Mar 20, 2017, 06:17 PM
Help with patent on device
I have designed a prospecting device that I would like to sell online. Because my idea is new I know that a patent is needed to prevent someone else from stealing my design. I am looking for a recommendation to a reasonably priced trustworthy company that can search, write and file the necessary paperwork for me. I have seen several companies online that provide patent services but they charge more money than I would probably ever make selling the device. Thanks and good digging
Mar 20, 2017, 06:46 PM
Make America Great Again!
Welcome to the forum from White Plains, New York!
Getting a Patent is not inexpensive, no matter how you go about it. I would talk to a Patent/Intellectual Property attorney - FIRST. It doesn't cost a lot to sit down and talk over your options. You'll need a Trademark, logo, name - Just take your time. You may decide to just get a domain name and sell directly, which can also be costly. Prospecting is a niche market made up of notoriously frugal men. Good Luck!
Mar 20, 2017, 07:00 PM
Make America Great Again
step one; don't trust anyone, take your designs, drawings, and a write up to a notary.
step two; start developing a marketable product, who brings it to market first makes the money.
step three; go to a real patent attorney, not the "services" you find on the web.
step four; think of funding, public or private company register with the state.
step five; sign me up for beta testing, manufacturing, marketing, profit margins etc...
just go to step two bring it to market then sue all the copycats...
" A pessimist is an optimist with experience "
Mar 20, 2017, 07:11 PM
Forget the guys who tell you they will help you get a patent, lots of money up front with no guarantees.
If you PM I can possibly get you in touch with a real good honest patent attorney who will give it to you straight.
Those Who Say It Can't Be Done Shouldn't Interupt Those That Are Doing It.
Mar 20, 2017, 07:23 PM
Send a copy of everything. all designs and documentation to your self via US mail.
Do not open it. It is proof of what you have. moved through the US mail with a date on it.
I dont know anything about patent but I know it will protect you if someone tries to steel from you and you end up in court.
Mar 20, 2017, 08:20 PM
Patents are generally worthless by themselves IMO.
What does your idea do?
"Some things are believed because they are demonstrably true, but a great many other things are believed simply because they are asserted repeatedly." - Thomas Sowell
Mar 20, 2017, 11:10 PM
A patent doesn't prevent anybody from doing anything.. All a patent does is give you the legal right to SPEND TONS OF MONEY defending your patent.
Originally Posted by CubbysGold
If you aren't going to make enough money to properly file a patent, HOW are you going to have enough money to defend it?? And if
they charge more money than I would probably ever make selling the device
there isn't money in it, who are you going to sue The guy making a few in his garage and selling them on e-bay? You get his profits..
A few $100, maybe a few $k.. And then you have to try and collect that, and that can cost...
Somebody in China copies it and sells it, what are you going to do then
Make your widget, and then sell it.. Put some money in your pocket..
A patent is only worth the money you are willing/able to spend defending it. Other than that, its just a pretty piece of paper to hang on your wall.
Mar 21, 2017, 12:14 AM
Good advice. Just get it made and start selling it!
Mar 21, 2017, 08:07 PM
Thanks everyone for all the comments and suggestions. I will definitely be getting a patent before selling or advertising my device. Mining friends that know of my device say I should have no problem selling them. My busy work schedule will really limit the number of units I can produce for sale which is why it may be slow to recover the initial startup costs.
Mar 21, 2017, 09:32 PM
Husband, father & fun seeker
Where are you located? My wife has worked in I.P. law for quite some time. She could probably give you a few names to give you a starting point. P.m. me if your interested.
Originally Posted by CubbysGold
Mar 21, 2017, 11:06 PM
Let me play devils advocate here for a minute..
Originally Posted by CubbysGold
You get a patent. You're beginning to knock out some "devices". I copy your device and start selling them while you're new venture is in its
infancy.. What do you do What can you do
You send a cease and desist letter... That'll probably cost you.. I ignore it and keep making widgets.... Now what do you do? What can you do?
Now you have to go the court route.. I'm still making some widgets and selling them, and making money... Now you are paying a lawyer to do all
kinds of lawerly crap, instead of producing product.. I just bought a new machine to make your widget cheaper, you didn't because you had to
pay a lawyer.
2 years down the road, my company, which is an insulated shell and owns nothing, has made and sold a 1000 widgets and kept very careful records and booked
a total of $462 in profit. And just before trial time, I say "OK, I'll stop".. Are you going to throw another $10k out the door to go to trial and get that $462?
Just pointing out that you can get a patent, and there is nothing wrong with that, its a cool thing to do, an accomplishment, you came up with something cool...
Even better, its something you want to actually make and sell, and that's really cool too. (that's actually cooler than a patent)..
Nobody is going to defend your patent for you.. Its YOUR patent, its YOUR job to defend it. You have to PAY to defend it. If you can't PAY to defend it,
then its not even worth the paper its written on.
Then we run into all the other patent BS.. If you start digging.. And digging... And Digging.. You will most likely find that your patent isn't all that original.
There has been well over 100 years of people patenting whacked out stuff to get gold... And then even if you do have an "original", a little tweak, or improvement,
and your patent is worthless.
I'm just pointing out that I believe going the patent route isn't going to protect your product in a way you think it will. Its really nothing more than a certificate
that allows you to PAY to sue other people.
Make your money with reputation and quality.. Maybe trade mark a catchy name, BAZOOKA gold trap and GOLD CUBE come to mind. Think Kleenex and Band Aids.
Nobody wants to buy a "Joe's Plastic fluid bed sluice".. They want a BAZOOKA!!!!
I hope it all works out for you, and if your "widget" doesn't require naturally running water, I might even buy one.
Mar 22, 2017, 06:33 AM
I agree with all the comments ! Just look at what happened to the DFS sluice that (PhilNM) Phil Hontz had developed. Once he had a picture posted with some good results , MANY were copied and his business was flushed. Get your name for it ,put lots of quality in it and sell it yourself for a reasonable price and go from there WITHOUT all the headaches and $$$$$$$$$ involved with lawyers /courts . you know someone WILL make a copy for them self !
Last edited by russau; Mar 22, 2017 at 06:36 AM.
Mar 22, 2017, 06:53 AM
You need to get a provisional patent. That is your first step. Its a few hundred dollars and covers you for a year while you file the real patent. Once you get provisional status, you can tell people about your idea. You are going to need to speak to an attorney to figure out how much your patent will cost to file. Some patents only cost a few $1000 to file and some can cost like 50k+. So you need to figure if the ROI is going to be worth it or not. These will be things the attorney can help you with. But right now, file the provisional patent and get that done with before you talk to anyone about your idea.
If you need money for the patent, you need to get an angel investor or turn to crowdfunding. But again, file provisional status and talk to an attorney first.
Just a word of advice if you go to investors and not saying this to dissuade you but saying you will buy vs actually buying are two different things. Market tests are usually required before you can say things like this unless its a no brainer that it will sell.
Mining friends that know of my device say I should have no problem selling them.
Also, some have said about getting your patent defended...its actually not difficult. Attornies are lining up to defend your patent and many will only charge a % of what they make on the case. Worry about that issue when you have the patent.
Last edited by adamBomb; Mar 22, 2017 at 06:59 AM.
Mar 22, 2017, 09:49 AM
The most important thing is the name you create and the ability to fill orders.
As mentioned the patent just means you can pay to fight for it.
A patent doesn't build or sell the product. That is the crucial part. In mining especially small scale the name and reputation drive sells way more than the rights to the product ever will. Numerous things used daily are not patented. or the patent has expired. people buy the product because it is the one they had to have.
Mar 22, 2017, 10:06 AM
Exactly! Well put. Back in the 1980's the patent attorney I hired to research obtaining a patent told me some horrible realities. Such as, the average (back then...probably a lot more now) cost of defending a patent on just one infringing company is over a million dollars. IF two people jump your patent, and you can only afford to sue one of them, then you have failed to defend your patent which makes it null and void. Suppose 10 people start making your product? His advice was just to hit the market with it and run. later when another larger company obtained a patent on our product, they tried to tell us we could not continue to make it but, we ignored them because we made it first and they were not the original inventor so their patent was crap, ha ha. They and their lawyers just went away.
Originally Posted by bobw53
Anyway, this was advice long ago from one attorney. I suggest that the O.P. get his own attorney to give him advice and then make a decision. Since I am not an attorney, I have no idea what he might tell him but, I would listen to him.
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