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Where to go from here?

Postby Ben Tex » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:22 pm

Ben Tex
White Belt
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:24 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

First, I appreciate your willingness to counsel people on the site. I am a first-time inventor who finds himself in a precarious position, and would appreciate your guidance.

About four years ago, I began thinking about an idea for a household item, based on "regional experiences" I was having after moving from California to Texas. I mainly just thought about it until early in 2005 when I heard a radio advertisement for InventHelp. I looked them up with the BBB, saw nothing negative, and contacted the local office. (At this point I might as well say I now know I shouldn't have, but it seemed like a logical path at the time.) Anyway, I signed up with them for the max. A patent attorney they work with has filed for a utility patent (January 2006). My two-year arrangement with them for marketing services has expired and not been renewed.

The good news is I believe my invention has potential, and I have search-search-search'ed and found nothting that does what it does. Here are a few questions I have:

1. Is my patent application likely not worth the paper it's printed on? In the Claims, it stipulates some manufacturing detail that I had not included in my submission, which I largely ignored because I was told that a utility patent covers "what it does, and not how it looks." I've also continued to refine the design to the point that one of the claims (it states that a certain opening will be at least 3" in diameter, when the newest design has it at 2") is no longer valid. Is detail like this renedered moot by the utility patent, or is that a deal killer. If the patent gets granted as written, is it possible to amend anything, such as the stipulated size of the opening? If so, at what point?

2. Assuming I've screwed up royally, might I just as well scrap the idea, or is there a point I can return to and re-do it correctly? If so, where?

3. I'm planning to audition for Everyday Edisons. In the paperwork, they ask if I've filed for a patent. Since my application differs from what I'll be showing them, is the answer yes or no? I'm assuming the answer to this will be based on my ability to amend the application.

4. If there's anything else I can tell you, I'm happy to. Otherwise, can you advise me?

Thanks in Advance,

Ben Tex

Postby tony.fulford » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:08 am

User avatar
Green Belt
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:04 pm
Ben Tex

You should amend your current patent application. You can change the CLAIMS or even completly replace them.

As for Everyday Edisons, if you are going to amend your current application; The answer is YES. If you are going to file a completly new application (not recommended), the answer is NO.