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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Looking for old sci-fi short story about patent system gone amok. [more inside]
posted by tk
on Apr 27, 2012 -
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 -
How might one structure a company for maximum resilience against patent trolls? [more inside]
posted by aramaic
on Oct 21, 2011 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -