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What patent searches can I do before talking to an attorney

I have an interesting idea. I suspect somebody has had this idea before. Beyond simply googling the product to see if it exists, what kind of research can/should a lay person do on their own before approaching a patent attorney?
posted by willnot on Jan 13, 2014 - 6 answers

What are hidden benefits to applying for a patent?

I have many unusual ideas of unique approaches to complex problems which relate to my line of work. Writing a patent seems like a good way to get them on paper and an interesting way to boost my competitive profile. I do not have the legal know-how or resources to finance legal action, nor do I plan/care/want to. Aside from helping me outline my idea in precision and detail, what other "hidden" advantages are there to patent application?
posted by mateuslee on Nov 13, 2013 - 8 answers

Patent protection: what should I do first?

I have a design for a new construction product, and I'd like to protect my interest in it while I develop and try to sell it. I know very little about searching patents, but my casual searches haven't found any prior art. What should my first steps be? I'm in Australia, but I have family and funds in the USA so I could probably file a patent in either country.
posted by Joe in Australia on Oct 29, 2013 - 8 answers

Can I preemptively object to a patent?

Is there a procedure for objecting to a patent? Someone in one of the hobbies I participate in is selling an object as patent pending. I have been designing something similar. There is plenty of prior art, but my concern is that there is an outside chance that a patent examiner might not find the examples of prior art, thus granting a patent. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] on Jul 22, 2013 - 9 answers

Patent Pedant?

I can't decide if I'm being unrealistic about my expectations for these shoes. Help me decide, should I try and return them or live with them? Pics of damage from one day of wear included. [more inside]
posted by Ness on Jun 3, 2013 - 18 answers

Using patent illustrations as game art - copyright issues?

I'm considering making a game that uses USPTO patent illustrations (from Context-Free Patent Art) as graphics. I've read the answers to Patents.Stackexchange: Are text and images in the patent copyrighted?, which suggests that if a graphic is not explicitly copyrighted, it can be freely reproduced. However, I have some concerns: [more inside]
posted by Zarkonnen on Feb 15, 2013 - 4 answers

Recommendations for patent attorney?

Asking the hivemind for recommendations for a patent lawyer. Friend (lives in Chicago but willing to consider lawyers from any jurisdiction) has questions about patentability of his idea and potentially needs a patent attorney to help him with the prior art search and nonprovisional patent. Please post your recommendations in the comments or send me MeFi mail. Thanks!
posted by snafu on Oct 10, 2012 - 8 answers

Patent Question

Rational design of drugs - patentable? [more inside]
posted by yoyo_nyc on Jun 27, 2012 - 7 answers

Should I submit to a former employers demand to sign legal papers?

My former employer is asking for my signature on a document to assign patent rights to them as co-inventor for a patent I worked on while employed by them. They are not interested in compensating me for my time. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 26, 2012 - 28 answers

How to score a better deal on a cease & desist

LegalFilter: My patent attorney charges more than I can afford to write a cease & desist. should I shop around for a better deal (and how)? [more inside]
posted by secretsecret on Jun 26, 2012 - 8 answers

What happens if an open-source app intentionally violates a software patent?

Is it illegal to willfully recreate a patented software process in open-source software, and what would be the possible consequences? [more inside]
posted by Calibandage on Jun 3, 2012 - 10 answers

WHo owns an app?

If I make an app using an app builder like Apple Developer, Buzztouch, Mit App Inventor or Andromo, for example, who owns the app? [more inside]
posted by cda on May 20, 2012 - 2 answers

Looking for old sci-fi short story about patent system gone amok.

Looking for old sci-fi short story about patent system gone amok. [more inside]
posted by tk on Apr 27, 2012 - 2 answers

Do I need a patent lawyer?

I have an idea for a fun project I'd like to fund via Kickstarter, but I need to do some due diligence first. My idea involves a variation on an existing product. How do I learn if there are patents involved and who I need to talk to to license them if needed? Is this a job for a patent lawyer? [more inside]
posted by o2b on Feb 17, 2012 - 3 answers

Protection vs. patent trolls?

How might one structure a company for maximum resilience against patent trolls? [more inside]
posted by aramaic on Oct 21, 2011 - 7 answers

How much effort to get a software patent?

Software patents: how much work does it take to prepare an application? [more inside]
posted by neuron on Sep 1, 2011 - 8 answers

Can you patent a business idea/model?

Can you patent a business idea/model? I read that you can't patent something vague like a "cowboy themed pizzeria" but what about things like, Netflix, Zipcar, etc? [more inside]
posted by Jofecopa on Jul 10, 2011 - 11 answers

Where would I find all the inventions that would have been amazing if they'd taken off? (but didn't.)

I'm looking for the greatest unproduced patents from the late 1800's through the mid-40's. Amazing, interesting, unusual ideas that, on paper, might have made a big impact - but got no further than the patent office. Where would I find these? [more inside]
posted by rileyray3000 on Jun 10, 2011 - 5 answers

Funding a new product/business with grants?

I'm patenting a product and looking into funding options. I have money coming in from the product, but attorney and patent fees are expensive. Other than a small business loan (in this economy?) are there other options? Thinking about grants, but I was always under the impression that it takes a long time to get the money if you win the grant. advice?
posted by secretsecret on May 9, 2011 - 7 answers

Patent copyright

Do the images in a patent have copyright? [more inside]
posted by Omon Ra on Mar 24, 2011 - 11 answers

Should I do patent law?

Would you advise a lawyer with 22 undergraduate physics credits to complete the 2-3 additional physics classes necessary to qualify for the patent bar? Will I be employable as a patent attorney in Chicago with the minimum technical background or do I need an additional degree (or degrees)? Is it fun? [more inside]
posted by steinwald on Mar 21, 2011 - 12 answers

When will my patent-expiring drug be generic?

Zyflo is a drug that makes my nose and lungs work better. It's currently ridiculously expensive, but the patent's running out. How can I find out when someone will make it generic? [more inside]
posted by condour75 on Nov 12, 2010 - 9 answers

How do I best apply for a trademark?

Hello, I'm applying for a trademark. Is it best to just head over to the uspto.gov site and take it from there? or use any pro bono or paid work I could find from an attorney. A laymen such as myself could lost in the wrong forms? Thanks
posted by KHinds10 on Sep 28, 2010 - 6 answers

What did BioWare patent?

My curiosity has been piqued by this line in Extra Lives: "The technology BioWare uses to manage in-game dialogue is closely minded, and parts of it are patented." Which parts? [more inside]
posted by danb on Sep 5, 2010 - 9 answers

Software patents are evil

The license system used by my company supposedly infringes a patent. Help me find some examples of similar license systems which existed before the patent was granted. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 3, 2010 - 13 answers

iPhone App idea and a conflicting with patent

I've got an idea for a mobile (iPhone) app, turns out there is a patent that covers the idea. What can I do? [more inside]
posted by blueplasticfish on Jul 8, 2010 - 8 answers

Would being a patent agent be bad for working as an IP expert witness?

I am an academic and have an advanced degree in science and I am interested in doing work as an expert witness in intellectual property litigation. Would being a registered patent agent help or hurt me in pursing work in this area? [more inside]
posted by procrastination on May 5, 2010 - 10 answers

Patent for education

Can a teacher patent a curriculum if the curriculum concerns very specific niche type of program? A friend is about to go to a company and offer her curriculum as a new program for them, but is concerned that they will run with the idea but not hire her to implement it.
posted by MayNicholas on Mar 3, 2010 - 4 answers

Is my product idea worth money?

How do I make money out of a product idea? [more inside]
posted by aqsakal on Feb 19, 2010 - 16 answers

pharmaceutical patents

For the patent lawyers in the house... If a pharmaceutical company creates a me-too drug, (i.e. a drug that offers no improvement over the existing drug in its class--for instance claritin, allegra, zyrtec, etc.) is their burden of proof in the patent process that their drug is "better than placebo" or that it is "as good as the pre-existing drug in the class?"
posted by mert on Jan 16, 2010 - 9 answers

How do I go about securing my idea?

I have an awesome idea for an improvement for a product. What now? [more inside]
posted by boo_radley on Dec 16, 2009 - 13 answers

IPR for a new Google business service?

How do I go about proposing a new business service concept to Google? [more inside]
posted by Eltulipan on Dec 4, 2009 - 10 answers

Seeking clicking mechanism or design...

What kind of small toys or devices click when you rotate them forwards and backwards? Seeking mechanism or design... [more inside]
posted by pallen123 on Nov 21, 2009 - 13 answers

Who owns the button patent?

Does anyone own a patent for the button? As in, the button you press to turn on your tv, or to dial your phone, or to nuke the planet from orbit. not the button on your shirt. [more inside]
posted by shmegegge on Oct 20, 2009 - 8 answers

WANT TO PRODUCE A FRAGRANCE: HOW?

I want to sell a cologne. How do I do that? [more inside]
posted by defmute on Sep 5, 2009 - 8 answers

How do I protect a card game invention?

I have invented a card game and would like to protect it before I start large-scale game testing. I can't find useful information about the laws surrounding protecting this kind of intellectual property. First, what kind of protections should I be seeking for a card game? Second, any recommendations on reputable, ethical lawyers in Seattle who can help me protect my game?
posted by velvetsmog on Sep 4, 2009 - 9 answers

Where to buy a patent plaque

What company should we order a patent plaque from? [more inside]
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Jul 9, 2009 - 4 answers

Help with a USPTO certificate of mailing

USPTO question: Am I the only person who needs to fill out the Certificate of Mailing, or does something need to be filled out/signed/stamped by the post office? Looking at the form, it looks like something that only I need to sign, but when I spoke to a woman at the PTO on the phone, she said that I needed to get the post office to do something. I don't think that's right, reading the reg, and looking at the form, but I was looking for a little advice. Thanks!
posted by mercredi on Apr 21, 2009 - 9 answers

Does the USPTO like me? Y/N

Should I take the patent bar? [more inside]
posted by palmcorder_yajna on Apr 1, 2009 - 10 answers

I need help with this creation.

I have invented a calendar that I think is unique in design and function. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind on Feb 8, 2009 - 12 answers

Should I take the USPTO exam just because it's there?

I'm a scientist considering taking the USPTO exam. I have a few questions. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 26, 2009 - 10 answers

Would US Google patent prevent Google forge abroad?

Let's assume I have a US patent for a certain software server technology, like better Google or youtube. Would this patent protect me from infringement abroad, where servers would serve requests coming from USA? [more inside]
posted by luntain on Jan 20, 2009 - 8 answers

How hard is it to become a patent examiner?

Is it difficult to get hired by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a patent examiner? [more inside]
posted by rybreadmed on Oct 12, 2008 - 9 answers

I'm interested in patent agent-ing

How does one become a patent agent in the United States? [more inside]
posted by universal_qlc on Oct 3, 2008 - 6 answers

To the Patent Office I go?

DoesorwhydoesntthisexistFilter: A very simple guitar synth. [more inside]
posted by tmcw on Aug 10, 2008 - 19 answers

Seriously this was a really good sandwich.

Can I patent a sandwich? I may have just invented the best sandwich ever, and before I reveal the recipe I want to know it's safe from those would attempt to misuse it's power for evil. [more inside]
posted by Dillonlikescookies on Jun 21, 2008 - 44 answers

Patents and research

I want to do a research study involving someone else's patented idea. What magic powers do patents have on the use of the idea in research? [more inside]
posted by parkerjackson on Jun 3, 2008 - 3 answers

PatentFilter

PatentFilter: When das a patent expire? [more inside]
posted by yoyo_nyc on Jan 14, 2008 - 7 answers

A worthwhile idea hitting an expensive wall...a philanthropic idea in trouble

I am currently involved in setting up a website, and it is proving to be a Herculean task. However, thanks to an instilled sense of guilt and a desire to feel worthful, for a change, I have decided to give back to those that may not be as lucky, as rich, or as pretty as me, namely New York’s starving (or just struggling) artists. My goal, through this website, is to give them a helping hand for free, but obviously need some sort of funding and business plan to move forwards with. I have no experience with any of this. Please help! My main concerns, not having ever done this before, are worrying about how to get funding/donations, whether I need to turn it into an NPO, and whether I should be worried about business-minded people stealing my idea, commercializing it, and basically shoving me out of the way. The following are a list of problems for the immediate future. I have listed them all here because of AskMetafilter’s one-week policy on posting new threads. [more inside]
posted by omnigut on Jan 6, 2008 - 9 answers

Should I pursue an e-commerce patent?

I'm developing an e-commerce project with business processes that are truly unique and might be patentable. I understand there is serious debate about the benefit and/or validity of many patents in this field, but I think my idea stands up to the bullshit test, and I don't think protecting it would be anti-competitive.

So, should I launch and go about protecting the invention later, or should I hire a patent attorney right away? I've searched the patent databases myself and found nothing remotely similar. But I'm not an expert.
posted by subpixel on Dec 28, 2007 - 7 answers

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