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To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

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To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

Old 02-05-2009, 06:02 PM
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Default To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

Need a little bit of help.. some of you know me from my lures that I make and sell on here. I have been creating lures for many years and been to China and had them manufacture for me for years, trolling rods etc. This is what I want to do, I have some new designs in lures that will really help change the big game trolling industry and would rather do all my manufacturing here in the United States. I think it can be cost effective, and above all, may put other people to work. Here is my dilemma, should I go after a patent of my new stuff first and then bring it out? I have been doing this for many, many years, and we are all pirates, there is no love in this business. Before I did not care about a patent, figured it costs too much money. I’m looking for a better thinker or Socrates then maybe of some of my past judgments, any ideas?
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

I'd make what product you can. Sell it as fast as you can. Make as much money as you can, fast. Then get the hell out as fast as you can.

At the end of the day you will have made more money.

Been there, done that. Learned along the way.

Don't try and change the wheels direction. It only will cost more.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

Don't even think about patents unless you have cubic dollars you are willing to spend defending the patents. Nowadays the little guy has no hope in a infringement suit, a big company will spend you bankrupt trying to protect your patent.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

I agree with the above posts - I have several patents and defending then can be expensive. I have been there twice and the costs each time were between $50K and $100K. Get out there first and get your product established - let everyone else come second and compete with you. I moved all my product back stateside and glad I did. Some things are actually cheaper to manufacture here. The more hand labor involved, the more difficult to compete in the states, but still worth a look. Good luck, ad keep us posted.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

Being manufacturer of easy copied furniture in vietnam, my points are:

Will be copied anyway, patented or not. They just need ridiculous differences to say it is not a copy.

There are specialized companies enforcing copyright regulations in China even with foreign inspectors raiding in factory with police. You need big bucks for the foreigner and to move the police

Even if you trust your supplier, all the chain will screw you, from the workers taking the model out, to the custom asking all specs and picture of what is to export.

So whoever you find and trust, don't be naive.

Especially that they will copy, make it cheaper and poor quality (if not sometimes better), they will screw your market with cheaper and s#it quality.

So my 2 advises are:

+ keep time advance coming with new models all the time;
+ keep it small scale made with people you trust (in the US or a little family business in China that you trust - and good luck)
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

Thanks guys here is a link to a fellow members web page that has done a review of some of the stuff this is by far not the new designs http://www.saltwatersportfish.com/Gear_Reviews.html
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

I have looked into patents, and have been told the same things mentioned above about defending them.
I think what I would do (just my opinion) is get a provisional patent. The filing fee is only $110. Most of what people pour money into for patents are lawyers. You could file a provisional through LegalZoom.com with pricing and services like this:

Provisional Patent Pricing
Provisional Application for Patent Service$199.00
Filing Fee (required)$110.00
LegalZoom Peace of Mind Review
Digitizing and color adjustment of your technical drawings
Attorney Review (optional), which includes drafting one independent claim and coordination of up to three (3) pages of technical illustrations
Electronic filing of your application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Free non-disclosure and confidentiality forms for marketing your invention
Then what I'd do is draft up a packet to send to every lure manufacturer you can find stating what you have designed, how it works, what it sells for, etc. then include "Patent Pending" number and information and a statement saying that if they would like to manufacture your design, that they can contact you with offers. My thought is that this would preemptively set up the idea that your patent is attainable, but would be defended, and possibly prevent piracy.
If you don't get offers, then in a year when your provisional is up, you can finalize your patent. By then, hopefully the product would have produced enough income to pay for it's own patent, which could run anywhere from a couple hundred if you do it all yourself to several thousand for legal fees, etc.

Just my $.02


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Old 02-06-2009, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

My Turn - 2/5/2009 10:06 PM

Don't even think about patents unless you have cubic dollars you are willing to spend defending the patents. Nowadays the little guy has no hope in a infringement suit, a big company will spend you bankrupt trying to protect your patent.
I agree. I thought about a patent for my lights, actually I am still looking into it. But I am finding out exactly what is posted above. You can patent anything you want. But if a big company decides to make the same product, you as "the little guy" won't be able to fight them in court. And even if you do have the money to fight them, all they have to do is make one slight change and its no longer a copy.

On the other side, as "the little guy" making a product you need to be careful not to copy a patented product from a big company because they will burry you. They will steal your idea and expect you to roll over, but if you steal theirs they will make you roll over.

When I was coming up with a design for my lights I made sure to look at every similar product on the market. I made absolutly sure my lights look nothing at all like the other products on the market.

The best way for "the little guy" to make and sell his products without a patent is to make it better and cheaper. Also......customer service is most important. In most cases people will try a new product or even spend a little extra if they hear about great customer service.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

I can not speak directly to patents as I do not have any direct experience with them but when I spoke to an attorney about this he suggested copyrighting the name which seemed cheap and then putting everything about the product down on paper with drawings and mailing it to yourself. He said that I should keep the letter unopened and should I ever get dragged into court I could present the letter with the USPS post mark to show I was first. I have no idea if this would work but he had a story about an inventor who was sued by a large corp because they copied his unpatented product and then claimed he was infringing on their patent.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:05 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

bsmit

You must not have spoken with an intellectual property attorney, because what he told you is not accurate.

There is some good advice and some bad advice here, so take it for what it's worth - a posting on an internet message board. There is no "one size fits all" route for every invention or inventor . . .

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

Billable Hours - 2/6/2009 6:05 AM

bsmit

You must not have spoken with an intellectual property attorney, because what he told you is not accurate.
No, I was there on another matter and somehow the subject turned to this topic which is not his area.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

A benefit to a patent is that if one of the copiers patents your work, you can defend yourself.

my .02
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

Billable Hours - 2/6/2009 10:05 AM

bsmit

You must not have spoken with an intellectual property attorney, because what he told you is not accurate.

There is some good advice and some bad advice here, so take it for what it's worth - a posting on an internet message board. There is no "one size fits all" route for every invention or inventor . . .

Regards,

Kevin
Registered patent attorney





Jack
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

This is my opinion and remember, it is just an opinion. First, as I said before, it can be expensive to defend your patents. I have several and have been involved with the defense of them twice, won both times, and both times it cost lots of money to defend. As far as your own company, I agree with some of the above posts - make them better, less expensive, and provide excellent customer service. Keep your overhead low - operate out of your house or a building on your own property - do as much of the work yourself as you can. Where you really make some money on your own products is the sale of your company after it has become successful. Your company should act as an investment tool that you put your time, effort, and finances into, and one day - if you desire, you can sell it for a sizeable sum of money. Small producers should consider their products to be niche markets. Chances are, if you make a lure and a large company knocks it off, they are going to try to appeal to the masses, while you are going to appeal to the purists, your profit margin should be higher, your product should be better, and your customer service should be beyond reproach.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

The Case Against Patents

http://www.tinaja.com/glib/casagpat.pdf
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: To Patent or not to Patent? that is the question

Go back and read the post by Mist-Rest over and over again.

Take a damn fools advice from me. I had/have two patents which made me tons of money by virtue of being patented (for 17 years each).

Patents cost a fortune and in the case of fishing lures I suspect a great brand name is the key to profits ,not the fact that they are patented.

Thomas Edison said “all a patent ever got me was lawsuits”



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