Inventions by non-certified engineer's ?

Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
Like if you make a robot that repair's cars, or even paints walls, and want to patent it and sell it, but you don't have degree's /etc, what limits are there on your products...if you played in that system. I'm sure it varies by jurisdiction/ but in general are you free to sell to anyone that wants to buy it and it meets their criteria?

On the safety side and certifications, does it matter if you're not an engineer ? I can imagine it shouldn't, someone could find a great schematics and start a business.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
34,420
You don't have to be an engineer to design or patent a technical device (many such patents are not from engineers).

On the safety side, the device may need to be certified by a company such as UL or ETL before it can be sold (depending upon the country it is being sold in).
Again it doesn't matter if you are an engineer.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
10,170
Not exactly. US copyright law says the copyright holder has the right to control the work of expression -in this case the schematic, but the information contained within the expression is not protected. That is what patents are for.
 

Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
I have idea's for novelty items too, like a DMM that beeps annoying celebrity quotes when you're within range of something. Or a OLD Star Wars DMM with SW sounds. Please send a PM to send rolayites if anyone makes those btw.

On the serious side maybe I could invent wacky stupid novelty products too. Start in my basement making stuff I guess.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
21,225
The problem is that the patent system is rigged to disadvantage individual inventors. It will probably cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $20,000 to get the patent. Then when the BadAss CopyCat Co. decides to infringe they will dare you to sue to enforce the patent. While the issue is tied up in the courts they will crank out and sell product in industrial quantities. If you lose you will be on the hook for their legal fees and if you win you have to enforce the judgement.

You'd have more success selling dime bags of crack on the steps of a major metropolitan police station. Quantifiable risk. greater revenue and profits all around.

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

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
5,040
Many years ago a retired electronics engineer Ham buddy of mine needed a schematic for a fish finder he was having a problem with. So he wrote the company requesting one. Received a form letter that they did not provide schematics. So he called the company and was rerouted a few times until he finally got one of their engineers on the phone. He explained who he was and why he needed the schematic. He was told they didn't release that information because the Japanese would copy their products (even down to the Logo on the PCB) and market them under their brand label. Then he sent him the schematic.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
21,225
The problem is that the patent system is rigged to disadvantage individual inventors. It will probably cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $20,000 to get the patent. Then when the BadAss CopyCat Co. decides to infringe they will dare you to sue to enforce the patent. While the issue is tied up in the courts they will crank out and sell product in industrial quantities. If you lose you will be on the hook for their legal fees and if you win you have to enforce the judgement.

You'd have more success selling dime bags of crack on the steps of a major metropolitan police station. Quantifiable risk. greater revenue and profits all around.

https://www.tinaja.com/glib/casagpat.pdf
To expand on what Don Lancaster wrote 30 years ago. The way to establish yourself as an expert in a field is to publish. Crank out ideas and publish them as if they were worth less than a dime a bale in 10 bale lots. This site and others like it are actually a great place to publish ideas. If I needed a circuit design expert I'd tap one or more of the folks who regularly publish circuit ideas here.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,087
That theory has been around a very long time. Liggett & Myers, I believe , is credited with using that theory to grab market share in a commodity (e.g., cigarettes). That is, market share is directly proportional to the number of brands offered. Maybe others knew that beforehand, but L&M certainly capitalized on it.

In academic life, substitute "number of publications" for brands. No one actually considers the content.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
5,040
To expand on what Don Lancaster wrote 30 years ago.
To expand on that... It doesn't seem to matter if the circuits actually work or have even been calculated and compared against the devices used specifications to ensure longevity even if it does seem to work the first time. Publish, publish, publish, and to hell with good or bad designs. The internet, and now include Utube in that, is full of bad designs from otherwise recognized "experts". YMMV
 
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