- White Belt
- Posts: 8
- 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.