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New lure designs and intellectual property.


_JJM

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Hey,

 

First I am not a lawyer, but I hold several patents.

 

I got back fishing again this summer and had a ldea about a new type fishing lure. I built a prototype and iterated the design a half dozen times. so far it hasn't caught any fish :) But conditions haven't been right so I am still hopeful. And before I go down the patent path I want to make sure the bloody thing works. ?

 

So the point of this post. Some advice for my fellow inventors

 

First don't disclose the details of the invitation on a public forum. (Here is a good example of where not to post pictures :p)

 

Second, do a patent search, Google patents is a good place to do that. Not to be a downer but there's a better than 50% chace someone else already had the idea. This happened to me more than once. Talk about a gut punch, but don't let it get you down, keep inventing.

 

Third is it novel enough? This is a hard concept to explain other than a example. "I want to patent a 4.5 inch plastic worm because no one makes one" Nope it's an obvious extension of existing art. (In this case art would be industry knowledge but it could be scientific knowledge)

 

 

Fourth is there a market? I invented a novel thing for one of our customers last month,  but the usage is so low it's not worth the ~80k  in legal fees for my employer to patent. Simply not enough profit to warrent the cost. So it stays a trade secret.

 

Fifth, Filing a patent. There's several options here . Write it yourself (very hard). I have literally reviewed/read over 100 patents and I think I could write my own, but it would take months and I will probably hire a patent attorney to review it (couple of $1000 at least)

 

Hire an attorney. Expensive but worth it if you think you can make enough money from it.

 

Talk to a "invention" , fishing bait company or whatever. Pitch your idea (e.g. Shark tank) But get a non disclosure agreement (NDA aka PIA or whatever the sexy acronym is this year) First!!!. Read it!!!!. You probably need a lawyer for this too for any contracts.

 

I am not going to lie, inventing is easier than patenting the idea. And it takes a couple of years to get one granted (you can get a utility patent while waiting). But the feeling you get when it's granted is amazing and definitely worth the effort..

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Super User

Being awarded a patent doesn’t mean the claims are strong and will hold up under challenge. Will a simple design change break your patent. 

This brings up another cost, patent infringement, the cost to protect your invention. 

Domestic vs International patents, only member countries honor patents. 

Why would anyone would try to patent fishing lures today?

Tom

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17 hours ago, WRB said:

Being awarded a patent doesn’t mean the claims are strong and will hold up under challenge. Will a simple design change break your patent. 

This brings up another cost, patent infringement, the cost to protect your invention. 

Domestic vs International patents, only member countries honor patents. 

Why would anyone would try to patent fishing lures today?

Tom

Language is important in how your patent is worded and how complete it is in the claims. I am not going to get into "Garden Stoning" or other IP protection techniques. And yes absolutely, especially with all the changes in patent law lately. I think there's an amendment being attached to the defense budget package that modifies things again.

 

Point is have some IP protection in place before going public. An inventor is going to have to talk to a manufacturer in today's world. Starting up your own company for a lure design is a non starter I think, the resources needed to defend the IP is not something a startup can't afford.

 

Cheers

 

 

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  • Super User

Let’s put this into perspective for those considering a design or novelty patent.

The Tulip door knob was awarded a patent, not for the door knob but the door knob shaped like a Tulip.

The Chatterbait lure was awarded a patent, not for the Chatterbait lure but the coffin shaped blade used on the lure.

The Chatterbait has Trade Name protection, the patent claims were very weak and therefor copied by using a slightly different shape blade.

You have search cost, filing cost, attorney, annual cost for each member country and legal cost to fight infringements. Companies can afford to protect their patents, individuals are better off trying to sell the rights.

Tom

PS, I have 8 patents and don’t own ant of them. Patent protection is usually 17 years from issue date.

 

 

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On 10/27/2022 at 5:11 PM, WRB said:

Let’s put this into perspective for those considering a design or novelty patent.

The Tulip door knob was awarded a patent, not for the door knob but the door knob shaped like a Tulip.

The Chatterbait lure was awarded a patent, not for the Chatterbait lure but the coffin shaped blade used on the lure.

The Chatterbait has Trade Name protection, the patent claims were very weak and therefor copied by using a slightly different shape blade.

You have search cost, filing cost, attorney, annual cost for each member country and legal cost to fight infringements. Companies can afford to protect their patents, individuals are better off trying to sell the rights.

Tom

PS, I have 8 patents and don’t own ant of them. Patent protection is usually 17 years from issue date.

 

 

I have 7 and the company I work for owns them.  Chatterbait should have increased their claim to include any blade shape that would provide that action in the water, although there may have been office action push back from the USPTO. Plus that would be relatively hard to describe in precise language. Anyway,  hindsight sight is 20/20 "shrug" 

But I agree with everything you are saying, an individual should sell their ideas to a company

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