How to get a design patent?

Industrial Designers need to come to grips with something:

You’re in the IDEA GENERATION business, not the IDEA PROTECTION business.

Trying to mfr and market your idea makes you an Entrepreneur.
Trying to sell your idea to an Entrepreneur is hard. Trying to protect your idea at the same time is nearly impossible.

NDA? wont stop a company.

forget protection. patent mainly shows your serious. you back your idea with real effort. with your own money. that opens doors. without it good companies wont even meet you. listen to “cg”.

have you thought about contacting the Voluntary Lawyers of the Arts?

this is for the new york branch so locate the one closest to you.
$50 fee for each matter. in case of a design patent, you just need to pay for the design patent filing fee, not the lawyer fee.
I just went to the new york branch today. friendly and informative.
oh! but you must make under $19,000 income.

also, a lot of people think if they want to file a patent, they automatically think they need to go through a lawyer. that’s not true. there is a book called “patent it yourself”

i think you should definitely get it patented.

I’m just tired of designers getting the short end of the stick. or have that frame of mind. don’t get screwed!

good luck!

“have you thought about contacting the Voluntary Lawyers of the Arts?”

Thank you for posting this! I’ll have to investigate this soon.

As a follow up to what I had said a few months ago:

I did carry through with filing a Provisional Patent for my design, and that allowed me to include it in my Senior Show, etc. I’m now working on writing a Utility Patent in the anticipation that I will hopefully find a company interested in my design and I will want to protect it further or possibly assign it to the company which purchases it. So far it is going well. I am about 90% through with the patent search, and at this point I am confident that I have a design that will yield a viable patent. I hope that within the next month or so I will have the Utility Patent prepared and possibly submited also. I think I will end up bringing my completed patent application to a lawyer to be reviewed before I file.

What is a provisional patent? Do you need to go through all the research in order to get that one as well? How much does it cost?

Also how can one get an international patent?

So much ink and pixels still being wasted on this, when in fact …

  1. Intelectual property protection is based on the lowly assumption there’s a crook around every corner ready to make millions off your genius and run away with the cash. In the real world, the vast majority of humans are not the criminals the patent lawyers make them out to be. This is profitable fear-mongering at its best.

  2. Something like 9 out of 10 inventors never make a penny off the expensive idea protection in their own lifetime or that of their offspring. Why? Protecting an idea is SPENDING money.

  3. The most valuable people in any organization are those creative and resourceful enough to take GOOD ideas through succesful MARKET IMPLEMENTATION, i.e. get the gears running, which is the actual challenge. Armchair business geniuses with virtual money-making schemes are the proverbial dime-a-dozen, and then some.

  4. Ideas alone do not pay the rent. It’s only their market success that does - that’s what companies pay dearly for - the type of people visionary enough to design the process for positive outcomes and account for the risks involved. Think D-Day invasion of Normandy - great idea, right? But someone actually had to make it work. The value there too was in the DOING of the original idea to completion, especially where no precedent existed.

  5. A designer’s best protection is not legal but in the frequency and quality of his/her ideas, which should naturally be well above the population average. The best protection is having, well, A LOT of GOOD ideas. No, this is not common.

  6. Protecting some ideas at any cost actually ATTRACTS the vultures. It’s a good way of telling the world you DO have something valuable and you’ve done your market research too, otherwise why on Earth would you have spent years and thousands of dollars protecting it. Going under the radar for cheap and fast is a better protection.

  7. Market conditions now evolve much faster than the archaic bureaucracy involved in idea protection, rendering many litigation cases today irrelevant to both parties by the time they are solved.

  8. Everyone knows how easy it is to LEGALLY circumvent patent clauses and how expensive patent infringement cases are. No wonder businesses dealing with individual inventors only buy patented ideas - by their initiator obviously. Product patents are only rarely worth fighting for, the investments, profits and technologies at stake must be worth it.

  9. Unless earth-shattering inventions, 99% of products developped today (especially consumer) should stay out of this game. It is people’s primary greed, paranoia and ignorance that feeds the wealthy (and essentially worthless) legal protection systems in most countries. There are countless other intelligent and efficient ways to market trailblazers and make sure one profits from being first to market with a worthwhile product. Then, remember, being first is not necessarily a guarantee of being the best. Many latecomers to a specific market niche improve significantly on the original approach. Why should they be barred from the table?

  10. Single-idea companies or individuals (of the navel-gazing type most apt to go to the greatest legths to fend off any predators) often have short market lives as much of their energy is focused on protecting THE ONE instead of developing THE NEXT, and the one after that, and so on. You can die in an ivory tower or keep conquering new ones.

Shoot often to score. If you’re an individual, sell your idea implementation skills before the idea itself, the money is in growing the plant, not the seed itself. Everyone sells seeds for cheap.

It is much, much harder to innovate original METHODS of doing than simply moving the starting point of that process farther ahead.

Personally speaking–YKH feel free to dispute my knowledge or experience–

Coming up with the Idea is the easiest part of the process, at this stage it will be all but impossible to give the idea away. In school my professor had this saying:

“If it is a good idea five people have already thought of it. If it is a great idea ten people are currently working on it. If it is revolutionary to the industry 15 companies are racing to product it first.”

I thought he was full of SH–, well until I went to work. Now I get a kick out of how it works. We will be contacted by an inventor with an idea, and it never fails, with in a week or two we will get a call from another inventor with almost the exact same solution to the same problem. It even follows cycles;
January through May usually medical, summer sporting goods
June through August usually coolers, grills, winter sporting goods
August through Mid November usually transportation and fishing gear.
Mid November through December 21st, inventors wanting prototypes to sell as production pieces by Christmas.

If you are serious about this idea, find the founding. Partner with people who can help to develop it, through financial and developmental relationships. But no matter what it will cost $$$.

Forget the “every on is out to screw me” mentality.

Egg sums it up very well, especially the vulture comments. Even if you patent it, I guarantee that some “me 2” company will make the minimal modifications to your idea to avoid infringement. In the world economy you have no more that 12 month lead time before a copy or rip-off product will hit the shelf. More realistically speaking it is closer to 3-6 months. So just keep the ideas flowing, then find the individuals who have the same passion for the product as yourself to partner with for the development.

I wish you the best of luck my friend.