Idiot with circuits, Genius with ideas.

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ConstructionK88

Joined Jul 25, 2018
257
My profile proves I'm a bit of an idiot with circuits but like all I do have ideas. Suppose I was to invent something that would be amazing? One: A perpetual motion device. Not exactly possible and if it was then it probably wouldn't provide much excess power to do anything other than power itself. Two: A somewhat weak yet very very long lasting battery. If either of these impossible and sought after goals were found how would it be possible to profit from it? Even if money didn't matter to the creator, how could one protect his rites to such things? Things so dear to the world around us. Akin to a cure to all disease that nobody could claim rites to such a miracle and be stripped away and the creator forgotten. I feel all the world is a cheap copy and nothing original is praised.
 

BR-549

Joined Sep 22, 2013
4,938
It's a law of man. Anything of value, even perceived value, will be fought and stole for.

Every man has and will live with this. Man, like nature is cruel and exploitive.

It's basic reality. You find a place in the exploitation gradient. As every other life-form does.

We call it society.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Protecting an invention that the inventor wants for the public good from those who want to profit by its sale is no different in practice than protecting it for your own profit. In the United States, that generally involves getting a patent or at least initiating that process. Other countries may vary.

Pulp books on protecting inventions often suggest sending a registered letter to yourself with the design. Left unopened, that is evidence of the date of invention. Another thing to do is to publish your work in public media. Neither method is without fault nor completely safe. Remember, that a patent only gives you the right to claim infringement. That is not a crime. It is a civil action, so you must bear the burden for prosecuting it. Perhaps most important, you must prove damages. That can be problematic when your intent was the "pubic good." Moreover, prosecution can be extremely expensive, and it is unlikely in American courts that you will get reimbursed for those experiences (See: the "American Rule"). In other countries, the party that prevails in a lawsuit has a much easier time recovering at least some of its costs.

To illustrate some of those difficulties, consider a large medical entity that since its founding had decided to put its inventions into the public domain. The dominant philosophy was to practice medicine and heal, not to sell patent medicine. That worked well though most of the 20th century until a very large commercial laboratory decided to patent one of its inventions and charge the inventor royalties for its use. No one "wins" when big company fights really big company. Negotiations eventually settled the matter, but it left a bitter taste. Now, that medical institution patents its inventions.

Another example is Netscape versus Microsoft Internet Explorer. Netscape essentially won in court, but did not survive the costs of that litigation. As the adage goes, win the battle but lose the war.

Patents are expensive to get for individuals and are not easily enforceable. However, they are a negotiating tool. I suspect that a piece of paper in a sealed envelope has less value. Anyway, protecting one's property is a "perpetual" struggle and has been for all of history. There is no easy solution.
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
11,901
Published patents place the details of the invention in the public domain. This prevents other people/companies from patenting the same thing and profiting from royalties or preventing its use.
That can be problematic when your intent was the "pubic good."
Sex toy invention? :D.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Published patents place the details of the invention in the public domain. This prevents other people/companies from patenting the same thing and profiting from royalties or preventing its use.
Problem solved...
All that needs to be added is a simple, workable, and universally agreed upon definition of "same."
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
15,136
My profile proves I'm a bit of an idiot with circuits but like all I do have ideas. Suppose I was to invent something that would be amazing? One: A perpetual motion device. Not exactly possible and if it was then it probably wouldn't provide much excess power to do anything other than power itself. Two: A somewhat weak yet very very long lasting battery. If either of these impossible and sought after goals were found how would it be possible to profit from it? Even if money didn't matter to the creator, how could one protect his rites to such things? Things so dear to the world around us. Akin to a cure to all disease that nobody could claim rites to such a miracle and be stripped away and the creator forgotten. I feel all the world is a cheap copy and nothing original is praised.
The simple answer is that you can't. That doesn't mean you can't try. If you do try it will probably lead you to bankruptcy. Read the excellent series of articles by Don Lancaster about acting like an inventor and getting ripped off by everyone in sight.

https://www.tinaja.com/glib/casagpat.pdf

There are others who discuss similar lines of argument on why the patent system does not and can not achieve it's original purpose.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...-case-against-patents/?utm_term=.9a0eaa73601d
https://www.eff.org/issues/patents
https://s3.amazonaws.com/real.stlouisfed.org/wp/2012/2012-035.pdf
https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdf/10.1257/jep.27.1.3

"At one time, way back in the golden age of inventing, ideas were worth as much as a dime a dozen. These days, they are worth less than a dime a bale in ten bale lots."
--
Don Lancaster
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,024
Going back to the original post, the weak but long lasting battery was invented by Edison, and is called the Edison cell. Very long life, but not nearly as good an energy to weight ratio.
 

Thread Starter

ConstructionK88

Joined Jul 25, 2018
257
I wouldnt deem it to weak to be of use though it's weight could be an issue but the weight to size to power ratio should be of sufficient value. Testing proves it works though I don't have the tech to fine machine parts and produce exact results that you'd see in a finished retail product. Feels like a moral thought experiment going on here. I do believe patent laws are intended for the common and greater good but less so for the individual inventor. I wonder how many wonderful things have gone uninvinted because they worry it'll be stolen.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,024
First comes the concept, then comes the development of how that concept works (how it functions), the comes the development of the details of those functions. About this time it is useful to compare those details to reality. That exact same process works on everything from cooking eggs to designing industrial machines. It also works on designing computer programs, even if I don't know how to write the code. Step by step, what happens from each and every input. Not as bad as it sounds, because all the wrong moves fit the single "Anything else" category.
So now you have the secret for going from great ides to great creations. Of course, it takes a bit of study in the sciences to make the comparison to reality part work. That is where a whole lot of folks mess up BIG TIME.
 

Thread Starter

ConstructionK88

Joined Jul 25, 2018
257
Noted. A few thing I certainly have trouble with. Most ideas don't pan out in real life like they do in my mind but admittedly it's quite fun to try even if it fails. I've woken up at 3am to write down something from a dream I just had to test it out that afternoon. 99% of it all was simply a dream but occasionally I've solved things that have confounded me for months just because it came to me in a dream. Some things I've proven the concept but of course I don't have the highest purity materials or to accurately machine parts for most of my ideas. Even if it's not something an everyday person could use I'd sure be happy if any of it did find a tangible niche market that helped in someway. More about pride in myself than cash. Money is temporary but fame is immortal.
 

Jontyleff

Joined Feb 17, 2019
27
You are an interesting guy! I tried taking out a patent fifteen years ago for a door phone answer machine that goes through your phone. I had to keep paying at each stage of the patent process. In the end I realised that it is who is quickest to get the thing into production. That is why most things say Pat Pending, it takes bloody ages for the patent to go through and then it is only useful if when someone copies your idea and puts it into production you have the money to sue them, then your patent is evidence in court!
So b***cks to all that! IDEAS are free!
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,413
I agree.

I believe what’s important is not the design. It’s the marketing. Get it out and get it out fast. Make your money before anyone has a chance to copy it.

That’s not to say ignore the patent process. But don’t wait to start selling until the process is complete. Because the next guy will start selling his before you make your fortune. If the patent process is started, you have proof of prior art.

For the first time, I have an idea that I think is marketable. I’ve done many patent searches because I believe someone must have had the same simple idea. If all these searches, I found ONE application that was similar. And it’s status was “abandoned”. That application was for a product much more complex. So I’m going forward.

All I can say is good luck.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,024
OK, And thanks for the responses. My situation for much of my creativity has been different in that they were products created to do a specific thing for a specific product on their production line, so most of the marketing was already done, and there was not much rush-to-market to beat somebody else. The one exception was the laser speed measurement system, and we beat all the others on price, with such a margin that we had no competition. That product line ran over ten years, and would still be selling if our company still existed. But it was a side line and not enough to support the company all alone. .How many folks need to measure the speed if things to the 0.01MPH resolution, with any accuracy?

Good luck with the door answering machine, and that other product, whatever it is. I have read a few textbooks on marketing and so I see that it is true that marketing to consumers demands a lot of skill and making the right choices at the right time. Selling to folks who know what they need is a lot simpler.
 

Thread Starter

ConstructionK88

Joined Jul 25, 2018
257
I know of simpler ways to patent i.e patent companies but I know the royalties they want are quite high. I can definitely do the whole proving it's mine thing. I've always loved circuitry but I never had the means to dabble in it till a few years ago. Even if yours, yalls, you guys or even my inventions don't pan out I can definitely say it doest matter. I've been playing with tda2050s and I've got several requests for portable Bluetooth wood enclosed speaker boxes. 75$ each. Obviously been made before but it proves you can beat a dead do and get a reaction, albeit from people. Bad metaphor? Even copying an idea has merit if you apply it in a new way.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,024
I know of simpler ways to patent i.e patent companies but I know the royalties they want are quite high. I can definitely do the whole proving it's mine thing. I've always loved circuitry but I never had the means to dabble in it till a few years ago. Even if yours, yalls, you guys or even my inventions don't pan out I can definitely say it doest matter. I've been playing with tda2050s and I've got several requests for portable Bluetooth wood enclosed speaker boxes. 75$ each. Obviously been made before but it proves you can beat a dead do and get a reaction, albeit from people. Bad metaphor? Even copying an idea has merit if you apply it in a new way.
Providing a good quality product, not just a bunch of features, will usually sell if it satisfies a requirement that people have. In general, quality is not something that can be patented, it has to be designed in and then built in. Unfortunately many confuse quality with features, and when I ask about product quality they start to recite a list of features, and then when I ask about how long a product will last they want to tell me all about their service plans. BlueTooth speakers, amps, and wood enclosures could probably sell for even more in some venues. I do not recall ever seeing computer speakers in wood boxes, nor with higher powered amplifiers.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,337
Must be naive, always thought one of the reasons behind patents, at least in the modern era, was to promote ideas. Ideas on how to do something. Joe invents it, but Bill finds a different way to do it.

And now it seems like the US patent laws award to the first to file not the first to invent.
"In 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) enacted the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952. After decades of debate in the U.S. comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of "first-to-invent" versus "first-to-file" systems, the AIA switched the U.S. patent system from "first to invent" to "first inventor to file". The U.S. had been the last remaining country still using a first-to-invent system. The AIA reforms eliminate interference proceedings and develop post-grant opposition. Its central provisions went into effect March 16, 2013 for patent applications filed that day or afterwards." From, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_United_States_patent_law
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
15,136
I'm curious. Is there anybody in the the vast AAC universe that has had ANY kind of positive interaction with patents that they have applied for as an individual? I have two that were filed by and granted and granted to corporations that employed me. Never saw so much as a nickel. Not even a plaque. They are as worthless as screen doors on attack submarines.
 
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