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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2008-Sep-24, 12:09 PM
I have an idea for an invention (of sorts) is there a "free" way to register this? It is more of a cell phone type of idea than anything....and it doesn't involve making something new....more of a way of doing a thing....

HenrikOlsen
2008-Sep-24, 12:41 PM
If by registering, you want it on record that it's yours and noone else can profit from the idea without cutting you in on the deal, no, there is not any free way of doing that, not should there be.

The stinking miasma that is internet name registration is an example of what happens if squatting intellectual real estate is free.

Grey
2008-Sep-24, 01:30 PM
Here (http://www.costhelper.com/cost/small-business/patent.html)'s a fairly useful summary of the costs that are involved in the U.S. at least. It gives a breakdown of the minimum you could get away with (if you do all the work yourself), and more typical amounts (if you go the more typical route of hiring a patent attorney).

tdvance
2008-Sep-24, 05:00 PM
Yeah, a patent is the only thing that really guarantees an invention is yours, and they cost money (a patent search takes resources, therefore costs money, and sometimes a lawyer needs to be involved, and finally, the invention has to be validated or else we'd have tons of patented perpetual-motion machines).

Argos
2008-Sep-24, 05:24 PM
If by registering, you want it on record that it's yours and noone else can profit from the idea without cutting you in on the deal, no, there is not any free way of doing that, not should there be.

Although patenting shouldn´t cost as high as it does. The patenting model adopted by most countries seems to favor big business a lot.

Larry Jacks
2008-Sep-24, 05:44 PM
About the only cheap method that I've ever heard of is the Poor Man's Copyright (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poor_man's_copyright). It might serve as a first step in protecting your idea. I wouldn't count on it for the long term, though. I've heard of too many cases where people with patents were ripped off by companies with deep pockets to out litigate the inventors. In fact, there's a movie about to be released on that. It tells the story of the legal struggles of the man who invented intermittent windshield wipers and his fight to get paid.

Fazor
2008-Sep-24, 06:34 PM
It is more of a cell phone type of idea than anything....and it doesn't involve making something new....more of a way of doing a thing....

I hope it's not a personal security measure, or else you may have already been beaten to it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N9gSS_HRcE).

:)

geonuc
2008-Sep-24, 06:35 PM
About the only cheap method that I've ever heard of is the Poor Man's Copyright (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poor_man's_copyright).
Copyright is not the same as patent.

ETA: Patent law is complex and fraught with danger for those with marketable ideas who don't proceed correctly. If you're in the US, consult the US Patent and Trademark Office website.

http://www.uspto.gov/

sabianq
2008-Sep-24, 07:34 PM
if it can help a lot of people and it is a great idea,

check this out!

http://www.project10tothe100.com/


in short, Google is paying up to 10 million to get ideas off the ground that can really help people.

mugaliens
2008-Sep-24, 07:43 PM
Yeah, a patent is the only thing that really guarantees an invention is yours, and they cost money (a patent search takes resources, therefore costs money, and sometimes a lawyer needs to be involved, and finally, the invention has to be validated or else we'd have tons of patented perpetual-motion machines).

So, then... Why do we still have tons of perpetual-motion machines on the patent books?

I believe all patents ought to be open to a "That's Rubbish!" challenge. If enough people petition against any given patent for being rubbish, the Patent Office would have to further investigate the patent and make a well-informed judgement as to whether it was rubbish or if it follows sound principles.

tdvance
2008-Sep-24, 07:56 PM
"So, then... Why do we still have tons of perpetual-motion machines on the patent books?"

Do we? www.google.com/patents search shows plenty of applications, but no patents at a cursory glance.

I seem to recall a regulation requiring a submitted perpetual motion machine to run for some very long time (to eliminate most hidden power sources) before an application for a patent can be granted, specifically to eliminate perpetual motion machines that don't work (i.e., all of them).

01101001
2008-Sep-24, 08:57 PM
Yeah, a patent is the only thing that really guarantees an invention is yours[...]

... without actually granting you a guarantee, but instead the ability to civilly sue to enforce your temporary rights to exclude others from use.

sarongsong
2008-Sep-24, 09:18 PM
This could buy you a year:
A Provisional Patent Application is...the FASTEST, CHEAPEST [government filing fee of $100] and EASIEST means for providing temporary protection for an invention and it does NOT require professional preparation...it expires one year from the filing date. IT CANNOT BE RENEWED. However, if a utility or design patent application is filed prior or to expiration of the Provisional Application, the invention would continue to be "Patent Pending" until a final determination is reached on the utility or design application...

123patent.com (http://www.123patent.com/provisonalpatent.html)

Jeff Root
2008-Sep-24, 09:20 PM
My understanding is that a patent is a license to be sued.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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