People have always seemed to go to a negative mind when someone throws out an idea, then there seems to be an instant link made to a product already on the market or tried and failed.

    A good place to do some searching though.......

  13. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I have tried to stay away, but the amazingly bad advice on the patent issue here is forcing me to jump in.

    First a patent if drawn correctly is actually pretty easy to defend. The trick, like with most legal issues is to do the initial work correctly, then the rest of it is pretty simple. By this I mean hire a patent attorney with a good reputation to file the initial paperwork. Yes it will cost a few thousand dollars, but that is not much compared to the cost of comercializing even a very chap product.

    So how do you know if your attorney is a 'good' patent attorney? First ask what his undergraduate degree is in. These days most patent attorneys have technical degrees in the area they work in. So for an invention involving a boat, while you may not be able to find someone who is a Naval Architect, at least find someone who is civil engineer, structual engineer, perhaps an Architect. Either way you want an attorney that has a technical background in the area that the invention is in. Secondly do an internet search for him, and the firm he works for to find any potential ethical violations, and find out if they have been involved in any large cases.

    Secondly. Find an Angel Funds manager. These are people who specialize in finding initial start up money to bring new ideas to market. They should be willing to speak with you without any money outlay from your part. They will also have all of the confidentiality paperwork that you need. Since these people specialize in exacally this type of work, they have been through it before. Make sure thet they sign on as your agent, making them liabel to some degree if your idea gets released to the public. Note that Angel Funding and seeking Patent protection should probably be done simultaniously, since most of the people working in the field work together a lot.

    Third, be realistic about what you expect to make out of a deal like this. Depending on the startup costs and production costs you may be looking for millions of dollars of peoples money to invest in an unproven, unmarketable idea. The investors know this as well, but are willing to take the risk in order to reap huge rewards if the idea takes off. Every situation is different, but expect that the investors will take a total of anywhere from 49-90% ownership of the company. Usually for something along the line of 1 year of operating budget including production of the first few commercial products (depending on the cost of the item this could be anywhere from 1 to a few thousand).

    Of course every startup is different, and someone with a proven track record will get a better deal. A working proto-type will get a better deal, proven scientific evidence of sutability better yet. Figure an minium of a few thousand dollars initially plus the cost of a working prototype out of your pocket as a minimum costs.
  14. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    tom kane Senior Member

    A patent Attorney works the same as a solicitor,
    You have to instruct him on what you want done.
    You have to be able to explain to him where your idea is different from others ( he won`t know). This is actually your invention, not the complete article itself.
    You have to point out where your patent claims lie (he won`t know).
    You will have to give him diagrams of your Invention and explain where your invention is different.
    A Patent Atterney may not even understand your invention regardless of his qualifications.

  15. Marco1
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Sydney

    Marco1 Senior Member

    Just to clarify on what many have posted here, a patent does not protect an idea. In fact ideas can not be patented at all.
    A patent protects the right to manufacture/sell something that has a practical use and is discernibly different from something else that already exists.
    So if you have a mere idea, you basically have nothing worth patenting. Not yet anyway. You will if you build something and can show it works and it is different from what is already on the market.

    I was on the throne once and had an idea. I invented the waterless toilet.
    Yet I never built it nor made plans for it's manufacture.
    So I can not patent my idea until I actualy make it work.
    1 person likes this.
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