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Product idea was taken, what to do next?

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jetsetter883

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Mar 15, 2012
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Hi all,

I had an idea for a product for some time and recently found someone raising money for it on Indiegogo. In fact they have passed the prototype stage and are close to full scale production.

Now of course it’s my own fault for not jumping on it sooner, but if anything I am now more convinced that the product has a market.

I’m wondering if someone can give me advice on how to go about producing a very similar product without running foul of the law, as the product has a few patents tied to it.

Is it conceivable that I could simply purchase the product and hire a patent attorney to tell me what I can and can’t do? Or are there any companies out there who can take the product and produce a similar version that doesn’t copy anything proprietary?

Quite simply, I’m really bummed out that this product idea has been taken and would like to create my own version in an ethical/legal manner.

I appreciate any thoughts you all may have!
 

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jetsetter883

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 15, 2012
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Talking to a patent lawyer is exactly what you should do. They can advise you on what you can or can't do.
Thank you sir.

Two quick questions, one potentially dumb one:
1) Is it essential that I have the physical product in hand? The description on Indiegogo actually goes into some detail about the patented part (which is just a simple mechanism)? It doesn’t appear that the product has actually started shipping yet.

2) Once I get things sorted with the patent attorney, would the next step be to simply start contacting companies to get a prototype made? I am very new to this and appreciate any resources or input on the matter.

Many thanks!
 

Empires

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Thank you sir.

Two quick questions, one potentially dumb one:
1) Is it essential that I have the physical product in hand? The description on Indiegogo actually goes into some detail about the patented part (which is just a simple mechanism)? It doesn’t appear that the product has actually started shipping yet.

2) Once I get things sorted with the patent attorney, would the next step be to simply start contacting companies to get a prototype made? I am very new to this and appreciate any resources or input on the matter.

Many thanks!
1) Talk with a patent lawyer and they will tell you what they need.

2) You need to first come up with a design that does not infringe on the patent. You can either do this yourself or hire an engineer or product designer to do this for you after you consult with the patent lawyer. Then you would likely want to build a prototype. How you get the prototype built depends on what type of product it is. You may be able to make the prototype yourself depending on the product.

Just take it one step at a time, you'll learn what you need to do. Overcome every hurdle as they come.
 

NMdad

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Attorneys are expensive, and at this stage, possibly unnecessary. You should be able to find their patents yourself via Google patent search. All patents have holes--various ways you can tweak your product idea, functionality, etc.

Also, patents don't prevent anyone from copying a product/idea; they just provide the potential for legal relief in case of infringement.

So, you might want to consider questions like:
  • What's the need and/or benefit that the market wants?
  • How can you create an even better product that meets the need?
  • What other needs does that market have, and how can you serve them?
Just because there's a competitor doesn't necessarily mean you should stop pursuing the idea. Competitors have already validated that there's a market. Everyone has competition. How can you better execute?
 

Empires

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Attorneys are expensive, and at this stage, possibly unnecessary. You should be able to find their patents yourself via Google patent search. All patents have holes--various ways you can tweak your product idea, functionality, etc.

Also, patents don't prevent anyone from copying a product/idea; they just provide the potential for legal relief in case of infringement.

So, you might want to consider questions like:
  • What's the need and/or benefit that the market wants?
  • How can you create an even better product that meets the need?
  • What other needs does that market have, and how can you serve them?
Just because there's a competitor doesn't necessarily mean you should stop pursuing the idea. Competitors have already validated that there's a market. Everyone has competition. How can you better execute?
Attorneys are a lot cheaper than a legal battle over patent infringement.

I agree that you should look over the patent yourself and come up with some potential ways to work around the patent, then take them to a patent attorney. You can find patent attorneys on Upwork for a fair price. I would expect this to fall in a $100-300 price range.
 

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