Solved

friend wants patents for invention, how?

Posted on 2013-07-01
3
101 Views
Last Modified: 2013-07-13
My mother's friend has a design for a garden-work aid.

How should she go about a solid patent, without a lawyer?

Thanks
0
Comment
Question by:beavoid
3 Comments
 
LVL 52

Assisted Solution

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 167 total points
ID: 39291599
If you have a patent and no lawyer, that is like going into a heavy battle of bullets with no armor.  Ultimately, having a patent is as much about defending it.  If you have a patent, and somebody else steals your idea and you do not have the means to defend it, I believe you loose.  

Otherwise, this is what you need http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/howtopat.htm

I think an attorney will be about $5,000.  If your idea will not generate the kind of revenue for this, it is probably not worth the effort.  

First to file just passed a couple of months ago.   http://www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2012/12-44.jsp
0
 
LVL 82

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 166 total points
ID: 39291677
Patents are all about lawyers and courts.  A patent is basically a license to sue someone for using your idea.  The government is not going to do anything to protect your patent.  Their service is just an Official announcement with dates and information that can be used in court.  By lawyers.

Note that many of the best ideas do not get patented because part of the patent process requires revealing everything that you have done to show that it is worth granting a patent for it.  These documents are then Public information that anyone can get a copy of.  And if your patent is denied, then they have the information to make use of it for themselves.
0
 
LVL 27

Accepted Solution

by:
tliotta earned 167 total points
ID: 39302664
Of course, if a patent is denied, you can't get much out of it no matter what. It doesn't change anything for you (or your mother's friend) if someone else gets rich.

Patents are denied for various reasons: prior art, natural laws, etc. If denied and someone else makes money by manufacturing, then that someone had sufficient capital available. If you can't afford lawyers, it seems certain you can't afford manufacturing anyway.

But if it is marketable and you don't even apply for a patent, then there isn't much of a chance of making any money at all.

Some of any initial patent lawyer cost is general research through existing patent documents. When almost half a million applications are filed each year, it can be tricky being sure that a patent doesn't already exist for the idea or design, or perhaps that it isn't already a generally used item somewhere. The need to review all similar patents takes knowledge, experience and time. But the need is technically only to avoid throwing away any patent filing fees that you might pay multiple times just to get a valid application written. You can do your own patent searches and fill out and file all needed paperwork. You can also wait a year to find out only that you need to do it again and fill out the application correctly.

Finally, of course, after everything is done correctly, the actual market might not be worth enough to pay manufacturing and distribution costs...

...or it could be worth millions of dollars.

Tom
0

Featured Post

How your wiki can always stay up-to-date

Quip doubles as a “living” wiki and a project management tool that evolves with your organization. As you finish projects in Quip, the work remains, easily accessible to all team members, new and old.
- Increase transparency
- Onboard new hires faster
- Access from mobile/offline

Join & Write a Comment

Suggested Solutions

Surprisingly, there is a lot to Gym battles, and I thought it would be helpful to share knowledge about all the ins and outs of this feature!
I've been asked to discuss some of the UX activities that I'm using with my team. Here I will share some details about how we approach UX projects.
Saved searches can save you time by quickly referencing commonly searched terms on any topic. Whether you are looking for questions you can answer or hoping to learn about a specific issue, a saved search can help you get the most out of your time o…
Where to go on the main page to find the job listings. How to apply to a job that you are interested in from the list that is featured on our Careers page.

747 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

12 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now