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Desperate Plea for provisional patent advice

Discussion in 'Inventing, Innovating, Licensing' started by Alana, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Alana
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    Alana 90 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    I’ve have yet to post a question on this forum so I’m hoping that I can please get some feedback.


    Long story short, I invented an functional clothing accessory and submitted it to Edison Nation (which, for a fee, takes your idea and does all the legwork to see if it’s an actual marketable product. It can patent, engineer and get your idea on store shelves)). My idea is still being reviewed by the Edison Nation team. I just happened to hop on a similar website called Quirky.com this morning and low and behold saw almost the exact same accessory featured as an idea that had just been submitted yesterday (I submitted my idea to Edison Nation on Dec 23[SUP]rd[/SUP]). I just about died….


    So I found out that the idea featured on Quirky.com is not protected by any patent whatsoever. Neither is mine. The only thing I have going in my case is the fact that I submitted my idea before hers (and prior to my submission I, to the best of my ability, searched everywhere for a product similar to it).

    Here…let me back up…I’ll just tell you the general idea of the product because at this point I’m desperate and if it will help explain the situation then so be it. My idea is a device that uses an elastomer (aka rubber like material) and rare earth magnets that together act as a clip to keep clothing apparel (like long sleeves or pant ends) synched up. In other words, when you need your long sleeves rolled up and don’t want them sneaking back down your arm, then you simply place my magnetic clip on and it holds the fabric in place until you take it off. You can wear it on you even when it’s not ‘in use’ so that you have it handy whenever you may need it (because I find myself needing my sleeves or pant legs rolled up at the most random moments of the day…). My device is NOT gender specific.


    Granted, there are somewhat similar products out there (actually, I could only find one clothing clip that uses magnets and the website states again and again how it is just to be used on pants…it says nothing about sleeves…AND they don’t show any patent number or ‘patent pending’ on it). Here’s the website: About Us. Other similar products are really not similar at all in design, as they are based on elastic or simply plastic, they only hold up a tiny amount of clothing (just the cuff), are gender specific and are only made either for long sleeves OR pants.







    For the last 12 hours of my day I have been filling out a provisional patent form on Legal Zoom. I finally (finally!) got to the end and realized that it is not 125 bucks to file, but instead a total of 324 dollars. That is a lot of money for me (which is why I’m trying to license my idea in the first place…so I don’t have to be horrified when something costs more than 20 bucks….yes I realize that it’s sad and I’m not proud of it but I am working on changing it…hence my idea…and hence this post).

    I don’t know if I should bite the bullet and spend money for the provisional patent, or should I simply let Edison Nation take it from here. I have other ideas/designs in the works…so this is not my only ray of hope. Nonetheless, I feel that this is a good product and more than anything I am afraid that I will regret not protecting it down the road.

    Any thoughts, advice and/or lashings are welcomed!
  2. machin576
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    machin576 30 kph

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    Hmmm. I would say: "Ideas are cheap. Execution and business skill are priceless." It has taken quite a few of my own ideas to learn this.

    Getting your provisional patent filed will allow you to mark your product as patent pending for one year. But if you are not actually making a product, this becomes a shot in the dark.

    A decent patent attorney will do a provisional for around $1k flat fee with you doing the lion's share of the work.

    If that is too much, I would have you think about how committed you are to this idea. It sounds like a good one if you had the product designed, built, packaged and sitting in front of you waiting to go. Are you willing to go through the process of getting it to that point? I would pursue creating a product before pursuing protecting an idea.

    Sent from my Galaxy Note ll
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  3. Alana
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    Alana 90 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thanks machin576 for the advice.

    If I could also include that I have made a prototype (so I know that the concept actually works in real life)....but I only made one (by myself) in order to take photos of it for my submission. It's a design that I tweaked and tweaked 'til it was to my satisfaction...
  4. supermannpc
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    supermannpc 20 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    Alana

    I submitted my product on edison last week. I wasn't able to use the free pass you had
    It's in stage 2 (review)
    I'll keep you posted
  5. dknise
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    dknise 210 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I just Googled "clothing magnet" and it seems to come up with a lot of current inexpensive products for it. This also reminds me of the "Reader Rest" contraption that went on to the Shark Tank.

    With that being said... it's your money! Only you can decide if the opportunity cost is worth it.
  6. Amail
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    Amail 180 kph Staff Member Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Provisional patents are not searchable, so it's possible the competing item has a PP filed - you wouldn't know it. If there isn't one filed, your PP application will trump a later one from someone else.

    Also, bear in mind the 17 year clock starts the day you submit your paperwork, whether it's a PP or a full-on design/utility patent that references the PP.

    Check out Amazon.com: Patent It Yourself, 13th Edition: David Pressman Attorney: Books - you can file a PP yourself without much trouble. If during the course of the year you find they sell like crazy, follow thru with the reference patent.

    Don't forget to get your trademark registration underway as well. There's no guarantee you'll be granted a patent. If that's the case, your only protection is for your brand. Many companies make facial tissue, but Kleenex owns their trademark and it's worth tons more than any patent would be.
  7. Likwid24
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    Likwid24 220 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Read "One Simple Idea" by Stephen Key. It has everything you need to help you decide what to do and help you file your own provisional patent.
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  8. Alana
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    Alana 90 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hey Paintbrush man! Thanks for the input. I DID read One Simple Idea...it's the book that got this whole thing rolling. The attraction to Edison Nation is that instead of doing the leg work/finances it takes to file for a patent, finding manufacturers, cold calling companies (the whole deal that I know you're oh-so-familiar with), I simply submit the idea for a fee and if they pick it, then they do the heavy work. I get half the royalities. This is attractive to me not because I'm lazy, but because I am extremely remote and cut off from the rest of the world until the snow melts (looks like it will be late May/early June). I won't go into it, but trust me on this. So I'd be more than willing to share royalties if it meant my idea made it to market.

    So bottom line is this: I would only be getting a PP to keep the idea mine for a year and submit it to as many companies as I could in hopes of licensing it AND to keep anyone else from moving forward with an oh-too-similar idea.

    I keep going back and forth as to whether to hit the 'Pay here' at the end of the Legal Zoom PP section.....ug....I'm such a girl.....
  9. Likwid24
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    Likwid24 220 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Hi Alana. Sounds like you have a plan!

    Based off of what you told me, I think the cheapest route you can go is to apply directly with the patent office. I used legalzoom for mine, but here's a link explaining how to do it on your own: Filing For A Provisional Patent Application

    It should only cost around $100-150.

    Good Luck with your product and feel free to ask if you need help with anything else! :)
    Amail and (deleted user) like this.
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