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overtheedgeRe: I some help with a new idea
Design patents are for things like "pink with camouflage polka dot kilts", "purple striped lederhosen" and lampshades that look like a tuba.

Utility patents, far more costly, are for new stuff that does something.

I have no connection to the book I recommended. My copy cost $46.95 and I figure it saved me from wasting thousand$.

Don Lancaster offers some valid arguments against patents.
But, ... , I'll leave it at that.

geowizardRe: I some help with a new idea

A related article:


- Geowizard
geowizardRe: I some help with a new idea
A free resource:



Don Lancaster is a well known writer and has lots of interesting information!

You will probably enjoy his style. :smile:

- Geowizard
geowizardRe: I some help with a new idea

As of January 1st, the USPTO fees for a Design patent are:

Application Fee $180.
Search Fee $120.
Examination Fee $460
Issue Fee $560

Maintenance fee @ 3.5 years $1600

@7.5 years $3600

@11.5 years $7400.

There may be other fees.

- Geowizard
overtheedgeRe: I some help with a new idea
Hey dude,
Just buy the book I recommended. Read it cover to cover. Build and test your prototype. Fill your patent notebook and have folks you trust witness all along the way.

Been there, done that and walked away because it wasn't financially profitable, ..., twice.

Oh, and have fun along the way. Fun does NOT include spending butt-ugly amounts of money on un-profitable enterprises. Uh, ... , unless it is recreational expenses and then let your conscience be your guide.

geowizardRe: I some help with a new idea

That sheds more light on the subject.

You might look at getting a design patent. If the idea improves on the "prior art", you could retain the value by owning the right to your design.

Design patents are lower cost, and potentially a faster track to a patent.

- Geowizard
Mrgrizz44Re: I some help with a new idea
Geo, I am in this for myself and to try to make some money. I'm not quite ready to give up my day job but would love to. I am however in the process of building a prototype and hope to have it done and tested by the middle of summer. My original date was next year due to finances but I have an investor who is willing to foot the bill for the prototype and become a silent partner for a small percentage. I have found a few patents that have the same basic idea but nothing that is really the same. I guess that's where my real dilemma lies is that is it different enough to persue the patent process. I believe it is but sure could use another opinion from someone that understands patents better than I do. Either way I'm having a blast. My wife thinks I'm crazy but she wasn't raised with the gold bug that my father gave me at an early age.
geowizardRe: I some help with a new idea
The patent process is inherently expensive.

You NEED a GOOD patent attorney. The more thorough the patent search, the less problems you will have with patent conflicts and spending money defending your patent.

The patent search requires time and since attorneys charge by the hour and in many cases even if they use a legal aide, that aide is expensive too. It would be a mistake to cut corners.

Composition of a patent requires expertise in WRITING. It requires expertise in the selection of verbage that covers the scope of the IDEA. This is not an area to cut corners and "cook book" your own patent.

You should have WAY better understanding of the ART of underwater mining than anyone else in the world! With a world population of five billion, there are hundreds of thousands of patent seekers and gold miners and thinkers that are thinking up new ideas every day.

Consider ALL of the possibilities of METHODS of underwater mining. I can come up with a dozen. Let's suppose for the sake of discussion, there are 5000 possibilities of methods of underwater mining. There are a fixed number of possibilities that are practical, feasible and/or meet the test of the laws of physics. Yes, there are possibilities that reside out in the realm of "dark matter" and theoretical physics.

Has the question of the physics behind the method been satisfied?

- Geowizard
geowizardRe: I some help with a new idea

There is another motive for getting a patent that I didn't mention and that motive is "control".

Many corporations maintain market control by controlling the patents on all similar or competing products. I know of corporations that employ scientists and engineers in a "think tank". These "think tanks" in the old days, were teams of thinkers that worked in a room and came up with "new ideas". That's all they did.

I used to work in the design and manufacturing of commercial satellite communication modems. It was specialized work. One side of the very large engineering laboratory was nothing but offices of patent attorneys. New ideas were promptly rewarded and secured by the company. The engineer was given credit for the idea/invention and the company retained ownership of the patent.

It was all about control.

- Geowizard
geowizardRe: I some help with a new idea

Being creative and willing to discover new things is often met with doubt and criticism by others. It's part of the process of being creative.

There are different motives for being creative. A person may want attention and come up with a new secret idea for the sake of gaining attention. Inventors may actually become famous like Thomas Edison.

Another motive is the possibility of becoming wealthy. Howard Hughes' father invented the roller bit used in drilling oil wells. He retained the patent and rented drill bits.

Another motive is creating something that has value to society and makes the world a better place without any personal motive.

The thing that confuses me is that you apparently have an idea that you have not made a model of or a prototype. You don't need a patent on your idea to "build it and operate it". You can actually build and operate something that's already patented. You can't market, build (manufacture) and sell a product that has been patented.

If your idea has commercial value then you should proceed to patent the idea. That process requires review at the patent office by an engineer that would consider the patent as having the qualities required to be given a patent. If a patent is issued, it will be published and is available for viewing - world wide. The common fear of publishing a patent is the concern that someone else will come up with an improved version. A better mouse trap.

- Geowizard

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