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patent infringement, intellectual property, utility question

Old 11-28-2016, 10:16 AM
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I have an idea that is killer. I'm bundling several store bought items together as a kit without deviating much from their original intended use. However, their actual application and environment are completely different than designed. Especially the enclosure.

Nothing close in idea, but a comparable situation would be: flush mounting a name brand sonar screen and video screen in a modified Pelican case, attached to a long tether, to a brand name remote controlled submersible with a video camera. More add-on, store bought features added to the sonar functions without modifying software or hardware. Then selling, installing, marketing as a kit to inspect say, water tanks. Never changing or taking credit for the original components' trade names, while becoming a dealer for those items, or buying directly from those companies.

I know that my example is dumb, but could Pelican come after me for case modification? Are the other manufacturers able to issue a cease and desist for their role in a bundled kit?

I'm meeting with a patent lawyer this week for a consultation. In order to ensure I'm not infringing on any patents. I just don't even know what to ask.

It's my impression that someone could have pulled a patent for installing a touch screen in a case for instance that would leave me dead in the water based on my example
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:34 AM
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Im sure everything you buy will have an EULA with. I would start by reading those. Also look into the warranty, because the end consumer bought it from you and not an authorized retailer it may be considered grey market and not covered. Lastly is there some secret sauce to this contraption? What is to prevent someone from looking at your dohicky and make their own?
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:28 AM
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Thank you, Lorne. I'll look into those right away and familiarize myself. My idea can definitely be copied, but the general idea is so obviously overlooked, that the sales, service, parts, installation, and tech support would create it's own company, imo. Regardless of how many started. I have a vision for product expansion that is modular in nature, so my plan will be to carry the warranties personally.

I'm going commercial on a building I own, and will have a corporation by spring with literally no overhead.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:41 AM
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You can't really make any calls until you do a patent search and see what the established prior art is. On a few of my ideas, the search revealed a patent the was basically identical. Game over.

But sometimes the existing patent is expired and you can go ahead and produce your product. Good design, good mfr'ing, good marketing can make a product a success even if there is no patent protection. Potential competitors often chose to not bother competing if you have a good game going and establish the product in the market before they even know you exist.

You can also apply for a patent even if the chances of a solid patent are unlikely. "Patent applied for" or "patent pending" can discourage competitors.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:58 AM
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Send "billable hours" a PM on this forum. He's a patent attorney.... good guy too....
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:12 PM
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Nothing new to this idea as there are several high end units on the market with lighting and some with compressed air or water to blow away debris from inspection locations. Do a search on pipeline and submarine cable inspection. Also, what would be the benefit to sonar on a water tank inspection?
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Bailey Boat View Post
Send "billable hours" a PM on this forum. He's a patent attorney.... good guy too....
2nd this!
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kmoose View Post
Nothing new to this idea as there are several high end units on the market with lighting and some with compressed air or water to blow away debris from inspection locations. Do a search on pipeline and submarine cable inspection. Also, what would be the benefit to sonar on a water tank inspection?
It's not my idea, just a similar make believe example. My actual "secret" idea involves bundling different items together.
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