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Patent Already Exists For My Idea?

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Long story short a utility patent already exists for the idea I have.

The patent is pretty in depth about what’s covered, including manufacturing techniques, design, etc.

My product wouldn’t be identical of course as I’ve got some ideas for a different design, but some of the main selling points are mentioned in the patent.

For example the patent mentions the product having a removable inner layer which I was planning on doing.

An interesting thing to note is the company that owns the patent works mainly with military instead of civilians, tough they also have civilian products. I would focus strictly on the civilian market.

Not to mention you have to call in to order from the catalog as they don’t have an online store. (Hello value skew!)

Anyway just some ramblings. I’d appreciate any advice. If you’re interested in discussing more just PM me.
 

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Walter Hay

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A patent attorney consultation is your best bet to safely find a way to get around the problem.

Walter
 

Bertram

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A patent attorney consultation is your best bet to safely find a way to get around the problem.

Walter
A patent clerk is less expensive and has at least the same level of patent search expertise.
 

Ocean Man

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Long story short a utility patent already exists for the idea I have.

The patent is pretty in depth about what’s covered, including manufacturing techniques, design, etc.

My product wouldn’t be identical of course as I’ve got some ideas for a different design, but some of the main selling points are mentioned in the patent.

For example the patent mentions the product having a removable inner layer which I was planning on doing.

An interesting thing to note is the company that owns the patent works mainly with military instead of civilians, tough they also have civilian products. I would focus strictly on the civilian market.

Not to mention you have to call in to order from the catalog as they don’t have an online store. (Hello value skew!)

Anyway just some ramblings. I’d appreciate any advice. If you’re interested in discussing more just PM me.
Is there any way you can change up your idea? Specifically, remove anything that they claim in their patent that exists in your idea.

For example,
If they claim: A, B, C, D.

And you'd like to file a patent for: A, C, D, X (Notice how I'm leaving out B),
that would work (Based on South Korea's Patents). But removal and edits are used a lot.

Beware, adding is good. But once again, they claim: A, B, C, D
and you claim: A, B, C,D, X.

You will infringe on their patent because you have all their claims (A,B,C,D) in your patent. You must remove some of their claims from your idea.

Besides that though, I highly recommend talking to a patent clerk/attorney.

Best of luck, going through the same as our lawyers submitted our application not too long ago. We will be hearing back from the government if they find any issues or if we can continue.
 

Kak

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Beyond trying to navigate around it, you could ride their coattails a bit. I would reach out and schedule a meeting... Sit down with them and talk to them about what you want to do and that you want to respect their patent either by:

1. Doing something they are OK with
2. Compensating them in some way
3. Partnering with them
4. Becoming a wholesaler of what they already make
5. Buying them
6. Licensing the patent
7. Licensing a portion of the patent you would infringe

Just be open to a deal and make it clear you would like to set up a win-win relationship that makes everyone happy. Just make a deal. Then your business is protected by their patent. This conundrum could actually be good, if played right.
 
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PizzaOnTheRoof

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Is there any way you can change up your idea? Specifically, remove anything that they claim in their patent that exists in your idea.

For example,
If they claim: A, B, C, D.

And you'd like to file a patent for: A, C, D, X (Notice how I'm leaving out B),
that would work (Based on South Korea's Patents). But removal and edits are used a lot.

Beware, adding is good. But once again, they claim: A, B, C, D
and you claim: A, B, C,D, X.

You will infringe on their patent because you have all their claims (A,B,C,D) in your patent. You must remove some of their claims from your idea.

Besides that though, I highly recommend talking to a patent clerk/attorney.

Best of luck, going through the same as our lawyers submitted our application not too long ago. We will be hearing back from the government if they find any issues or if we can continue.
Thanks for boiling it down for me.

There’s numerous ways I could ADD to the product, but SUBTRACTING I’m not so sure.

The patent pretty much covers the basic concept well.

It’s frustrating cause they basically say “The product is rectangular but if X changes shape it could be oval, cylindrical, etc.”

I’d be willing to send you a link to the patent if your up to it.

Beyond trying to navigate around it, you could ride their coattails a bit. I would reach out and schedule a meeting... Sit down with them and talk to them about what you want to do and that you want to respect their patent either by:

1. Doing something they are OK with
2. Compensating them in some way
3. Partnering with them
4. Becoming a wholesaler of what they already make
5. Buying them
6. Licensing the patent
7. Licensing a portion of the patent you would infringe

Just be open to a deal and make it clear you would like to set up a win-win relationship that makes everyone happy. Just make a deal. Then your business is protected by their patent. This conundrum could actually be good, if played right.
Good ideas though I feel like my success would be at their mercy. They could decide to pull the plug and I’d be screwed.

I’d rather have the law on my side ya know?
 

Ocean Man

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Thanks for boiling it down for me.

There’s numerous ways I could ADD to the product, but SUBTRACTING I’m not so sure.

The patent pretty much covers the basic concept well.

It’s frustrating cause they basically say “The product is rectangular but if X changes shape it could be oval, cylindrical, etc.”

I’d be willing to send you a link to the patent if your up to it.


Good ideas though I feel like my success would be at their mercy. They could decide to pull the plug and I’d be screwed.

I’d rather have the law on my side ya know?
I’m no lawyer, but I can take a look at it at my free time. Because I’m also going through the patent process, I’m curious as to see what their patent language looks like.

It sounds like they’re being broad in their patent language, and that’s good... for them. Smart business/patent.

Makes it harder for other people.
 

Roli

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Long story short a utility patent already exists for the idea I have.
Patents exist to protect inventors, so my guess is you'll have to go back to the drawing board.

7. Licensing a portion of the patent you would infringe
I didn't even realise this was possible. This may help the OP if his idea only uses a tiny bit of an existing utility patent, definitely worth looking in to if that's the case.
 

Kak

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I’d rather have the law on my side ya know?
I don't want to make your decisions for you, but they know how far their patent can protect them. They know if you don't come to a deal, they aren't going to make money off of you.

You have ALL the leverage in that transaction because if they say no, you could still just circumvent the patent somehow without them.

Funny this stupid a$$ industry... These patent attorneys write patents for one client and circumvent them for another. It is just government granted monopoly with circling shark lawyers.

I know of an amazing patented invention that is completely underfunded and owned by a loser. It would be a billion dollar company if he would let me or someone license it. Instead, he makes ZERO money per year and loves calling himself the CEO of an energy startup with a revolutionary design. This thing could change the world and he has been working a FTJ for 20 years and doing nothing because he is greedy and won't bring people in to actually build something around it.

So I hate patents... and I have no respect for the status quo legal side of business where everyone talks through a $500 attorney who's only job is to bring commerce to a screeching halt.

So, I like suprising people and offering strong deals that just cut the lawyers out as much as possible. Lawyers aren't the ones that deserve a cut. The patent holder is. Maybe even use that line... It might wake them up.
 

Kak

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I didn't even realise this was possible. This may help the OP if his idea only uses a tiny bit of an existing utility patent, definitely worth looking in to if that's the case.
Of course it's possible... Write it into the deal the way you both agree and it's done!
 
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Lucky Lu

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I don't want to make your decisions for you, but they know how far their patent can protect them. They know if you don't come to a deal, they aren't going to make money off of you.

You have ALL the leverage in that transaction because if they say no, you could still just circumvent the patent somehow without them.

Funny this stupid a$$ industry... These patent attorneys write patents for one client and circumvent them for another. It is just government granted monopoly with circling shark lawyers.

I know of an amazing patented invention that is completely underfunded and owned by a loser. It would be a billion dollar company if he would let me or someone license it. Instead, he makes ZERO money per year and loves calling himself the CEO of an energy startup with a revolutionary design. This thing could change the world and he has been working a FTJ for 20 years and doing nothing because he is greedy and won't bring people in to actually build something around it.

So I hate patents... and I have no respect for the status quo legal side of business where everyone talks through a $500 attorney who's only job is to bring commerce to a screeching halt.

So, I like suprising people and offering strong deals that just cut the lawyers out as much as possible. Lawyers aren't the ones that deserve a cut. The patent holder is. Maybe even use that line... It might wake them up.
I don't want to make your decisions for you, but they know how far their patent can protect them. They know if you don't come to a deal, they aren't going to make money off of you.

You have ALL the leverage in that transaction because if they say no, you could still just circumvent the patent somehow without them.

Funny this stupid a$$ industry... These patent attorneys write patents for one client and circumvent them for another. It is just government granted monopoly with circling shark lawyers.

I know of an amazing patented invention that is completely underfunded and owned by a loser. It would be a billion dollar company if he would let me or someone license it. Instead, he makes ZERO money per year and loves calling himself the CEO of an energy startup with a revolutionary design. This thing could change the world and he has been working a FTJ for 20 years and doing nothing because he is greedy and won't bring people in to actually build something around it.

So I hate patents... and I have no respect for the status quo legal side of business where everyone talks through a $500 attorney who's only job is to bring commerce to a screeching halt.

So, I like suprising people and offering strong deals that just cut the lawyers out as much as possible. Lawyers aren't the ones that deserve a cut. The patent holder is. Maybe even use that line... It might wake them up.
Sitting for a meeting with them it is a good idea indeed. Even if you don´t make a deal it will give you a sense about how strong their patent and intentions to enforce it are. If the patent is strong enough and you can´t circle arountd it you will be working your butt off just to be sued down the road and lose all your revenue to them or be forced to make a weak deal. As Kak mentioned your position to negotiate is better now than then because not only you are not deeply invested in time and money but for they not knowing the size of the threat you represent to their business yet.
 

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G. Wellthy

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Any good patent attorney can draft your claims to have a shot at novelty. But honestly, patents are just the paperwork that lines up future litigation arguments. Neither you OP nor the original inventor should feel like your patent protects you from competition. It just simply does not work that way.

The big companies call this “efficient infringement”.

Jackie Hutter on LinkedIn, out of Atlanta, changed my perspective completely. I’m glad I was able to hire her and read all of her content.
 
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PizzaOnTheRoof

PizzaOnTheRoof

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I don't want to make your decisions for you, but they know how far their patent can protect them. They know if you don't come to a deal, they aren't going to make money off of you.

You have ALL the leverage in that transaction because if they say no, you could still just circumvent the patent somehow without them.

Funny this stupid a$$ industry... These patent attorneys write patents for one client and circumvent them for another. It is just government granted monopoly with circling shark lawyers.

I know of an amazing patented invention that is completely underfunded and owned by a loser. It would be a billion dollar company if he would let me or someone license it. Instead, he makes ZERO money per year and loves calling himself the CEO of an energy startup with a revolutionary design. This thing could change the world and he has been working a FTJ for 20 years and doing nothing because he is greedy and won't bring people in to actually build something around it.

So I hate patents... and I have no respect for the status quo legal side of business where everyone talks through a $500 attorney who's only job is to bring commerce to a screeching halt.

So, I like suprising people and offering strong deals that just cut the lawyers out as much as possible. Lawyers aren't the ones that deserve a cut. The patent holder is. Maybe even use that line... It might wake them up.
Sitting for a meeting with them it is a good idea indeed. Even if you don´t make a deal it will give you a sense about how strong their patent and intentions to enforce it are. If the patent is strong enough and you can´t circle arountd it you will be working your butt off just to be sued down the road and lose all your revenue to them or be forced to make a weak deal. As Kak mentioned your position to negotiate is better now than then because not only you are not deeply invested in time and money but for they not knowing the size of the threat you represent to their business yet.
Any good patent attorney can draft your claims to have a shot at novelty. But honestly, patents are just the paperwork that lines up future litigation arguments. Neither you OP nor the original inventor should feel like your patent protects you from competition. It just simply does not work that way.

The big companies call this “efficient infringement”.

Jackie Hutter on LinkedIn, out of Atlanta, changed my perspective completely. I’m glad I was able to hire her and read all of her content.
Thanks for all the help and suggestions guys!

I agree this whole patent industry is beyond f*cked. I can’t imagine how many innovations have been DOA because the inventor didn’t want to navigate through the sea of crap.

@G. Wellthy, I’ll look her up. Thanks!

@Kak and @Lucky Lu, I think I’ll have a patent attorney/clerk look over the patent first so I can get an idea of how much leeway I’ve got.

If this doesn’t work out it’s ok. This isn’t a hill I’m gonna die on, just a potential opportunity among infinite opportunities!
 

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Bit late on this one and apologies if already been covered by others. I went through the patent process in the UK. I drafted my own and I don't know if the US or other countries are different. I find the Intellectual Property Office very helpful. I paid approx $250.00USD to file the patent. They returned it with a full report on why there were faults in the application (didn't phase me as I used it for learning experience) and also provided me with copies of existing patents (don't worry that there is already a patent out there; chances of true innovation are minimal anyway). This whole process took about 3 months start to finish. In the end I decided not to proceed with patent and they refunded approx $100USD (known as the 'examination fee'). In the time the application was with the IPO, I realised it's first to market that is equally important. I was involved in various small VC clubs in London and none of them really bothered with patents (either software companies or physical). You could just trademark it and as long as you can get to market first, you should be good to go and have sufficient protection. With all that said, here's a sobering story: 'There was a lot of suffering': inventor of football's vanishing spray looks for recognition

Good luck!
 

Fukuokasan

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Long story short a utility patent already exists for the idea I have.

The patent is pretty in depth about what’s covered, including manufacturing techniques, design, etc.

My product wouldn’t be identical of course as I’ve got some ideas for a different design, but some of the main selling points are mentioned in the patent.

For example the patent mentions the product having a removable inner layer which I was planning on doing.

An interesting thing to note is the company that owns the patent works mainly with military instead of civilians, tough they also have civilian products. I would focus strictly on the civilian market.

Not to mention you have to call in to order from the catalog as they don’t have an online store. (Hello value skew!)

Anyway just some ramblings. I’d appreciate any advice. If you’re interested in discussing more just PM me.
There is a thing call "utility model". An x thing is patented but you can do the same x in wood, because the patent cover only plastic. Make a variation and register it as "utility model". 10 years for you country and one international for 100€ (first 2 years and then a yearly renew until tenth year ). I'm doing it my self for a patented product...
 

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