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Dave Beans

Applying For A Patent & Licencing

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Is it really a pain in the buttocks? Even the government website says it'll take 5 years to successfully apply for one..

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Is it really a pain in the buttocks? Even the government website says it'll take 5 years to successfully apply for one..

depends what your purpose is with the patent.

do bear in mind that there are many many large companies that specifically employ people to trawl through patent offices for new ideas, and then find a loophole/adaptation to achieve the same purpose.

these guys have a lot of legal firepower behind them.If you want to make a lot of money, the only way is to get it so far,and then sell up the concept to said big companies.(they will usually try bribery first before hitting you with a big stick)

if you want to do it for the good of society,rather than the money..then just upload it to youtube.

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depends what your purpose is with the patent.

do bear in mind that there are many many large companies that specifically employ people to trawl through patent offices for new ideas, and then find a loophole/adaptation to achieve the same purpose.

these guys have a lot of legal firepower behind them.If you want to make a lot of money, the only way is to get it so far,and then sell up the concept to said big companies.(they will usually try bribery first before hitting you with a big stick)

if you want to do it for the good of society,rather than the money..then just upload it to youtube.

Its a specialist machine that my dad made nearly 20 years ago...Its a shame that its just sitting there...From what I gather there isn't a machine like it anywhere else (although I have yet to trawl the patents catalogue)...

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Patent trolls - they shift through patents for good ideas, change them slightly and claim them as their own idea. Thomas Edison, with over 1,000 patents to his name, was allegedly a patent troll. He was sued for a number of patents that he allegedly stole and lost the cases.

Your best bet is to find a company that you can trust and who might have the resources to back you. Not easy.

One of the silicon valley big tech firms that I worked with had posters up all over the place about patenting new ideas - they were actively wanting their staff to think of things that could be patented. Most of the employees did not realise that they would be effectively handing over ownership of any great ideas to the company.

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Its a specialist machine that my dad made nearly 20 years ago...Its a shame that its just sitting there...From what I gather there isn't a machine like it anywhere else (although I have yet to trawl the patents catalogue)...

Is it a warp engine.

The problem is that patents can be so ambiguous that there might be a patent listed somewhere with a concept similar to your dad's machine. Your dad's machine might be real and work but expensive lawyers might argue that the concept patent, even though a machine might not exist, is the original idea. Cr*p I know.

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It might also be useful to read about the 'right to reverse engineer' which allowed Compaq to take an IBM computer and build their own one which kick-started the age of the personal computer en masse.

People have argued that without that right there would have been no personal computing revolution. The world, as we know it, might now be completely different.

http://basus.me/writing/essays/reverse.html

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Is it a warp engine.

The problem is that patents can be so ambiguous that there might be a patent listed somewhere with a concept similar to your dad's machine. Your dad's machine might be real and work but expensive lawyers might argue that the concept patent, even though a machine might not exist, is the original idea. Cr*p I know.

Its not a mass market machine as such. Its basically an easy way of stripping grass, that fits on a tractor...

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Is it really a pain in the buttocks? Even the government website says it'll take 5 years to successfully apply for one..

It's an extortion racket. Lots of wannabes, a few Top Dog pirates, with legitimate companies always in a minefield.

I'm not normally a fan of Microsoft, but a senior engineer there puts it nicely when he explains that he can't decipher his own patent:

When using existing libraries, services, tools, and methods from outside Microsoft, we must be respectful of licenses, copyrights, and patents. Generally, you want to carefully research licenses and copyrights (your contact in Legal and Corporate Affairs can help), and never search, view, or speculate about patents. I was confused by this guidance till I wrote and reviewed one of my own patents. The legal claims section — the only section that counts — was indecipherable by anyone but a patent attorney. Ignorance is bliss and strongly recommended when it comes to patents.

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Thats a striper....its just a roller that fits on the back of a mower that creates poncy stripes in your lawn...

So what's a grass stripper then and why would anybody want to use it?

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So what's a grass stripper then and why would anybody want to use it?

If you want to get rid of an old lawn (especially a big one), and you don't want to rotavate it, as it would take ages, and they create more mess...

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As has been noted, patents can cause more problems than they solve. Eg, if a large company comes along and copies your idea what are you going to do about it? Sue them - they've got vastly more resources than you and will just keep going until you're exhausted.

One simpler approach would be to get a non-disclosure agreement together and get some meetings with potential manufacturers (agriculture or domestic?). If you're not an expert on negotiating get one - don't try to do it yourself.

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As has been noted, patents can cause more problems than they solve. Eg, if a large company comes along and copies your idea what are you going to do about it? Sue them - they've got vastly more resources than you and will just keep going until you're exhausted.

One simpler approach would be to get a non-disclosure agreement together and get some meetings with potential manufacturers (agriculture or domestic?). If you're not an expert on negotiating get one - don't try to do it yourself.

I thought about the licencing route, but I suspect you'd need to get it patented first...

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I thought about the licencing route, but I suspect you'd need to get it patented first...

Not necessarily.

Patent first is time consuming and expensive and won't necessarily get you what you want.

I've gone down patent first route and negotiate first - I wouldn't particularly rate one over the other, other than patent-first takes cash up-front.

You probably need to get some paid for advice on this. You'll need to get a relationship with a solicitor at some point so start there. If you've not 'got one' then find someone who runs a business locally (or find someone who is chummy with someone who runs a local business) and ask them who does their legal stuff.

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I had patent once for something novel I 'invented'. I used a Patent Agent / Attorney who was decent and helpful. It took a few years and several thousands of pounds once it got to the serious stage. There was a sense of achievement when the official patent number came through.

As it happens I didn't get anywhere with the idea/invention, so in hindsight it wasn't a great idea (at least it wasn't in the end a commercially viable idea). The other issue once you go down that road is that it is easy for your heart to rule your head. Cutting your losses is a tough decision - you wouldn't do it unless you believed in the idea.

Never made my big money; the money that was going to allow me to do other things like music

As the little guy with a novel idea, I struggled to be taken seriously. You always live in fear of being done or your idea being nicked. Stressful. ("my precious").

Think it through. Make sure it is commercial. Have money / backing. Take professional advice. Give yourself a time and a budget. Be prepared to let go and move on with your life.

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Not necessarily.

Patent first is time consuming and expensive and won't necessarily get you what you want.

I've gone down patent first route and negotiate first - I wouldn't particularly rate one over the other, other than patent-first takes cash up-front.

You probably need to get some paid for advice on this. You'll need to get a relationship with a solicitor at some point so start there. If you've not 'got one' then find someone who runs a business locally (or find someone who is chummy with someone who runs a local business) and ask them who does their legal stuff.

Would a patent solicitor tell me what's what?

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Would a patent solicitor tell me what's what?

Yes - but they'll be after doing it the patent way so don't rely on the advice from that one source.

Before you go too far do lots and lots of research to understand the market and the main manufacturers. Do things like model a market penetration and what that would mean to sales over the early years of the product. This won't actually be useful in itself, but will allow you to appear knowledgeable to the people you talk to.

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As has been noted, patents can cause more problems than they solve. Eg, if a large company comes along and copies your idea what are you going to do about it? Sue them - they've got vastly more resources than you and will just keep going until you're exhausted.

One simpler approach would be to get a non-disclosure agreement together and get some meetings with potential manufacturers (agriculture or domestic?). If you're not an expert on negotiating get one - don't try to do it yourself.

This - NDA with a clause saying that they can't use anything you tell them is far easier. I'll have a look to see if I've got a template you could use. I negotiate loads of these.

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