This is a Journal entry by Tumsup

Patent agent

Post 1

Tumsup

I just got back from Ottawa where I finally did what I've been putting off so long. I pitched an invention to a patent agent.
The really strange part of it is that I didn't solve a key part of it until after I talked to her. There's something about carefully describing something to someone that gets your brain working so that you end up farther along than where you expected to go. Maybe I'll try this method on some of the other stalled ideas that I have.smiley - cool

At $500/hr, maybe not.smiley - erm


Patent agent

Post 2

aka Bel - A87832164

You could do it here on hootoo. We'd only charge you - err- a smiley - pggb or something. smiley - biggrin


Patent agent

Post 3

Tumsup

Bel, you have no idea how much I wish that I could do that. The laws forbid patenting anything after it's been published. The very first question that the agent asked me was.'Who have you disclosed this to?'
I don't know the reason for this but I'm guessing that they don't want to have to deal with the smiley - canofwormsof competing claims if ideas get into the air.

A couple of years ago I wrote an Entry A26646023 about an invention that I had abandoned because I couldn't believe that the Banks would allow since it's main feature was the marginalization of said Banks in the housing industry. It was about inexpensive housing and the words inexpensive with housing are not part of our nations economic plan.

It's still a good idea but not any more a patentable one.


Patent agent

Post 4

aka Bel - A87832164

Ah, that's a shame. Don't you have any family members you could talk to about it?


Patent agent

Post 5

Tumsup

I do have family and friends but they love me and so aren't too critical. Their responses are mostly 'That's a swell idea' I appreciate their support but I'd rather have help.

What the patent agent did was pick the idea apart. Her job is to save me money by stopping me before I go too far. Patents are VERY expensive.
However much you may love your baby, if he's too dim for Harvard, save the tuition*

I left the meeting in a positive mood because she couldn't fault the utility or the market value (it does fill a need) The next hurdle is the patent search to find out if it's already been done.
She's already done a preliminary search and that showed some patents that address the same problem but those are not the same as mine and not as good.
There's still the hurdle (and added expense) of a more thorough search but I'm only worried about the expense. After all, if worse solutions have been patented then what are the chances of finding better ones in the public domain?





*George Bush Senior excepted


Patent agent

Post 6

Rod

Hi Tumsup, I've just found my way here.

I've a fair idea what you're going through. If it's any help (& if you've not seen it already)

A60071447

Rod


Patent agent

Post 7

Tumsup

Rod, thank you very much for that.smiley - ok

I smiled when I read some of it because it looked so familiar. I've invented hundreds of things but mostly they don't go beyond my notebooks. Da Vinci was my hero when I was a kid.

Knowing the potential pitfalls and the expense of getting something patented is what has kept me from pursuing any up till now. I know what a huge gamble it is.

You touched on something in your entry that explains my current strategy. I don't really expect to go the whole route and try to patent the thing around the world. I don't expect to go for the full patent protection even here in Canada.

I will settle for a US provisional patent just to prevent someone else from seeing my product and patenting it themselves thereby stopping me from making the thing.

The patent system was itself invented as a way of fostering innovation and promoting industry and trade. It's ironic that it has developed into something that actually stifles innovation because it's so difficult to do. The real geniuses of the world don't work for big rich corporations, they are tinkerers in their garden sheds. You Brits are famous for this.

Why can't the patent system work like the copyright? Why can't I just make something and say "Widget©2010"? Then, if someone else tries to make them, I can get a lawyer and bring suit. After all, that's all that the patent gives me the right to do. But at a hugely greater expense.smiley - erm


Patent agent

Post 8

Rod

Ah well. Copyright & Registered design are relatively easy to protect - if it looks the same, it is the same.

Function's a bit more awkward, as we know, and If it has to be formalised, it has to be er, well, formal.

There have been people who've said soddit, I'm going into production & grab the market, make the name, make some money & let 'em all play catchup.

As for myself, I've invented a few things too, and eventually realised that satisfying though it may be, 'tis not enough.

I knew the rudiments of business and much of its practice. I knew what an entrepreneur needs to do. The knowledge, however, isn't enough.

In short, if I'd been an entrepreneur or a businessman, I wouldn't have been pratting around like that.


Patent agent

Post 9

Tumsup

< if I'd been an entrepreneur or a businessman, I wouldn't have been pratting around like that.>smiley - biggrinsmiley - biggrin

Exactly my problem. The type of mind that makes me a good inventor is just what makes me such a terrible businessman.
I tried a partnership with a good friend who was also a savvy businessman. He had a bad memory though. As soon as the thing started making money, he got amnesia and forgot he ever met me.

A learned the words of a famous sage who said "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on."smiley - sadface


Patent agent

Post 10

Rod


Yes, Tumsup. That was one of the snippets I collected. Such stories abound. Particularly the man who did something significant in the realm of shipping ... "OK, then sue me".

On the other hand, one member of the Institute (of Patentees and Inventors) related that he had actually found such a businessman, who had said he'd take it on - on condition that he had first offer on any & all further inventions.
They both got rich.


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