T Nation

Have You Patented an Idea Before?


I have an idea. I'm trying to monetize something, so there isn't exactly a tangible product (well, there sort of is).

My biggest question is how to patent an idea that requires the cooperation of multiple industries and agencies (state, county-level). I have no clue what to do and if a patent attorney is merely enough to "protect" my idea.

Any thoughts?


what's the idea, maybe we can help


You can patent a "method". You should contact a patent attorney and run the concept by them. They will be able to tell you very quickly if it is a viable patent. Keep in mind that patent applications can be expensive and time-consuming.


I hate those things that are "Why didn't I think of those?!" ie. The Valslide


Hah. You're funny.

Excellent. That's what I wanted to hear. Thanks!


Well here is the website to begin...

It might seem like its easy to just "Patent" something, but its not. I have tried... I also had my dad's friend who is a drafter that drafted my ideas. He drafts for fortune 500 companies such as Sandisk. Also as HG suggested, patent attorney, you need one! The whole process costs money.

First before you design/draft, file etc... You should do a patent search first (it will save you LOTS of time), to see if your idea is similar to existing patent ideas. If there are existing patents, it's going to be hard to get a patent (then your going to have to change the design or add a new feature).


you can patent a method and for the time being a business method.

making money off of your idea is a different topic. It can be done as i have worked with individual inventors who have made a bunch of money. Most do not though.

send me a pm and we can talk. I am a registered patent attorney and can give you some advice.


This in not true at all. When an attorney writes a patent, one of the more prevalent strategies is to cite patents of similar devices, products, or processes as grounds for the patent being applied for to be granted. Similarity isn't frowned upon at all, and in fact works to your advantage.

It's when something is completely new and unproven that a patent attorney has to jump through some hoops with examinations and patent prosecutions.

Best advice I could give- Don't fall for someone trying to sell mock-up or prototype services. They are not necessary, and the USPTO explicitly states that they do not accept prototypes.


What about a "patent pending" with a provisional patent for a $100 fee, while marketing it to manufacturers. Instead of rushing into the lengthy and costly patent process, because 97% of the patents never make any money. Got it from an article.


Hmm. I was wondering the same thing, last week.

My idea could kick your idea's ass.


I'm working on a pill that convinces women that giving oral and swallowing eliminates split ends and cures menstrual cramping.

Top that, mofo.


I thought about designing a computer overclocking product, it is basically watercooled heatpipes with copper fins to increase surface area. I'm sure most of you guys have no clue what I'm saying. Thing I'm trying to get to is, the patent can be very, very costly and unless you have quite a bit to spare or total confidence in it, it could get troublesome.


Write your idea down, mail it to yourself. The postmark date will confirm your thought of it first if someone challenges your claim.


Ahhh, this already exists Zalman and many other companies have been making these for years. As a matter of fact, ThermalTake created a passive laptop cooling stand using these heatpipes mounted on an aluminum sheet with fins underneath.


This is considered the poor man's patent, but in all reality it's not legally enforceable. All it's worth is a pat on the back and a "Hey man, you shoulda got that patented!"


Yea I understand heatpipes are used with copper/aluminin fins, but my idea was to submerge that whole structure under water, which back then (about four years ago), wasn't out. I'm not too up to date with these kind of things. You seem like a computer geek :wink:

Heres the link to my idea: http://www.xtremesystems.org/Forums/showthread.php?t=81128


I've seen someone take all the panels of a computer tower and submerge the tower frame in an aquarium filled with mineral spirits. Then run water cooling pipes into the tank and circulate and cool the mineral spirits. It was cool and worked well, you can find videos on youtube.



And, in all reality, the only thing a patent does is give you the ability to take someone to court if you think they stole your concept. You would still need to prove it to the court (and pay all your legal fees!).