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Posted: 11/2/2002 8:25:19 AM EDT
I have an idea for a new shooting accessory. It is very easy to duplicate, cheap to make. I would like to manufacture and sell them. It will take some capital to get started. I would like to protect my idea and investment. 1.) How can I find out if this device has not been patented? 2.) How would I go about applying for a patent? 3.) I don't anticipate this to be anything more than a hobby business because of a limited marketplace. Thanks Zog
Link Posted: 11/2/2002 9:10:48 AM EDT
I have no idea about patent laws. The only attorney that I know of who knows anything at all about patent laws is John M. Harrison, of Shreveport, Louisiana. He is a nationally recognized patent lawyer, and the fellow to whom I used to turn when such questions came up. You may wish to contact him, or do a little surfing on patent websites in google.com, to give you some answers. Sorry, I couldn't be of more assistance to you. Eric The(MeatAndTatersLawyer)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/2/2002 10:18:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/2/2002 10:22:24 AM EDT by BBB]
I looked up patents on MSN.com for a project of mine. The minimum fee for a patent is $370 for small entity patent request A large entity fee is $740. Unless you can make your money back in a reasonable time, it can be expensive.
Link Posted: 11/2/2002 10:30:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/2/2002 10:41:12 AM EDT by dmaas]
There is a limited patent search feature at the USPTO website http://www.uspto.gov/main/patents.htm Unless you are experienced, don't try to file a patent application yourself. Find a patent lawyer. (as in a real law firm, NOT one of those "invention services" companies you see on TV - those are scams). Ask people you know about law firms in your area. Try calling a few firms and see if they have a patent practice, or could recommend another firm that does. I have been quoted costs of anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 for a firm to prepare and file a patent application. Fortunately yours would probably be at the low end, since it is a simple device (as opposed to a pharamaceutical or something). Keep in mind it can take 1-3 years for a patent to be granted. During that time, you may sell your product and mark it "patent pending", but you don't have any power to sue infringers. You may want to look into alternative forms of protection, like a trademark. (e.g. "ZOG's Shooting Accessory (TM)") I am not a lawyer so this isn't legal advice =). I am currently going through the patent process for my own company. EDIT: about the patent search - believe it or not, it is standard practice NOT to do a patent search before filing an application. The reason is that the patent office will do a search anyway, and if there is prior art you will be notified and given a chance to respond. So why pay for a patent search when the government will do one for free anyway?
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