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Has anyone here ever patented anything??????

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by jonesn, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. jonesn

    jonesn Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Evan "Trouble" Jones
    I know some Fchat guys are patent attorneys, but this goes for any of you.

    Just a quick question about it: who can notorize design/work documents to prove (to the USPTO) that it's your work? Can any public notory do it?
     
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  3. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
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    a notary public doesn't really attest to anything other than the person who signed their signature is (most probably) the person they claim to be.

    you can write up a document stating that you are Winston Churchill reincarnated and you have five legs and can leap tall buildings in a single bound - and get it notarized as long as you have proper ID and a few dollars.

    doody.
     
  4. Steve Marschman

    Steve Marschman Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Steve Marschman
    A public notary should be fine. Also useful to get two witnesses to sign and date that they have reviewed and understand what you have documented (peer review and to establish witnesses that can attest to your work - this is not a PUBLIC disclosure). Also, make sure you can establish the date of discovery (certify mail a copy of your intellectual property to yourself). Be sure you haven't disclosed your invention in the public through a publication, interview, presentation at meetings, etc., until you are protected. The clock starts ticking at the time of the first disclosure.

    Regards-
    Steve
    ...U.S. Patents 4871437, 4871438, 4921584 and numerous foreign patents related to these.
     
  5. jonesn

    jonesn Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Evan "Trouble" Jones
    ...... actually that's true :)

    So any idea as to who can do that for patent stuff?
     
  6. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    Doody, you're out of line here. Everybody knows that Winston Churchill is actually alive and living inside his former pet Parrot.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/content_objectid=13832640_method=full_siteid=50143_headline=-F----THE-NAZIS--SAYS-CHURCHILL-S-PARROT-name_page.html
     
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  8. jonesn

    jonesn Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Awesome, thanks.

    I didn't think that sending myself the work in the mail was credible enough to the USPTO. I'll go ahead and do that soon.

    I've been very careful about the public disclouse part. Alot of my grassroot marketing research has been done on the net but I never give any clue as to how my stuff really works.
     
  9. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    7,058
    A notary witnesses that you signed the documents--that is all.

    The USPTO needs someone skilled in the art to read your patent and be willing to sign a document that he/she/it read and understood the contents. The date the witness signs is an important date in the procecution of a patent as it sets an end date where the invention has been conceived and disclosed in its fullness.

    You, on the other hand, should be (have been) keeping a notebook with dates on each page as a running witness for the USPTO in case a similar invention is submitted for patenting during the procecution of your patent. Many companies have employees keep these notes in a bound notebook with room for a witness to attest reading and understanding on a weekly basis as needed.
     
  10. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
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    my understanding is that the derfinition of public disclosure has been "enjoying" some redefinition - or at least re-exploration.

    for example, i believe there has been some logic offered up recently that "if you didn't make them sign an NDA, then it's public". this has posed some consternation in the fundraising world, since investors really don't like to sign NDAs, and most big VC firms will not.

    i don't know the whole background to this, but it's apparently a fairly recent change.

    so to protect yourself, you're probably best off getting your "peer witnesses" to sign an NDA. that way the USPTO can't argue it was "public".

    doody.
     
  11. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
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    Rob Guess
    Steve

    How long did it take from the time of submission to being issued a patent #. Also aproximatly how much was the capital outlay required to get the patent?

    I am looking at a few unique designs myself but am not sure if the cost of the patent will result in a worthy return on investment if the products do make it to market.

    Rob
     
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  13. future328driver

    future328driver Formula 3
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    Dec 10, 2001
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    Rob,
    I am a patent attorney. The backlog at the PTO is running on the order of 36 months from application filing to patent grant on average. It depends on the technology though. I actually am working on a case right now where the patent was filed over 3 years ago and the first office action by the PTO was just issued, so that case may take 5 years if it issues.

    The cost of a patent varies. The total cast to get an application filed could run close to $10,000 in attorney fees depending on how complex the technology. In addition, there are fees to be paid to the PTO for filing. Figure that you will have 2 or 3 office actions after filing. An office action is where the applicants and the PTO argue back and forth about the merits of patentability of the claims in the application. Many times the claims are amended to overcome prior art or to further distinguish the invention. Each office action will cost about $3000 in attorney fees. I would say that you can expect on average to spend between $15k and $20k if you use a reputtable law firm for filing through patetn grant (if you are granted a patent). Then after the grant, you will have to pay maintenance fees to maintain the patent protection for its full term, so you will be outlaying more money to do that.
     
  14. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
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    Jan 11, 2001
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    IME there is no real need (or benefit) "to prove (to the USPTO) that it's your work" (which is what you're claiming is true as "inventor" when you file). Companies that I've worked for have followed the basic (NON-PUBLIC) process that Steve Marschman described (internal peer review and witnessing), but, if someone else independently has the same idea, it doesn't matter that you can "prove" you thought of it first -- first PUBLIC disclosure (filing, describing the idea in a publication, etc.) wins.

    JME (11 issued, 4 pending published applications, 1 still baking with the lawyer...)
     
  15. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
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    Rob Guess
    Thanks for the information. That is kinda what i was expecting to hear.

    Rob
     
  16. Mbob3

    Mbob3 Rookie

    Dec 31, 2003
    15
    I have been an independent inventor for over 25 years. I highly recommend that you file a provisional patent. This is something that you can do without legal assistance, but you need to do some homework. Cost is about $80 to file. You must then file a formal application (big bucks) within 12 months or the filing date is lost. Provisional applications are tremendous tools to protect your intellectual property as you develop it. Provisional applications can establish an early filing date - the first to file is the winner, not the first to notorize. There is software available to assist in the process. Also, visit www.uspto.gov - that is the U.S. patent office website with a tremendous amount of info. Good luck.
     

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