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  • Copy Right/ Patent

    Whats the correct way to protect your intellectual property? I had an amazing original idea/invention and want to get it down on paper and protected.
    USAR

  • #2
    Re: Copy Right/ Patent

    I'm sure there's a web reference somewhere, but writing it out in detail and mailing it to yourself is the old standard.
    Peace through fear... since 1947!

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    • #3
      Re: Copy Right/ Patent

      http://www.uspto.gov/main/faq/

      And there was an interesting article in Playboy last month about Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller) and his patent.
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      • #4
        Re: Copy Right/ Patent

        Nice link Cing, definitely what I was looking for.

        A patent cannot be obtained on a mere idea or suggestion. Patent applications are examined for both technical and legal merit.
        So in layman's terms, they need specific design documents on how *blank* is built and functions?
        USAR

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        • #5
          Re: Copy Right/ Patent

          Originally posted by CingularDuality
          And there was an interesting article in Playboy last month about Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller) and his patent.
          He buys it for the articles.
          Peace through fear... since 1947!

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          • #6
            Re: Copy Right/ Patent

            Originally posted by squeak
            Nice link Cing, definitely what I was looking for.


            So in layman's terms, they need specific design documents on how *blank* is built and functions?
            Right. You have to actually invent it before you can patent it... It doesn't have to be very different from other inventions, however.

            Here's a link to Penn Jillette's patent. You'll notice in the summary that the device isn't much different from an ordinary hot tub, except for the position of one certain jet.
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            • #7
              Re: Copy Right/ Patent

              What I was describing was a way to establish "prior art", which is essentially making it known that you had the idea first without getting a patent. I can't find any reference to the "mail it to yourself" thing, but I did hear that several times in the past. Now that I reference this page, however, I can see that nothing short of public disclosure of the idea will count as prior art. So forget the "mail it to yourself" thing. ;)
              Peace through fear... since 1947!

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              • #8
                Re: Copy Right/ Patent

                Getting a patent isn't cheap either it is about $800 if I remember correctly. I suggest going to a Patent Pending Attorney. They will help with all the research and filing of paper work.
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                • #9
                  Re: Copy Right/ Patent

                  Originally posted by Drizzid
                  Getting a patent isn't cheap either it is about $800 if I remember correctly. I suggest going to a Patent Pending Attorney. They will help with all the research and filing of paper work.
                  For an individual, it might only be $75. But getting a patent attorney is DEFINITELY advisable.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Copy Right/ Patent

                    Or just establish prior art and forget the patent until you make some money off of the product.
                    Peace through fear... since 1947!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Copy Right/ Patent

                      Originally posted by icky
                      What I was describing was a way to establish "prior art", which is essentially making it known that you had the idea first without getting a patent. I can't find any reference to the "mail it to yourself" thing, but I did hear that several times in the past. Now that I reference this page, however, I can see that nothing short of public disclosure of the idea will count as prior art. So forget the "mail it to yourself" thing. ;)
                      Didn't mean to ignore you icky! I've used that way to copy right presentations, written articles/papers, etc. It only protects the "form" of the information, not really what its on.

                      ---

                      I was thinking of "dating" my idea by this method... at least get it down on paper and have it notarized, send it to myself in a sealed envelope etc. Wouldn't hurt right?
                      USAR

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                      • #12
                        Re: Copy Right/ Patent

                        From the link I sent on prior art, it sounds to me like the date is irrelevant if you haven't shown the idea to anyone, and I suppose that makes sense. If two people come up with an idea, and one could not have possibly gotten the idea from the other, then it doesn't matter who came up with it first when it comes time to argue over who owns it. Once you publish it, everyone knows it was your idea, and there is plenty of irrefutable evidence of the date.
                        Peace through fear... since 1947!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Copy Right/ Patent

                          Hey Squeak, I have done a little searching in this area a while ago and my suggestions are to not waiste your time with these online scams that say they will help patent your idea and make you rich. The best money that can be spent in this area is by going and talking to a Patent Lawyer. I think you can get a free consultation visit and they can point you in the right direction and show you the steps you can take to patent your idea or at least protect your idea. Goodluck and I hope it works out for you.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Copy Right/ Patent

                            Originally posted by icky
                            Or just establish prior art and forget the patent until you make some money off of the product.
                            This is a viable option too. If there is underlying technology that you don't want other people to get their hands on in 11 years, then just keep your idea on the mum and use non-disclosure agreements to keep prospective customers from stealing your idea.
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                            <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Copy Right/ Patent

                              Originally posted by Rincewind
                              This is a viable option too. If there is underlying technology that you don't want other people to get their hands on in 11 years, then just keep your idea on the mum and use non-disclosure agreements to keep prospective customers from stealing your idea.
                              It's really not a viable option. At least not if you don't want others to just change the color and patent their version.

                              Without a patent that specifically outlines the design of your creation, others will just change the design a tiny bit and patent it themselves. You'll have nothing recorded to prove the design was your invention, only the fact that you were selling a similar product first.

                              This is the entire reason that the patent office exists.
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