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heather31




PostSubject: Business Method Patent   Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:10 pm

I called the uspto- and the person i spoke to believes that what I need to research is "business method patent"... I have a product, but, also a concept. I believe the concept is what will sell it.
Since this apparently is fairly new- or so I've read...??? I'm not sure how to go about patenting my concept.
the woman on the phone just said to research it on google patents- i didn't get very far. isn't there a form or paperwork to be filed... fees? I can't find anything!
thanks,
Heather
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Bill Goldblatt

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PostSubject: Re: Business Method Patent   Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:41 pm

A business method patent is just like any other patent. As a patent protecting a telephone is likely to be referred to as a telephone patent, a patent protecting a method for doing business will generally be referred to as a business method patent. This is nothing new, and contrary to recently popular opinion the requirements for patenting a business method have not changed in recent years either, although the USPTO has been under pressure to crack down on "obvious" patents and situationally complications can arise as a result of examiners who might take a devil's advocate type stance when reviewing an application.

Feel to clarify a slight bit more and I can answer more questions...
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heather31




PostSubject: Re: Business Method Patent   Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:51 pm

thanks for the answer- so, I must clarify, I can submit a ppa for instance, on a business method?
do i make sense w/o going into my "concept"?
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heather31




PostSubject: Re: Business Method Patent   Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:59 pm

I want to patent this "concept"... and protect my stationary idea & product...
another question would be- how do I approach this guy- I approached him w/ my idea- not the idea, of course, but, then, he wrote this back.... what if he signed an NDA? would this protect him & me, if say, they DID have this idea already? any thoughts what i should do? I need guidance! Wink
thanks!!!!
here's what was written to me:


Hello Heather,
Thanks for thinking of us.
As you can imagine we have a curiosity for good ideas.
At the same time we have to be careful when presented with outside concepts.
The possibility that we may have something similar in process or on the drawing boards is always present.
This then presents the conundrum of opening our doors to review what you would like to present.
So, at this stage I would like to ask a few questions:
Are you willing to take this risk by showing us your concept?
Can you simply/briefly describe the product without giving it away…such as:
Is it a paper good that has a unique shape/function?
Is it a service?
Is it a tool?
Who is it intended for?
What volume do you anticipate selling?

What is your ultimate goal for bringing the concept to market? For example, this is the beginning of a line of items you would like to pursue and see through. You would like to simply sell the idea and get out of the way.

We appreciate your recognition that we are potentially the right company for you to present your concept to and look forward to seeing where this could go.

Respectfully,
Mark


Mark Smith
Co-Founder,
President
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Roger Brown

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Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: patent/NDA   Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:46 pm

Heather,

I do this all the time with an NDA. Once the NDA is signed and each of you has a signed original you can send them the brief overview. As He stated in his letter you can keep it very broad scoped so as to not give away the entire idea, but enough to entice them as well as let them inform you if they are already workiing on something in tha same vein.
As an example when I first contacted Progressive International with my Pizza Scissors idea I told them I had a utensil that could cut pizza without damaging the pan like the pizza wheel does and it can be used as a spatula. Based on that description I peaked their interest and also knew they did not have anything like that in the works.
You need to break down your idea into a short phrase that does similar to my above example. It gives you an idea of the product, but not how I accomplish that task. Good Luck. : )
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Troy Robison

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Location : Sunny, Florida

PostSubject: Re: Business Method Patent   Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:20 am

Heather,follow Roger's suggestions. Give just enough info to make them curious without disclosing your entire concept...make them think. If they want to talk more by phone go ahead. Just beware that they could be trying to get you to spill your guts in more detail. Attorneys are notorious with this technique and so are good buisness people. It's easy for the inventor to give in when this happens. Remember your idea is your baby,if you want it to grow then protect it as much as you can. Get them to sign the NDA.
A few yrs ago I approached one of the largest and oldest hand tool companys in the country. They didnt want to sign my No-Compete Non-Disclosure Agreement,so I declined to introduce 100% of my idea. Three days later the new product development manager called me back,he decided to sign the NDA. So I faxed it to him expecting to get it faxed back. The guy called me back at 5:15 the same day asking me to email him my drawings,pic's of my prototype and detailed description. I told him sure when I get the NDA fax back. He said his secretary was instructed to fax it back to me the same day and he didnt no what happen to it. It was after hours so he would follow up the next day,and would I email him the drawings pic's, etc in good faith. I basically said no.
The next day he called and said his secretary miss understood him and mailed it. Still pushing the issue for my info by email. I decided to wait until it came in the mail.
One week later there was no NDA in the mail,so I called him to see whats up. He told me he would loose his job if he signed the NDA and it never went out,but they are a 80 yr old company and I should trust him. I still declined to give disclose 100% of my info and thanked him for his time.
Six weeks later he called back saying he talked to there attys and had approval to sign the NDA. I told him I cant do that because I was in negotiations with there competition on a license deal.
I loved that part by the way. He wanted to know who it was. I started laughing telling him I cant disclose that info due to the NDA being a 2 party non disclosure document. Very Happy .
The last thing this guy said to me was,corporate needs to evaluate how they handle inventors NDA's in the future because they could be passing up on great technology not signing the doc.
A few days later I found out Home Depot called in all there tool vendors for a meeting in some big hall they rented. HD told all the vendors they wanted all the new technology they could come up with for there stores. Then it all made sense to me.
Roger makes his mother sign the NDA.....LOL.....not because of trust issues,it's a paper trail to follow..... I have shown some of my ideas without the NDA being signed. Only after I left a good paper trail with other companys. Thats a judgement call I make from time to time.

_________________
Troy Robison

www.totalpatentsearch.com
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Bill Goldblatt

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PostSubject: Re: Business Method Patent   Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:34 pm

Good advice above. Although, even with an NDA in place, be careful depending on the nature of your "method." Chances are you would be protected - but sometimes when your idea revolves around a particular process rather than the result of that process, it is tough to have any sort of protection from copycats because any infringement (or breach of contract, for that matter) may occur behind closed doors.
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