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licensing an unpatentable Idea

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licensing an unpatentable Idea

Post  mike on Sun 11 Sep 2011 - 12:10

I expected that getting patent protection for what is basically an extension cord wrapper would be next to impossible but the resounding "definitely not patentable" patentability opinion included with the results of my professionally done patent search was disheartening. I did have some hope as my product had some unique characteristics and it would be used for a unique application. Of course I understand that "a slightly different use” does not make an idea patentable. This is an extremely inexpensive solution for a true annoyance and it weould have a huge market. My question is then what do I have to offer a manufacturer in terms of protection? I don't see anything. How can I license a product that can not be protected? I really like this idea and it will be difficult for me to abandon it and move on to the next idea.
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licensing an unpatentable Idea

Post  Roger Brown on Mon 12 Sep 2011 - 7:49

Mike, all may not be lost. Your next step is to see if it is already on the market. Because there are a number of unpatented items on the market so doing a patent search doesn't help in that area. Look online, in catalogs, stores that would carry that type of product such as Lowe's, construction supply warehouses and any other possible seller. As you are doing this make a detailed list of the companies that carry the product you want to enhance. Also note if any of these companies carry items that are not patented since these would be prime targets to approach. These will be your target companies once you feel confident the product does not already exist.
If you do not find the product look at all the companies you have listed and see which ones are open to outside submissions using an NDA, since you know it can not be patented. Then it will be up to you and your Sell Sheet if you get a company interested. Make sure you list the products benefits and problem you say it solves.
I hope this helps.
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which companies are open to outside submissions

Post  mike on Mon 12 Sep 2011 - 20:03

Thank you for responding Roger. I did a pretty thorough search before I had a professional patent search done and could not find a similar product. I have a list of all the companies that sell the product on which this gadget will be used. Now how do I fine out if they make them themselves or have the product made for them and how do I find out which companies have or will accept an unpatented product. Where is all this information available? Mike

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Re: licensing an unpatentable Idea

Post  oscar gooch on Tue 13 Sep 2011 - 21:34

Hi my name is Oscar I have a great i Deal I had a paton check Thay say there is no other product on the market like it.I have a working modal .I havel a prototype what will be my next move?

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Re: licensing an unpatentable Idea

Post  Mark Reyland on Fri 28 Oct 2011 - 7:28

You have several moves you can take actually. But If I were you I would look under every rock to make sure it was not already on the market. The patent search is nice, but most products on store shelves are not patented.

Mark
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Never been down this road. Pitching in the dark...

Post  Tony Owens on Fri 25 Nov 2011 - 16:21

I have a question about talking with a interested toy maker about my invention.. I'm hoping to license a my product. Here's my dilemma: Since I let my provisional patent expire without filing for the non-provisional, I'm not sure if I have anything I can sell. I know my product is good and fits well with the interested Co., but I'm not sure how to proceed. I have even considered tweaking and re- Filing a provisional. Again, I'm not sure which is the best route to take. I want to be able to meet with this toy maker as soon as possible. Can I just tell my interested party that my provisional has expired and work with him anyway? Oh, I must say I felt like my worst enemy after I'd showed them my product and was given the advice of always getting a NDA, D"oh! I will be reading all I can find in this forum! please forgive me if this problem has been covered. Any tips or direction on the best way to proceed would be greatly appreciated.? Thank you.

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Never been down this road. Pitching in the dark...

Post  Roger Brown on Mon 28 Nov 2011 - 7:20

Tony, I would be up front with the company and let them know the PPA expired. I would also let them know that you have additional improvement that may be patentable that were not included in the first PPA. The good thing is that in a number of cases the company is not concerned about patenting it anyway.
A large number of toys are not patented they are more concerned with branding and getting the largest share of the market as their protection. They know that knockoffs will follow any good toy that is out there so branding is a better bet. This is why it is best to do your research up front to see if a patent is needed, if your product already exists, and make sure if you go for a patent that the patent actually covers the final product. I am always harping about doing your research up front so you can make informed decisions and not go broke in the process.
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