How To Get A Patent?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ghall, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #1
    Okay, so I've been working on what I think is a revolutionary way to interact with computers using a GUI, and I would like to patent it, and possibly market it. How would I go about doing this?
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #2
    Oh boy. Have fun my friend :)

    I'm actually in Intellectual Property in law school right now, and studying Patents. Hopefully your patent doesn't involve litigation at some point...patent litigation usually costs in the 7 figure range...

    Here's a good start for you
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    It's not an easy process. :)

    I know a man who gets hired by patent lawyers to disprove patents. I once asked him how I could get a patent (he has over 20 patents issued and pending). He responded saying that it costs a lot of money and and lot of time. And the most important thing is that someone may already have a patent on it.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #4
    Is there some way I can check existing patents, so I don't end up wasting my time and money?
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #5
    Pretty much any patent ever in the US is in the patent database...so have fun :)
     
  6. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #6
    I literally just got back from a speech on patents 15 minutes ago. I only went for free pizza and extra credit in one of my classes, but I paid attention, I promise! So I can give you a little background:

    Your idea has to be novel. Meaning it can never, ever have been thought of before. If some guy 10 years ago wrote your very idea down in a lab notebook but never patented it and never spoke of it again, no patent for you, since the idea isn't new. If it's patented in some country halfway around the world, too bad. You'll want a patent lawyer, so save your money, they aint cheap. But if you want to get started to see if someone else has patented it, http://www.google.com/patents What doesn't Google search for these days?
     
  7. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #7
    If you're a reader of Techdirt.com, you'll know and understand how many ridiculous patents are given out.

    Ideally, you need a fantastic new idea to get a patent, but if it involves tech stuff, it's usually done rather poorly. ;)
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    devman

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    AU
    #8
    The major cost is the patent attorney. For a software patent of moderate complexity, anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. (I've worked for companies that do this)

    Here's some info. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/patent_cost.html
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #9
    Wow.

    So, if I sold my idea to a large company, would I have to patent it first? I might just work on my design for a while then sell it off to a company.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    devman

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    AU
    #10
    No you don't have to. But a (good) idea for which you have a patent is more easily valued. My personal feelings on this aside - this whole patent thing is big business. I.P. is valued, it is an asset, and goes on a company balance sheet. Then there's licensing. Companies can make big $ out of it all. But only big companies can really play this game.

    It's an old book, but "Rembrandts in the Attic" talks about all this.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #11
    Well, I don't really care about making money, I just want my idea out there, for people to use. I'd develop it myself, but I don't have the knowledge or resources.
     
  12. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #12
    That's not what a patent is for....a patent gives you the exclusive rights for you and only you to make something for the next 20 years.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #13
    Well, in that case, there's no point in getting a patent. See, you learn something everyday.

    So, how would you suggest I market this idea?
     
  14. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #14
    First publish it.

    If you want to avoid others from patenting it, you can publish in a place like http://www.ip.com which will be searched when others file for patents. This doesn't take much, only a few hundred dollars, but stops others from patenting your idea.

    Similarly you could file for a provisional patent without an attorney for a few hundred bucks. That way if someone wants to turn it into a patent, you have a year to decide...

    B
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #15
    To be more specific, a patent does not give you the right to carry out your idea. Generally, you would need to perform a 'freedom to operate' search based on your idea to see if any aspect of it is protected by existing patents. A patent, rather than giving you the right to do something, prevents others from doing what you have patented.
     

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