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PostSubject: Poor mans Patent?   Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:57 pm

I've heard there's an easy way to patent my idea. Can you explain what a 'poor man's patent' is?

Thank you Very Happy

Last edited by admin on Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:58 pm; edited 3 times in total
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former mentor

PostSubject: Re: Poor mans Patent?   Fri May 01, 2009 12:00 am

Since the beginning of time there has been a prevalent myth in the inventor community that a device called a “Poor Man’s Patent” was away of protecting your invention in lue of actually applying for a patent from the USPTO. This is simply NOT TRUE.

The myth is – you can mail your ideas/inventions to yourself using certified mail through the US Postal System to obtain an independent date stamp on your idea and it will prove that you had the idea first and thus you are entitled to patent protection. . If done in a tamper proof envelope this could in fact establish that, on the date of the time stamp the document inside did in fact exist under government control. It would not however establish the patentability of the idea, or prove that you actually originated the idea.

Additionally, using this device can also harm you in the future, because an inventor must be diligent in pursuing an invention. If you used such a device to establish an idea date, then did no further action to formally protect the idea, it could be argued that you have not actively pursued your invention, have abandoned it, or even concealed it- all which could pose problems in the future if you attempt to obtain a valid patent.

if you use this method, then toss it into your desk drawer thinking 5 years from now you will be able to claim inventor status when you see your idea on a store shelf…..you will likely be very disappointed.
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Location : Texas

PostSubject: Question on writing your own patent   Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:05 pm

I have been doing a lot of research on patents, and how to better research my product ideas. I found this Youtube video on how to patent your own idea.

Is writing your own something to consider?? Also where does the prior art come into play?? For instance he uses a chair with four legs, so does that mean that every chair ever made after the first cannot be fully patented, or protected?? What if the product you have is an addition to something that is already made, but by adding your product to it, it makes it a whole new item in a sense??

How do you know if prior art comes into play??

Thank you in advance for all of your help here!! It is very much appreciated!!
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Bill Goldblatt


PostSubject: Re: Poor mans Patent?   Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:06 pm

Drafting your own patent may be something to consider situationally. But patent law is complicated and missing out on small details can have far reaching effects. If attempting to write your own patent application at least make sure you read up a lot on the subject of patent drafting. There should be resources you can find online, many of which are probably credible. There is also "Patent it Yourself," a book by David Pressman that tends to be widely recommended for inventors interested in learning more regarding the patent process.

Also, strongly consider seeking out an attorney or agent willing to meet with you on an hourly basis to proofread your application. And, consider seeking an attorney to draft your claims. The 'claims' section is where using one word versus a seemingly identical word can mean all the difference between a valuable patent and a useless patent.

Of course, if your budget allows, it often does make sense to leave patent drafting to an agent or attorney. If you absolutely need to save money, I would suggest looking for an agent (usually cheaper than an attorney) and/or finding someone straight out of law school (or otherwise with a limited resume) whom you feel you can trust character-wise. Where they are unsure of what to do they should at least have resources available to them which they can turn to when needed. As long as they want to draft you up a good patent they should hopefully be able to find a way.

Re: Prior art - this thread offers some insight:

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