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to patent or not to patent?

Postby jenng » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:16 pm

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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:35 pm
I have a product I want to have manufactured and sell. I have done some research on the product and there are people who have patented items similar to what I want to do, but mine would be a variation of one of those. It's a good idea and I believe it would sell, but the marketing is terrible on anything out there, you have to search for days to find it, and the product can be drastically changed to make it more functional.
I believe in this product and am more than willing to put in the time and money, because I believe in it, but I'm just not sure what to do and am overwhelmed. Since there are similar products, do I bother with a patent, what is the point if someone can make slight changes and call it new? What do I do to protect myself, and I certainly wouldn't want to infringe on anyone else's patent either so I need to be careful.
One last note.. I really don't want to license it, I actually want to do the work myself, I just want to make sure I'm doing it right. I guess I just don't know where to go from here. Please help!

Postby makeworldbetter » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:13 pm

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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:15 am
Location: Silicon Valley
I haven't seen any post from Tony for weeks, so If you don't mind, I would answer your question.

The fact that you find a patented item similar to your idea pretty much put our answer to guess work. How similar are they? The only way to know that is to exam the claims of the existing patent and your idea. without knowing these two, no one can answer you.

So, My suggestion to you, go find a patent attorney and consult him. Ask these.

IS this existing patent still enforceable?
Do you need to license this existing patent to run your idea?
Can you apply a new patent?

If fact before you spend any money to consult an attorney, ask yourself this: Why this product isn't popular at all? And discuss it with your friends. After all, not every idea flies.

Postby jenng » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:36 pm

White Belt
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:35 pm
I would say this in answer to your question. There is one thing out on the market but it is far too expensive for the average person to afford. The other things I've seen are not practical, they are bulky and inconvenient in the way they have been made. This would be the same function, but made quite differently, and much more practical. I believe that is why these other models are not succeeding.
I guess for the other questions I'll have to, like you said, speak to an expert.