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How to start?

Posted by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:03 PM
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I know there are only 2 of us, but I thought that starting the posts would be helpful to anyone else interested in this group.  I have an idea for an invention...but have no real idea where to start.  Problem is, part of it has to do with electronics and technology, both of which I am a total dummy about.  :)  Also, I dont know if anyone has already invented it, or has a patent for it.  I looked online at the search engine for the US patent office, and there are just SO many that come up with my keywords, that I cant go thru them all.  Should I hire someone to do the research for me?  What do you suggest?
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:03 PM
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by New Member on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:20 PM
Hi, to answer one question, if you look to hire someone, make sure you have them sign a non-disclosure agreement so that you keep your own idea.  Legal Zoom may be a good place to start . Look into similar products, where they are manufactured and by whom by using the internet. Come to the table with more than just your idea but how your idea fits into todays (and tomorrow's) market.   If anyone has any ideas of resources to use to find out this information, please share!!!!!! I tend to spend hours on search engines looking up any terms I can that might have something to do with my ideas. I probably waste a lot of valuable time getting sidetracked. :) befitmom 
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:48 PM
This was my first read...I still have not gotten all the way through it...but it has some good info.
by Group Owner on Jun. 14, 2007 at 1:40 PM
okay, since my invention is already at the point of conception and use, I will give you some good old fashioned advice from someone who has already been there done that. 

first - steer clear from the companies who call them selves invention companies.  they will take your money and guarantee you nothing.  most will end up costing you over 25k.  There is a lot of information on the us govt patent office website about this.    second, since your invention will ulitmately cost you a lot of time, blood, sweat, tears, and money if you choose to patent it, you definitely want to do your due dilligence.  Take the time to research the patent office website to see if you idea is already patented.  Now, even if it is, if your invention improves it, you can still move forward.  Its then called an improvement patent. 

secondly, be very cautious about discussing your invention if it is not patented.  THere are guys who sit in china and japan and they check the patent office website daily for pending patents.  Then, they quickly take your invention and mass market it before your patent is approved.  P.S.  It can take upwards of 2-4 years for the entire patent process to happen. 

Write everything down regarding your invention.  Date every piece of paper.  Then put it all in an evelope and go to your local post office and mail it to yourself from there.  

A website to check out that is really good for mom related inventions -  They help out inventions they feel are good and unique and somehow related to the mom industry - i.e., heated baby wipes.....

another good place to go to is  there is some good information on there and it also can put you in contact with companies and people looking to purchase your invention. 

If you are still trying to find out if your invention is already invented and you havent found anything on the us patent office website, try just doing a search for it on a search engine. 

hope that helps some

P.S.S.  dont forget, even if someone else already invented your idea and is marketing it, if your invention improves theres go for it. 
by New Member on Jul. 20, 2007 at 4:10 PM
Another good resource is this site, Tamara also has a great book that I purchased. It give you very detailed info on how to get started, what to do and the various avenues available.  Hope this helps.
by New Member on Aug. 14, 2007 at 8:19 AM

For newbies, JuliasMommie is exactly right on. I have three US patents pending.... an automated shopping cart no less...go figure.....

Besides a patent search, you need to develop a business plan or go to market plan.

Patents don't necessarily protect you, nor, if you get one, do they mean riches. If some firm in China knocks you off, you have virtually no recourse.

A business plan will generally help you uncover the 'market' and its potential.

This is important. It will lead you to many different roads.

One additional point to consider is, if the item is low cost, and free of patent infringement.... get it into the market and sell the damn thing! The idea is really to make money. If you can make and sell something cheaply....just do it.
Part of the rationale is most ideas flop. But some really good ones never make it into the market place because people are always snarled up in a thousand different meaningless tasks. If your idea is good, two things will happen....

Competition will arise regardless

Some one will want you to join them

Sure, if you have the cure to cancer, weight loss, whatever, you want to get your intellectual property game in order....

But, if your product is simple... a botanical, a new potato peeler.... you probably just want to do it. If your idea is a novel improvement, then you might want to patent that idea as it improves something else....

more later....

by Group Owner on Aug. 27, 2007 at 1:10 PM
good advise.  check out the site i posted earlier if you want to get your product to market quick.  that site is full of companies looking for inventions.
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