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mferguson0414 01-25-2009 09:28 PM

way off topic question
 
Does anyone happen to know how much it costs to get a patent, or what the process even is?

AnthonyStanley11 01-26-2009 01:34 PM

It all depends on the product or service you want patented. I would call your local patent office to use as a starting point.

Leah Frances 01-26-2009 01:54 PM

Go to www.uspto.gov and start reading. Patents cost in the range of thousands of dollars for an attorney to do for you. You can cut the costs by doing your own patent search (we're talking US, here, right?). It takes on average 26 months to get a patent. USPTO supports itself through fees - just to apply costs several hundred, if you get granted the patent issuance costs $1,500 (if memory serves).

Beware of any service that will "help you get a patent" that is not an attorney admitted to the patent bar. Any commercial or ad on the internet for "inventors" should be regarded with GREAT CAUTION.

If you have invented something that is patent worthy (Google: "can I get a patent" and start reading) your best bet is to talk to a patent attorney. Good luck.

gma2rjc 01-26-2009 07:02 PM

You don't have to get your invention patented right away. You don't need a patent lawyer right away. When product development departments in large corporations invent something, they don't get it patented until they have designed and re-designed it into the final product they are going to patent. While they are developing it, they use a permanently bound lab notebook with numbered pages to document the invention with witnesses signatures from the very beginning. You can get a lab notebook at Eureka Lab Book Inc. www.eurekalabbook.com or Scientific Notebook Company www.snco.com . There are specific things that need to go in the beginning of your notebook and they should be in a certain order. So when you get it, don't write anything in it until you know what and how to write in it so that it will hold-up in court as proof that the invention is yours. You'll also need that book when you do go to a patent lawyer and file for a patent.

Before you do that, go to your library and ask if they have the book "Nolo's Patents for Beginners". Nolo publishes several excellent books for inventors. But if you're really serious about it, go online to www.nolo.com . You can order books from them and you'll have them in a few days. Very simple. You'll use them as reference books when you have a question. The author is a member of the Patent and Trademark office bars.

Quote:

Beware of any service that will "help you get a patent" that is not an attorney admitted to the patent bar. Any commercial or ad on the internet for "inventors" should be regarded with GREAT CAUTION.

Leah is right. Whatever you do, DO NOT pay for a company to 'help' you. Even if you were to contact one of those companies just out of curiosity, once they get your name and phone number they'll keep calling you. Do Not Trust Them or give them any information about your invention.

Also, there are a lot of doubting Thomas's out there. Don't let anyone discourage you. Take any advice with a grain of salt (except mine :laughing:).

mferguson0414 01-26-2009 09:34 PM

wow, that is great info

Nestor_Kelebay 01-27-2009 12:37 AM

Also, all that you really need to protect your rights as the rightful inventor is to be able to prove you had the idea first.

To do that, simply write out your idea, complete with sketches and any other information you can think of to explain the workings of your idea and take it to any real estate agent, lawyer or bank manager to notarize. As all of these professions routinely have to authenticate documents, all of them will also hold a licence as a notary public. (Notary publics came about during medieval times when few people could read or write, and those that could would often try to hoodwink those that couldn't by forging documents, most often the last wills of deceased people to gain a larger portion of an estate.) The purpose of a notary public was to witness signatures, or more commonly the "X" marks people made on an important document, and thereby authenticate those documents. Since bank managers, lawyers and real estate agents routinely have to do that with wills, mortgages and deeds to property, all of them will get their licence to be a notary publics just out of convenience. Have the idea notarized by a notary public, photocopy the notarized idea, keep the copy and mail the original to yourself. The envelope will come back to you postmarked with the date it passed through the post office. Don't open it, leave it sealed. Now, rent a small safety deposit box especially for this one envelope and keep the envelope in that safety deposit box. Keep the key to the safety deposit box with your copy. The bank or financial institution will keep a record of every time you access that box by asking you to sign your name on a card so they can compare your signature to the person who is renting that box. The bank will date your signature each time you access that safety deposit box. If the postmark on your envelope and the date the contents were notarized shows that you had the idea earlier than someone else, and the bank can prove that you didn't have access to the safety deposit box since you first rented it, then you can prove that you had the idea at the time the contents were first notarized and the safety deposit box was first rented.

In this way, you can prove yourself to be the true inventor while you go through the process of patenting the idea, and it'll only cost you about $25 per year. If you need to prove your case, explain the situation to the judge and the court will probably appoint a notary public to accompany you as you retrieve the envelope and have the bank make copies for all interested parties. The notary public can then notarize each page as being a a true copy of the original. And, if the original shows exactly the same thing that's on the copy you kept for yourself, there's no doubt that you had that idea on or before the date it was first notarized.

You also have to recognize that court cases like this don't demand that you prove your case "beyond a shadow of a doubt", but "based on the balance of probability", and I can't see any way of faking this evidence unless the notary public, your bank and yourself are all in on the same conspiracy, and respected members of society, like notary publics and bank managers don't take part in conspiracies, expecially if there's nothing in it for them.

mferguson0414 01-27-2009 08:03 AM

you are just a wealth of knowledge!


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