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Iowanian
04-06-2005, 02:31 PM
I know I've seen a thread on this topic before, but can't locate it.

I've got an idea.....what I think is a very good idea....

I've got some design issues(exactly how to make it work), but the first place I need to start is to make sure a similar product hasn't been patented. how do I do that?

I'm thinking I'm the next Ronco Sunday morning $19.95 thousandaire if it works.

I'm open to advice. I have the idea for the product, the target market which is broad, but I'm missing some scientific/mechanical stuff, manufacturing or where to even begin.

What kind of loot does it take? Is there a company(reputable) that I can take my "IDEA" to, that will do the R&D, manufacturing and I'd still get some residual $$?

Iowanian
04-06-2005, 03:05 PM
now dammit....I KNOW one of you are "bill nye the science guy".

In particularly, I'm interested in Methods, with Double AA battery power, to generate and control Static.

Simplex3
04-07-2005, 12:03 AM
First we have to have some idea of what is needed. Does it need a plastic casing? Will it have electronics? Are there mechanical parts? Do they need to be metal or is plastic Ok? What kind of stress will it need to hold up to? Also, how much juice will it need to produce and does it need to be a sustained current or is a single jolt Ok? Of course you're going to have issues with things that are out of your control like humidity.

As for static electricity in general look up "Van der Graaf Generator" in your favorite search engine.

As for the patent bit, getting a lawyer to do the patent search, then file yours if it's clear is pretty expensive. The ones I've seen were anywhere from $10k on up. You can always do the poor man's patent. Write down your plans, make a photocopy, then mail them to yourself certified mail. When they come back don't open them. Now you have proof of what date you had the idea if you ever need to go to court. It's much harder to defend and odds are strong you'll have to sue since they will have done a patent search and didn't come up with anything.

Boozer
04-07-2005, 07:19 AM
First we have to have some idea of what is needed. Does it need a plastic casing? Will it have electronics? Are there mechanical parts? Do they need to be metal or is plastic Ok? What kind of stress will it need to hold up to? Also, how much juice will it need to produce and does it need to be a sustained current or is a single jolt Ok? Of course you're going to have issues with things that are out of your control like humidity.

As for static electricity in general look up "Van der Graaf Generator" in your favorite search engine.

As for the patent bit, getting a lawyer to do the patent search, then file yours if it's clear is pretty expensive. The ones I've seen were anywhere from $10k on up. You can always do the poor man's patent. Write down your plans, make a photocopy, then mail them to yourself certified mail. When they come back don't open them. Now you have proof of what date you had the idea if you ever need to go to court. It's much harder to defend and odds are strong you'll have to sue since they will have done a patent search and didn't come up with anything.

And if the second guy registers his patent before you, you're pretty much screwed. Patent law doesn't protect the first inventor, it protects the first to register. Your certified mail thing doesn't really accomplish anything.

Otter
04-07-2005, 08:02 AM
As for the patent bit, getting a lawyer to do the patent search, then file yours if it's clear is pretty expensive. The ones I've seen were anywhere from $10k on up
My Pop-Pop's Business supplied rock salt (for when the roads get icy or snowy) to much of the northeast. Salt that sat over the summer would become bonded together like concrete.

He created a machine that backhoes could drop the salt into then chop up and vibrate the clumps back to their original state and drop them onto the conveyer belt so it was only one extra step in the trasportation process.

To get the machine and how it works with a conveyer patented it cost him $17,000 roughly 10 years ago. Their not cheap.

Ok, now that I look, that more or less turned out to be a post braggin about my Grandpa.

Sorry :shrug:

Iowanian
04-07-2005, 10:10 AM
Simplex.....There are several R&D items I'd yet have to work out. I hesitate to say "too much" because I don't want some johnny Rotten stealing my Idear.

I'm thinking the product would be maybe a foot long with (i'm thinking stainless steal) cyllinder handle the diameter of a broom handle or so.

I've looked at the vandeGraff generator stuff, and still don't know if its doing what I want.

I need roughly(in my estimation) to generate the same amount of static(and harness it to a part that is maybe the size of a highlighter marker at the end of the handle).......as say the brush/head of a vaccum cleaner.

My initial thinking is a battery(2-4AA)powered motor....like a slotcar motor..with brushes..or bearings(whichever material that best generates static from friction) that spin inside the cyllinder to generate the static.

I know there is a way to do it, that is fairly simple, but I'm not electric engineer enough to figure it out.

I don't know that I'm even close to far enough along to file a pattent, but I do think its a very realistic Idea.......if someone else hasn't done it already.

I'm not Opposed to taking my idea to someone else who is more capable of making it happen(I've seen advertisements for a company that does that...but don't want to get Hosed).

I guarantee there is a broad, worldwide market for such a product........and there is scaleability potential for other uses.

Iowanian
04-07-2005, 10:13 AM
trasportation process.

To get the machine and how it works with a conveyer patented it cost him $17,000 roughly 10 years ago. Their not cheap.

Ok, now that I look, that more or less turned out to be a post braggin about my Grandpa.

Sorry :shrug:

The real question is.....did that $17k investment Return the Favor?

Otter
04-07-2005, 11:01 AM
The real question is.....did that $17k investment Return the Favor?

Yes, he was a really smart business man.

There's a couple thousand of them in use in North America and the patent was sold to a manufacturing company for a pretty penny.

Iowanian
04-07-2005, 11:35 AM
Something along the lines of that, is what I'm hoping to do.........though Ideally, aforementioned company would like the idea enough to front some of the jack to make the patent happen as Co-creators or something.

Pants
04-07-2005, 08:38 PM
My good friend had bunch of ideas and actually went to an agency. They told him a patent would cost $10K. Sorry, I'm not much help, but at least you know what to expect. BTW, this was in Kansas.

Baby Lee
04-08-2005, 09:38 AM
I have a buddy who is a licensed patent attorney with a big firm here in St. Louis. His background is in EE. I mentioned the broad stroke of your situation and he said, although he's cutting back on bringing in small projects, he'd certainly welcome an initial call. Perhaps he can direct you to either an attorney better suited for your aims, or a business interest who might team up with you, or even take you on as a client. Whatever serves your mutual interests best. Give me a message if you want the particulars.

Iowanian
04-08-2005, 10:33 AM
Thats a pretty good offer BL.....

My biggest hurdles now are...well...all of them, and talking with someone who "knows" might be a good idea.

Do you think he'd be open to an initial Email? If so, PM me with the particulars. I appreciate the initial mention anyway.

Baby Lee
04-08-2005, 11:19 AM
Thats a pretty good offer BL.....

My biggest hurdles now are...well...all of them, and talking with someone who "knows" might be a good idea.

Do you think he'd be open to an initial Email? If so, PM me with the particulars. I appreciate the initial mention anyway.
Sent you PM and EM. Probably a good idea to look at the websites I gave from from the Patent and Trademark Office to get you up to speed on the state of the art regarding electrostatic cleaning devices before you initiate a conversation. Should offer you some insight, not only of whether your idea is an improvement on prior art, but as to who some of the major patent-holders are.

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/def/015.htm

http://164.195.100.11/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=0&f=S&l=50&TERM1=15%2F1.51&FIELD1=ORCL&d=pall

Iowanian
04-08-2005, 12:16 PM
Thanks,

I'll spend more time over the weekend crawling through the sites. I spent some time crawling through the first, and ended up on the same link as your second.

I'm obviously not a legal guru, and determining what is/isn't similar enough to be a problem isn't my specialty, but initially, I see more things for Dust collection, cleaning of film, imaging, Toner from copiers etc...........I've seen nothing with the same desired target as mine. Most Dust cleaners appear to be "brushes" which isn't exactly what I'm thinking.

I'm going to do some additional reading before contacting your guy. The last thing I want is for him to think I'm some ignorant Bozo.....but on this topic, I guess I kind of am. I'll probably at least drop him an email next week.

thanks alot. those links at least give me a place to start looking.

Ari Chi3fs
04-08-2005, 11:34 PM
His background is in EE.

??

Baby Lee
04-09-2005, 08:56 AM
His background is in EE.

??
Electrical Engineering

Iowanian
04-11-2005, 03:36 PM
BL...
I have sent a letter to your contact and have BCC you as well. Thank you very much for the contact and your assistance. I'll be sure to remember that kindness if this works out.

The Pedestrian
04-11-2005, 05:08 PM
As for the patent bit, getting a lawyer to do the patent search, then file yours if it's clear is pretty expensive. The ones I've seen were anywhere from $10k on up. You can always do the poor man's patent. Write down your plans, make a photocopy, then mail them to yourself certified mail. When they come back don't open them. Now you have proof of what date you had the idea if you ever need to go to court. It's much harder to defend and odds are strong you'll have to sue since they will have done a patent search and didn't come up with anything.

If you do this, there have to be postmarks going along the opening so they can tell that it hasn't been tampered with...post office does it for free, so just find the time and you'll have the proper evidence.

Baby Lee
04-11-2005, 05:10 PM
If you do this, there have to be postmarks going along the opening so they can tell that it hasn't been tampered with...post office does it for free, so just find the time and you'll have the proper evidence.
That mailing thing has nothing to do with patents. Some have used it to date their COPYRIGHTED material. But even that is inferior to a federally registered copyright.