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Thread: Inventors beware

  1. #1
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    Inventors beware

    Inventions are a complicated process.

    You have to pass many hurdles.

    Can you get a patent?
    Maybe, probably not. You are going to run into a 'crowded field of art' obstacle even if you do have a new idea. It's legalese. Patents are protected by 'legal claims' which have little technical value but encompass large swaths of technical concepts. What would seem an obvious patent may be declared invalid. By international treaty, the USA is obligated to accept foreign patent 'legal claims' that are vastly encompassing.

    If you get a patent can you make any money off of it?
    Maybe, probably not. Somebody has to buy it from you, or you can start manufacturing the thing in your garage. As for the former, it had better be something really big and exciting or nobody is going to care about it one way or another. As for the latter, your patent is good for some limited number of years so you had better get that factory going now. Your big manufacturers are making money off of of other stuff now. They have plenty of time to tool up and develop your idea and spring it on the market 17 years from now. Can it be duplicated or done in another way? If so, your patent is perhaps worthless.


    If you do make lot's of money off your patent?
    Maybe, probably not. But if you do, expect to be sued and go to court. The more money you make, the more court dates you can expect. If you made a million dollars, you are going up against ambulance chaser lawyers representing momma smith, if you make ten million dollars you are going up against lawyers representing General Electric and such.

    Am I just trying to discourage? Yes and no. There is a proper time and place for patents and these are usually going to exist in large corporate environments. The million dollar bread tie inventor day is over long ago and long over. I know of several people with several patents, and some really good ideas, but nobody made a single penny.

    If you have something you can manufacture, and it is possibly worthy of a patent, then stamp it 'patent pending' and see if you can sell it first. That is why you see so many 'patent pending' stamps on products. I think you are allowed a two year window for that with submitted paperwork.

    Patents are generally the errand of a fool, I made that run once.
    "You boys are really making this thing harder than it has to be". Me

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  3. #2
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    I'm reminded of a guy that had an idea for a toothpaste tube. The tubes used to be made of lead. It was a key like a sardine cans used to have so the tube could be wound up and all the paste gotten out.
    While his idea isn't very earth shaking he thought he could sell it. I cost him over $12000, all he had, and took so long that toothpaste tubes had changed to plastic and his idea wasn't needed.

    There are numerous ways to loose your a$$ with a good idea. One inventor said that a million dollar idea will cost 100 million in costs to make the one million. I don't know if that's entirely accurate but it's something to think about.
    Give me a relay with big enough contacts, and I'll run the world!

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  4. #3
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    Here's the site where some patent problems are brought up. I've read this guys stuff when he wrote for electronics mags.

    http://www.tinaja.com/patnt01.shtml
    Give me a relay with big enough contacts, and I'll run the world!

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    If a person wants to create a machine that will be more likely to fail...Make it complicated.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

  5. #4
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    Couldn't you file for one yourself after getting a provisional?

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tool-Slinger View Post
    Inventions are a complicated process.

    You have to pass many hurdles.

    Can you get a patent?
    Maybe, probably not. You are going to run into a 'crowded field of art' obstacle even if you do have a new idea. It's legalese. Patents are protected by 'legal claims' which have little technical value but encompass large swaths of technical concepts. What would seem an obvious patent may be declared invalid. By international treaty, the USA is obligated to accept foreign patent 'legal claims' that are vastly encompassing.

    If you get a patent can you make any money off of it?
    Maybe, probably not. Somebody has to buy it from you, or you can start manufacturing the thing in your garage. As for the former, it had better be something really big and exciting or nobody is going to care about it one way or another. As for the latter, your patent is good for some limited number of years so you had better get that factory going now. Your big manufacturers are making money off of of other stuff now. They have plenty of time to tool up and develop your idea and spring it on the market 17 years from now. Can it be duplicated or done in another way? If so, your patent is perhaps worthless.


    If you do make lot's of money off your patent?
    Maybe, probably not. But if you do, expect to be sued and go to court. The more money you make, the more court dates you can expect. If you made a million dollars, you are going up against ambulance chaser lawyers representing momma smith, if you make ten million dollars you are going up against lawyers representing General Electric and such.

    Am I just trying to discourage? Yes and no. There is a proper time and place for patents and these are usually going to exist in large corporate environments. The million dollar bread tie inventor day is over long ago and long over. I know of several people with several patents, and some really good ideas, but nobody made a single penny.

    If you have something you can manufacture, and it is possibly worthy of a patent, then stamp it 'patent pending' and see if you can sell it first. That is why you see so many 'patent pending' stamps on products. I think you are allowed a two year window for that with submitted paperwork.

    Patents are generally the errand of a fool, I made that run once.

    That was well put!!!! ... Patents can be a nightmare beyond all imagination . If you patent something without being willing to put your heart and soul into it , well then it will fail . I know from first hand experience . Luckily , with the will of God and my family support I am selling my product . But it has been by far the most humbling experience of my life . If you patent something you have to be ready to sacrifice . It was the hardest thing I ever did . But , what I will say is once you start selling your product it will bring tears to your eyes and no one can ever take that away from you . The last few installs of our product I did not go to because I knew I would break down in tears . They were good tears , but tears of years of hard work ....

  7. #6
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    Twilly says pay no attention to these naysayers they just want to hold you back, send 29.95 to Twilly and you'll get your product to market.
    No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast

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  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilly View Post
    Twilly says pay no attention to these naysayers they just want to hold you back, send 29.95 (Cash no Checks)to Twilly and you'll get your product to market.
    Fixed

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilly View Post
    Twilly says pay no attention to these naysayers they just want to hold you back, send 29.95 to Twilly and you'll get your product to market.
    Checks in the mail

  11. #9
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    Patent process requires proper formatting, but as you can see from here, utter gibberish in contents are allowed.

    https://www.google.com/patents/US6662569

    https://www.google.com/patents/US20130234059

  12. #10
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    I couldn't agree with you more. As an inventor and holder of several patents I can attest to everything you said as true. My advice to anyone who thinks they have a good idea is to do exactly what you suggested. Get a provisional patent filed, (patent pending status), and begin to develop your product/idea to the extent that you can on your own. Once you have reached the point where you have something to show someone be very careful who you share it with. Be prepared to spend years of your life pursuing interest in what you are doing with little or no reward, other than the satisfaction of knowing you have a good idea. All in all it should be a labor of love with the expectation that you will never live to see a profit, and by all means don't quit your day job !

    Here is a link where you can look at some of my work if you are interested.
    http://www.jcgconcepts.com/home.html

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  14. #11
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    This used to be a country that encouraged new inventions. Then the lawyers got involved and phukered it up.

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    I checked into it once and was told you are better off getting Non disclosures statements from manufacturers for your and their protection and submit directly to them as they want the patent. Your name will still be on it as the inventor. I have an idea now that is needed but have no idea of a workable way to build it.

  16. #13
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    How much does a patent usually cost and how long does it take? Are there different patents and how do we know which one we need?
    Thank you for your advice.

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    I am lucky enough to be named in several patents, and i agree with this post entirely. One extra comment from experience is that a provisional patent is often more powerful than the actual issued patent. This is because nothing is set in stone yet so competition does not know how to 'work around' your wording of the patent and exploit it. Bottom line is that a patent is only as good if it is enforceable AND if you are perceived as someone / company who is willing to enforce it.

    Also, i think that it is important to point out that patent laws have recently changed and it is basically described as 'first to file' now. It used to be if you had prior art or some proof, you could potentially overturn someone's patent if determined to. Now it is basically first come first serve. Mailing things to yourself with a post date no longer flies.

  18. #15
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    Everything said is soo true.
    My wife's uncle (an A/C guy from Ruston L.A, home of Duck Dynasty) invented the first grabbit. He was in the shop with a piece of conduit and banding wire late one evening when he came up with it. He got a pattern and hire a couple of women to put them together in a small metal building. He sold enough to pay the bills until the highway department of Utah started buying them. The rest is history. He told me he closed the business the last couple years of the patent because he was spending all his profits on lawyers fighting patent infringes.
    Life is too short, Behappy!
    TFMM

  19. #16
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    Mountain Man????

    J/K

  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsiceman View Post
    Mountain Man????

    J/K
    I have only seen a couple of the shows and THAT happen to be one of them.
    No, Uncle Curly (he was bald) died some years back.
    But he would have fit right in with the show......
    Life is too short, Behappy!
    TFMM

  21. #18
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    It can cost thousands. You should hire a patent lawyer who specializes in patents and knows all the procedures. This is what holds me up on my 'ladder to heaven'.

  22. #19
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    Patents are one part of a business strategy, to achieve and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage. I've been a patent practitioner since 1993, and have seen many inventors make money on their inventions. Essentially, one would not take patent advice from an AC tech, any more than they'd take tech advice on an AC system from a patent lawyer. As always, every case is different and its best to seek professional assistance. Many good ideas are re-invented by people thinking they're the first, and often are not. On the other hand, I've had the opportunity to work on some pretty amazing tech, even in the HVAC area. Its basically, physical chemistry, everything relating to Joule-Thomson cooling, the Linde refrigerator, basic principles of enthalpy and entropy, its P-chem. Plus a few relays and some high voltage circuits. Probably the best thing an inventor can do is keep their mouth shut until they've spoken with a patent professional. I've seen a lot of inventors lose their rights, and this is especially true since we went to a first inventor to file system. I recently acquired a Goodman CLK49-1, runs perfectly, 4 ton, blows cold. Cleaned the coil and after rinsing, the temp of the liquid line dropped dramatically from the cooling effect of the evaporating water. Years ago, I put together a misting manifold all around a Rheem unit I have, to disperse water onto the coils. I was only able to measure a 1 degree difference at the duct, but question that since 1 degree could be due also to instrument error. So, I'm pondering in a custom system, have the condensor coil submerged in a pool. Has anyone marketed a pool water heater that uses an AC condenser coil as its heat source, drawing heat out of the residential dwelling ? There's all sorts of tech advancement opportunities in HVAC field, but don't expect to make $$ fast, one big hurdle is regulatory issues, UL ratings, etc. I think one area you all might find fruitful is in the area of inventing new tools. If you think about it, it should be possible to make a device that can read subcooling and superheat at the same time, without needing to connect a pressure gauge anywhere...... using bluetooth, that might be profitable. Stuff like that is where you might find the most success, not in new systems.

  23. #20
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    Thread Starter
    Has anyone marketed a pool water heater that uses an AC condenser coil as its heat source, drawing heat out of the residential dwelling ?

    Very clever Idea!

    If you think about it, it should be possible to make a device that can read subcooling and superheat at the same time

    There are some gauges on the market that are doing that now.

    read subcooling and superheat at the same time, without needing to connect a pressure gauge

    I'd have to say 'not possible'.
    "You boys are really making this thing harder than it has to be". Me

    “They can’t do anything about it unless they start shooting people, and presumably they won’t do that.” Protester & confirmed idiot.

    "I am not here to rescue you, I am bringing you along for emergency rations" Quark.

    "This is me, I'm not at home. If you'd like to reach me, leave me alone." Sherl Crow

    I give free estimates [Wild Ass Guesses] over the phone.

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