Seeking Legal Advice About Patents

Updated on July 29, 2007
A.K. asks from Laguna Hills, CA
4 answers

Hi, Moms, im not sure if anyone can answer this for me but ill give it a shot. I want to Patent an idea of mine that i have been working on, so i recently did a patent search and found that there are other patents for the same produt. The patents that i searched have the same function as mine but are not made exactly the same. Before i go waste my time on legal advice and patents or other services, does anyone know if i could still patent my idea. Any information on the this subject would help me a great deal. Thank you in advance!

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L.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,

It's very expensive to patent something and a big pain in the neck. If someone wants to copy your product, they're going to do it whether there's a patent on it or not. I wouldn't bother if I were you, especially since there are similar products already. It's unlikely that you'll be able to get the patent and you'll end-up spending time and money for nothing. Don't give-up on your product though! : )

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M.C.

answers from Honolulu on

I hold four patents, and I worked for a company that produces new products all of the time. Here is the deal. Writing a patent is really tricky, and companies who do this all of the time are REALLY good at "getting around" patents, and finding a way of producing the product (or whatever your patent is on) that does not infringe on your patent, but gets the same end result. I don't mean to sound cynical, but since I earned my patents while working for this company, I know how it works, and I know that when private inventors would come to us trying to sell us their idea, it often did not work out well for the inventor. Companies spend ALOT of money coming up with new ideas, and it really is pretty easy to find a way around a patent that is brought by a private inventor. Get yourself a good patent lawyer who writes patents for big companies. Plan on spending alot of time and money writing a 400 page patent (I'm not kidding, you might also need to get some really creative people involved in coming up with every possible permutation and method of creating your idea or using your idea, that is what I used to do.) That is what we do in the big companies. Big companies take this very seriously, and they will not give you any money for a flimsily created patent that has many "work-arounds" Good luck!

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E.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

A.,

The TV show "The Big Idea" has had some great shows this month about inventions. You could check their website and see if there are any links that you could use. I highly recommend seeing these shows if you can. They were very informational and motivating.

Good Luck,

Evelyn

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

There is a book called "The Mom Inventor's Handbook- how to turn your great idea into the next big thing" by Tamara Monosoff. You can get it at Amazon.com It's highly regarded. Or visit her website at: www.mominventors.com I bought it myself once, as I'm a SAHM and was researching topics as you are. You can also go to the US Patent office website and see if you can e-mail a question to them, or they have FAQ's. Also, in most cities, they have 'pro-bono' not for profit organizations comprised of lawyers that sometimes do 'free' legal work for those who typically can't afford it. I"m sure their service varies, but they have a program like that in my city. Maybe yours too. Mom's are great 'mom-preneurs'! I'm one too. Great going and good luck with your idea!
~Susan
www.cafepress.com/littlegoogoo

1 mom found this helpful