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What if your idea cannot be patented?

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What if your idea cannot be patented?

Post  lvmcgill on Tue 21 Jun 2011 - 0:46

I think like many inventors (or potential ones) I've been sitting on what I think is a great idea but I'm just not sure how to get started. I guess finding this site is a good start! I've done some research and have not been able to find another product even remotely similar to the mine. It's one of those things that would be inexpensive, has mass appeal, remedies a problem that is common in almost every household and sparks that "Why didn't someone think of this sooner?" question.

Here's my concern, however...
What if your idea is something that cannot be patented? It's my understanding that what I have in mind cannot be. A perfect example is something like the Snuggie. While the name is great and I'm sure that is registered or trademarked, the actual concept of a "blanket with sleeves" is not something that can be patented. So, since the release of the Snuggie, lots of other companies are now making "blankets with sleeves" under some other name.

My fear is that if I start discussing my idea, there's nothing to protect someone from just taking it and calling it something else.

Is that just a risk I have to take?

lvmcgill

Posts : 1
Join date : 2011-06-21

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What if your idea cannot be patented?

Post  Roger Brown on Tue 21 Jun 2011 - 7:23

There are plenty of products on the market that are not patented. They rely on branding and grabbing the most of the market share as possible to make it harder for knockoffs to get much of a foothold. Just make sure you have a NDA signed between yourself and the company you are approaching. You also need to make sure you don't just spill the beans when talking with a company about your idea. Some people are excited about finally getting someone on the company that they basically tell everything about the idea.
When I was first approaching companies with my Pizza Scissors Idea I gave them my pitch without really telling them all the info.

When I pitched it I would say “I have a device that allows the user to cut pizza without harming the pan the way traditonal cutters do and it also doubles as a spatula.” I gave them the whole concept in one sentence without giving away how the device accomplishes that task. If they were interested I would tell them I can send them more details and graphics illustrating the device.
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Roger Brown

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Join date : 2011-02-20
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