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  • Inventors, prod development guys, etc? Question for you.

    How to get idea's from personal prototypes to market? Since patents cost thousands of dollars how do people realistically get products to the market to actually make some money without backing of a venture capital investor etc...?

    It makes sense to start an LLC and create everything under the guise of a new company, but what prevents the theft of your ideas without spending the serious dough just to see if maybe you have something that will sell?

    Does that make any sense? I have several working prototypes that I would love to see more people use, but nothing that I want to drop serious cash on to see if it will make it....

    '02 GTI
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  • #2
    write the idea down in detail with diagrams, designs etc., seal it in such a way that it cannot be tampred with (use a wax seal if you have to) and send it to yourself via registered post. That way, the sealed package will be dated. I would make a couple of copies to be safe. If ever you need some evidence of "when" you came up with the idea, which is the most important element, then u can.
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    • #3
      Thats the poor mans copyright, doesnt work for patents.
      '02 GTI
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      • #4
        poor man is what you asked for dude!
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        • #5
          Yeah but patents and copyrights are different things, I need PATENT information, not copyright.
          '02 GTI
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          • #6
            Originally posted by judoGTI
            Yeah but patents and copyrights are different things, I need PATENT information, not copyright.

            http://www.uspto.gov/
            [ 5-spd 1996 M A X i M A SE ]

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            • #7
              Yeah thats pricey, and the standard route usually involves getting patent lawyers, etc... again back into the thousands of dollar range.
              '02 GTI
              [Routis '04] [Opus 90W] [160GB Maxtor HD]
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              • #8
                You're asking for a low-investment venture here, which Im afraid wont work so well. Generally you have to suck it up, go into debt, and hope you can either produce the product or sell the idea.

                Depends on the idea or lifetime you're expecting, but you may be able to start selling before anyone notices, and make your money before a big company has a chance to get to market. With your notebooks detailing the idea (every detail you can think of), you can at least prevent other companies from patenting it.
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                • #9
                  Thats what I was afraid of. I guess its all about NDA's, and venture partnership and profit sharing until I can fund patent apps on my own.

                  Kind of a shame that its so hard for the average joe with an idea to patent something...
                  '02 GTI
                  [Routis '04] [Opus 90W] [160GB Maxtor HD]
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by judoGTI
                    Thats what I was afraid of. I guess its all about NDA's, and venture partnership and profit sharing until I can fund patent apps on my own.

                    Kind of a shame that its so hard for the average joe with an idea to patent something...
                    Nope, actually the USPTO solved that a few years ago. It's called a provisional patent which costs $99 (if you write the thing yourself) and gives you all the patent pending protections for 1 full year.

                    At the end of that year if you do nothing else the provisional patent just expires. If over the course of the year you find it's worth persuing (because you've been marketing, advertising, and developing just like you had a real patent) then you can commit the money and file the full patent app.

                    So pretty much, the most you're out is $99. Also, by law the people at the patent office are supposed to assist you with writing the patent before you submit it. It might not be as good as a lawyer wrote it, but it's as good as you make it.

                    Good luck with getting your ideas sold!

                    -- Greg
                    Real Genius Designs, Inc.

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                    • #11
                      Poor man's copyright (mailing it to yourself) will do NOTHING for you... if someone jacks the idea and thats all you have, courts will dismiss it. I knew that copyright law class would come in handy, lol.

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                      • #12
                        at least fill out the application
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LegoGT
                          Nope, actually the USPTO solved that a few years ago. It's called a provisional patent which costs $99 (if you write the thing yourself) and gives you all the patent pending protections for 1 full year.

                          At the end of that year if you do nothing else the provisional patent just expires. If over the course of the year you find it's worth persuing (because you've been marketing, advertising, and developing just like you had a real patent) then you can commit the money and file the full patent app.

                          So pretty much, the most you're out is $99. Also, by law the people at the patent office are supposed to assist you with writing the patent before you submit it. It might not be as good as a lawyer wrote it, but it's as good as you make it.

                          Good luck with getting your ideas sold!

                          -- Greg
                          That is great, just the info I was looking for!! Thanks!
                          '02 GTI
                          [Routis '04] [Opus 90W] [160GB Maxtor HD]
                          [Lilliput 7" TS] [VIA M10000] [XMPCR]
                          [512MB RAM] [Custom housing]
                          [Deluo GPS Mouse] [E-MU 0404 Soundcard]
                          Progress Meter: [==============|] 99.9%

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