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 PATENTS et al
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NEWS & INFORMATION
 Edison with the phonograph, June 16, 1888

From time to time, NEWS & INFORMATION of particular interest to inventors will be found on this page. This is merely presented as information only. Disclaimed are any claims as to accuracy or 'goodness to fit' and of applicability in a particular case.  Use it at your own disgression and risk. Obtain legal advice and professional help before venturing too far in patent matters.  "Dont just sit there..INVENT!!"   
DID YOU KNOW?
 
* Over 8 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790.
 Isn't it about time that YOU Finally 'DID SOMETHING' with YOUR IDEA?

* FEBRUARY 11 is Thomas A. Edison's Birthday.  Edison was born on February 11, 1847 and died at age 84 on 10/18/31 and was considered the biggest failure at age 22 when his first invention, the automatic vote counter, a technological success was a marketing flop.  Nobody at the time wanted to speed up the vote counting or voting process. There were fillibusters who kept a bill on the floor of the legislature by talking it to death.  Today, we get to know who won or will win an election practically 5 minutes after the polls close!  Edison learned from his first mistake and vowed "never to invent something unless there is a market for it".  After his other patents totalling 1093, he tried to follow that early lesson he learned with reasonable success on most of his inventions.  Edison's  advice is still good today.  Don't invent anything unless there is a market for it, otherwise you'll be your best customer!!  Find out what the market wants and needs and fill it!!   JOE


FREE BASIC INFORMATION FOR INVENTORS

The Patent and Trademark Office has FREE booklets and good basic information about inventing and PTO services.  Call (24 hours/day) and you will get a 'menu voice mail' which allows you to order various publications and booklets FREE!!

CALL 1-800-PTO-9199  or visit their web site http://www.uspto.gov

 PTO has a great Independent Inventor's web site you don't want to miss!!  Check it out:

   NEW PTO INDEPENDENT INVENTOR'S WEB SITE

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INVENTING 101: SIMPLIFIED INVENTION PROCESS
copyright  2000 -2013 by Joseph R. Birkner,M.E.   Patent Agent 
 
1. Every invention begins with an IDEA!!  So write you idea(s) down in black ink a bound notebook and have them witnessed and understood by two non-relatives. This is still a good way to keep track of your progress.

2. BUT...don't stop there...IDEAS WITHOUT SOLUTIONS ARE WORTHLESS!!  PEOPLE BUY PRODUCTS NOT IDEAS!!

3. SOLVE THE PROBLEM on which your idea is based.  For instance, if I have an idea for tripling the growth of tomatoes by feeding the young plants with a 'special' (magic fertilizer), to get BIG tomatoes (as big as grapefruit) ...a GREAT IDEA, BUT, I don't know what that magic fertilizer is...yet...there is NO SOLUTION, hence NO INVENTION.  And, IDEAS are NOT PATENTABLE!!  So, you must solve the problem and thereby TURN YOUR IDEA INTO AN INVENTION!  (check out HOW TO TURN YOUR IDEA INTO AN INVENTION AND PATENT IT.

4. Always, CHECK THE MARKETPLACE BEFORE YOU GO TOO FAR to see if your invention already exists.  Check the web, go to stores, consult TV commercials, catalogs, home shopping club shows, flea markets..anywhere your invention may most likely be found.  If it does exist, see if you can improve on what is already invented, since most inventions are improvements to already existing products.  If not, then INVENT something else.

5. CONDUCT A PATENT SEARCH or hire a patent professional to help you do this and to INTERPRET the meaning and RELEVANCE of the terms, drawings etc.  There are over 8 million US issued patents and the patent office considers all patents in the whole world (even old, expired patents) and publications before it issues a patent. Don't spend money on expensive prototypes, molds or renderings until you know what is already patented or on the market. 

6. FILE A PATENT APPLICATION: If their is a market for your invention and it is NEW, USEFUL, and UNOBVIOUS, among other things, and a patent search does not uncover any prior art damaging to your invention, then, a patent professional such as a patent agent or patent attorney can help you file a patent application for your INVENTION.  Note: Although several books can guide you through the basics of the patenting process (like the booklets from the PTO mentioned above and others), do as much as you can on your own, then solicit professional help.  When you seek professional help, HAVE A WRITTEN DISCLOSURE OF YOUR INVENTION AND SKETCHES PREPARED FOR REVIEW AT SUCH TIME.  Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements are recommended prior to disclosing your confidential information to product developers and  prospective licensees.  Patent attorneys and patent agents are bound, by law, by 'attorney/agent/client priviledge' and do not necessarily have to sign such agreeements.

It is also pointed out that effective March 16, 2013, the US went to a first to file system as specified by the America Invent Act. 
What this means is that the first person to file a patent application could be awarded a patent, so speed in filing is important now
to prevent anyone else in the world from beating you to it.
 
7. You can OFFER YOUR INVENTION FOR SALE  and to potential licensees for a royalty and other compensation that you agree upon, preferably, AFTER YOU HAVE A PATENT APPLICATION ON FILE IN THE PTO..ie. patent pending.  Most licensees do not consider unsolicited ideas and practically insist on patented or patent pending inventions before they will consider them. See SHARK TANK  Two important lessons learned.   Also, if you actually sell or ('just') offer your invention for sale; you have one year from that date to file a patent application otherwise, you, or no one else can EVER get a patent on that invention.  For instance, you place an 'offer for sale ad' in a magazine for your invention (before filing for a patent) on 1/26/2013.  The 'one-year-clock starts ticking'.  Even though you may never make an actual sale, you only have until 1/26/2014 (1 year) to file a patent or forever lose your patent rights.  So, file a patent first, and then start your marketing and sales program, otherwise, you may unknowingly lose your patent rights. 
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If you have an idea and don't know what to do next visit  WHAT TO DO ABOUT MY IDEA

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