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Contact With Buyer, Now What?

Postby kschmidt82 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:38 pm

kschmidt82
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:07 pm
I recently sent out an email to a company who manufactures and sells products directly related to my invention. I have made a crude prototype and it works great. I have done a pretty expensive patent search as well through several patent search websites and visited many stores to attempt to find anything similar to my idea. Bottom line is there are none in the stores or for sale online and my patent searches returned no results like what I have made. I have been strongly considering submitting my idea to an invention marketing firm (Lambert & Lambert).

As I said, I contacted a manufacturer and told them I was an inventor and conducting market research in the field my invention pertains to and asked for an approximate number of pieces they produce per year. I knew I probably would not get this information but they worst they could do is say no. Much to my surprise I got an email back from their Director of Marketing. He told me that while he can not give out the information I requested, their company does work directly with private inventors. He even attached a NDA agreement that they use. However, I have no drawings yet or description.

The questions I have are:
1) Should I file for Provisional Patent before going further with them? He said they are willing to work with inventors at any stage in the process.

2) At what stage should I get an attorney or someone well versed in patent and licensing law if I even need one?

3) There are other possible designs for my idea besides my prototype but are beyond my ability to produce as a prototype. Will this hurt my chances or ability to make as much money as possible from this?

4) If I submit an idea and they like it but find a way to improve on it, can they then assume the rights to it since I only had an idea but they were able to perfect it?

I'm very suspicious and cautious about the process and this is my first real shot at getting money from an invention. Thus, I want to make sure I do everything right the first time so I don't lose out on anything. I am new here and have been reading your forums extensively over the last couple days. Thanks.

Kyle

Re: Contact With Buyer, Now What?

Postby stereo-vision » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:55 am

stereo-vision
White Belt
 
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kschmidt82: Here is an article where Lambert & Lambert is listed. They may have changed their ways since then though. Be careful! http://dcinventors.org/avoid_invention_scams.html

Re: Contact With Buyer, Now What?

Postby kschmidt82 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:04 am

kschmidt82
White Belt
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:07 pm
And that is exactly the reason I do not want to go through a licensing agent/invention broker. No matter how legitimate they seem you never can tell. They are even a BBB member which I thought lent some credibility. Apparently, according to that complaint, it looks like they tell you what your idea needs and then refer you to their venture capital arm for further funding. Hmmm. Sounds like a ripoff to me.

Seeing as that I have made contact with an interested manufacturer, what is my next step? I would rather not use an agent or broker if possible. Should I have a provisional application filed before I move ahead or can I do something else to make sure I'm protected at this phase?

Thanks.

Kyle

Re: Contact With Buyer, Now What?

Postby apapage » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:14 pm

apapage
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Location: NYC
There are a few ways to proceed. Some prepare a sell sheet that describes the product/invention and pitch it to the buyer with an NDA in place. Others file a provisional application as an added measure of protection. You should have at least one measure in place before disclosing the product to the company. You can file the provisional application yourself, or prepare the provisional and have an attorney or agent review it before filing. In terms of the license, companies that license typically have their own form license, which you should review with an attorney.

Re: Contact With Buyer, Now What?

Postby Gizmo » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:04 pm

Gizmo
 
Have you been logging all of your ideas in an inventors notebook/journal ? It will at least give you some added protection if its documented the correct way.


http://www.idearights.com/invtntbk.htm

Re: Contact With Buyer, Now What?

Postby kschmidt82 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:02 pm

kschmidt82
White Belt
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:07 pm
Update:

I submitted my invention to the company today. The Director of Engineering promptly replied and let me know that while the general idea had been discussed before they had not come up with a practical solution. He also said my idea was unique and they had not encountered my concept before. He said he will be holding a meeting later this week or early next week for further review. I submitted some rough drawings, a description, and some pictures of a prototype I made actually in use for its application.

Fingers crossed!

Kyle Schmidt

Re: Contact With Buyer, Now What?

Postby Gizmo » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:08 pm

Gizmo
 
Great news Kyle,keep us posted.

Good Luck

Re: Contact With Buyer, Now What?

Postby kschmidt82 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:15 pm

kschmidt82
White Belt
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:07 pm
Update....

Well I received a reply from the Director of Engineering today. His group has decided it's a project they want to move forward with and have passed it along to their marketing guy to figure out a way to make a package deal with their existing product line.

At this point I am optimistic. This however leaves some new questions since I previously did not want to put the cart before the horse. I will post the new questions under a new thread though. Thanks for all the help so far.

Kyle Schmidt

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