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View Full Version : Bragging Rights!!! The Wire Bending CNC and the Patent Application



idbruce
01-12-2012, 09:20 PM
For Those That Are Interested

Many of you know about the wire bending CNC machine that I built, that I have a patent pending, and that a patent is due for issue. However, I am sure that many of you have no idea what the concept is or the product that I will be making. A while back, I briefly posted a copy of the patent application, but changed my mind and quickly took it down. Now that a patent is certain to issue, I figured it was about time to share my idea with the world.

Also as many of you know, I claim (and it is true) that my wire bending CNC machine will produce 25,000 units of this product per day. So without further discussion, I present to you the QuickFish.

Electricians and apprentices, be prepared for an easier life.

Bruce

erco
01-12-2012, 09:39 PM
Sweet! Congrats on the patent and hope it does you well!

idbruce
01-12-2012, 09:51 PM
Thanks erco. I just wish I had someone to do the marketing for me.

Publison
01-12-2012, 10:03 PM
For Those That Are Interested

Many of you know about the wire bending CNC machine that I built, that I have a patent pending, and that a patent is due for issue. However, I am sure that many of you have no idea what the concept is or the product that I will be making. A while back, I briefly posted a copy of the patent application, but changed my mind and quickly took it down. Now that a patent is certain to issue, I figured it was about time to share my idea with the world.

Also as many of you know, I claim (and it is true) that my wire bending CNC machine will produce 25,000 units of this product per day. So without further discussion, I present to you the QuickFish.

Electricians and apprentices, be prepared for an easier life.

Bruce

That's great Bruce! Good to have that one under your belt.

Many more success!

Jim

schill
01-12-2012, 10:05 PM
Looks pretty cool. I like ideas where the end result looks simple and elegant.

I think I would have been inclined to put a loop in the other end of the wire - or at least bend it inward just a little bit. This would probably make it easier to push through and should certainly make it easier to pull back out the way it went in if necessary.

A second loop would also make it possible to tie the ends together and eliminate the "springiness." Although that would defeat the basic purpose of it springing open after exiting the tube it might make it more versatile.

Do you have plans for multiple sizes to be used with multiple diameters of conduit?

erco
01-12-2012, 10:10 PM
I shared this previously, but I'll add here 'cuz I still think it's funny. One of my patents for "the company" was for a device that I prototyped using a BS2. The patent drawings included my very rough prototypes, attached here. Recognize the BS2 in its rare 22-pin configuration? :)

Dr_Acula
01-12-2012, 10:24 PM
Congratulations and I wish you success in your business!

idbruce
01-12-2012, 10:25 PM
@Publison - Thanks. Yea, I am glad it is over with. I think it will do well when construction picks back up.

@schill - Thanks



I think I would have been inclined to put a loop in the other end of the wire


That would have added another "member" to the claims of the application, by having only one loop, it will be a much stronger patent.

Additionally, the spring pulls out almost effortlessly if there is a problem, and if it gets jambed, the polyline (pull string) is tougher (as compared to tensile versus wire bending) than the wire, and so the wire just bends if pulled and releases.



Do you have plans for multiple sizes to be used with multiple diameters of conduit?


The wire bending CNC currently produces sizes of 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/4"

idbruce
01-12-2012, 10:31 PM
@Dr_Acula - Thanks Dr_Acula, I wish you success as well.

@erco - I see that application had 35 drawings. WOW! That's a lot!

prof_braino
01-12-2012, 11:14 PM
Excellent work! Did you end up making any majopr changes since I saw it last?

By "do the marketing for me", do you mean "doing the leg work taking it around to retailers"? PM me if you want help, I got time to invest in a sure thing.

idbruce
01-12-2012, 11:35 PM
@prof_braino - Thanks. Luckily this patent was much easier to get than the last one. The last one was like trying to get a camel through the eye of a needle, and this one was like trying to slip a 1/8" drill bit through a 1" hole. :)

The wire bender has had a couple major changes since you saw it. I set the machine up for manual packaging until I get around to finishing the packaging machine.



By "do the marketing for me", do you mean "doing the leg work taking it around to retailers"?


I am not quite ready for that just yet. I need $2000 to get my UPC, and then I will go after the retail market. Until then, I would like to get into some direct marketing with some large electrical contractors.

The co-inventor of this patent application will be assuming West Coast marketing for a while, however I am unsure how that will pan out.



PM me if you want help, I got time to invest in a sure thing.


I will keep that in mind. I will definitely need someone in the Chicagoland area.

Cluso99
01-13-2012, 05:31 AM
Congratulations and best of luck Bruce.

bill190
01-13-2012, 05:48 AM
So far as marketing, I like designing/inventing things, but have NO desire whatsoever to have anything to do with marketing or "marketing types".

Perhaps you could "cheat" and see if big name electrical tool companies like Ideal or Greenlee would handle that for you? (Then you can go back to playing!)

Following is a link which has "names" on the left hand column...
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/electrical-tools/hand-tools/ecatalog/N-934

bill190
01-13-2012, 05:52 AM
Then secondly, how much of a pain was it to get a patent?

I have heard tales of "patent attorneys" and "many years" for this process???

idbruce
01-13-2012, 12:52 PM
@Cluso99 - Thanks Ray. I hpoe all is well with you.

@bill190



Perhaps you could "cheat" and see if big name electrical tool companies like Ideal or Greenlee would handle that for you?


Yes Bill that is always an option, as well as "licensing" or "assigning" the patent.



Then secondly, how much of a pain was it to get a patent?


It all depends on a couple of different things, such as "prior art" and how well the patent application was written. Everything has to be perfect for the patent office.



I have heard tales of "patent attorneys" and "many years" for this process???


I would not know anything about patent attorneys. In both instances, my previous patent and the current application, I completed my own drawings, wrote the patent applications, and battled the patent office on my own. As for the length of the patenting process, just to give you a vague idea, a "provisional patent application" was filed on this idea 06/04/2008, and it is projected to be issued 01/31/2012, so approximately 3-1/2 years. However, this application went through without any problems with the application itself and no relevant prior art was "cited" by the patent examiner. In which case, if there is problems with the application and prior art is cited by the examiner, it can be a much longer process.

ElectricAye
01-13-2012, 05:13 PM
Congratulations!. Keep us posted on how you cash in on it.

idbruce
01-13-2012, 09:06 PM
@ElectricAye

There are 600,000 electricians in the United States. If 1 out of every 10 electricians uses just 1 package of 20 per year, I will be living comfortably. Beyond that, we can start talking about luxurious living. :)

$WMc%
01-14-2012, 12:50 AM
Congratulations on the Patent..!!!!

4x5n
01-14-2012, 02:12 AM
@prof_braino - Thanks. Luckily this patent was much easier to get than the last one. The last one was like trying to get a camel through the eye of a needle, and this one was like trying to slip a 1/8" drill bit through a 1" hole. :)

The wire bender has had a couple major changes since you saw it. I set the machine up for manual packaging until I get around to finishing the packaging machine.



I am not quite ready for that just yet. I need $2000 to get my UPC, and then I will go after the retail market. Until then, I would like to get into some direct marketing with some large electrical contractors.

The co-inventor of this patent application will be assuming West Coast marketing for a while, however I am unsure how that will pan out.



I will keep that in mind. I will definitely need someone in the Chicagoland area.

Silly thought. You may want to bring a "demo" to an IBEW hall and sell the electricians on it. After a demo hand out a few to everyone there to use on the job along with contact info. Once you get them using them and wanting them selling them to distributors will be a lot easier.

idbruce
01-14-2012, 02:33 AM
@$WMc% - Thanks Walt. How is the PCB process going? I am almost done with the second cutter. After about 5 minutes of operation, the Zebco gears are still intact, so far that is. I think the bearing is getting a little to warm though. Just wait till you see this one :) It looks better than the last cutter I built, but this one will cut the boards in a second or two. I will be posting pics very soon and offering them for sale. Very nice little machine.

@4x5n



Silly thought. You may want to bring a "demo" to an IBEW hall and sell the electricians on it. After a demo hand out a few to everyone there to use on the job along with contact info. Once you get them using them and wanting them selling them to distributors will be a lot easier.


As much as I would like this product to be the magic bullet, it is not, and I had to face that fact. However it is very useful and can save a lot of time, unless of course a person is using high dollar equipment to install their polyline. That being said, Offices and union halls just don't cut the mustard. This product really requires jobsite demonstrations to fully convey how to use this product to it's fullest potential and to demonstrate it's limitations.

Mickster
01-14-2012, 02:13 PM
Yes Bill that is always an option, as well as "licensing" or "assigning" the patent.



It all depends on a couple of different things, such as "prior art" and how well the patent application was written. Everything has to be perfect for the patent office.



I would not know anything about patent attorneys. In both instances, my previous patent and the current application, I completed my own drawings, wrote the patent applications, and battled the patent office on my own. As for the length of the patenting process, just to give you a vague idea, a "provisional patent application" was filed on this idea 06/04/2008, and it is projected to be issued 01/31/2012, so approximately 3-1/2 years. However, this application went through without any problems with the application itself and no relevant prior art was "cited" by the patent examiner. In which case, if there is problems with the application and prior art is cited by the examiner, it can be a much longer process.

Hey Bruce, congratulations on the patent...BUT...

Methinks that you will probably need to know something about patent attorneys once your provisional patent expires (after 12 months)...and you'll need to be ready to spend.

Coincidentally, I have been in the tube & wire bending business for 31 years. I am the founder and owner of a CNC Tube Bender manufacturing company. I have three US patents which have all been infringed upon and it didn't make financial sense to fight those with much deeper pockets than I....because that's all it comes down to...making lawyers wealthier.

The only good my patents have done me is protect my right to build my own invention AND to be able to truthfully claim on my promotional literature that I am the inventor and that I hold the patent.

To be honest, the provisional patent was an absolute breeze to obtain because you don't have to disclose too much and no 3rd party has access to what you do disclose to dispute your claim. The patent office are happy to accept the filing fee though.

You have basically reserved the right to file a full patent which can become a costly exercise. In my case at least, the shock I received after being awarded my full patents was the "annual maintenance fee" which ran to thousands of dollars per year.

As I understand it, you basically have a year's worth of protection to develop and/or promote the product and decide if it is worth pursuing...If you don't, you leave it wide open to be ripped-off anyway and produced somewhere like China.

JMO

Mickster

idbruce
01-14-2012, 03:59 PM
Mickster

Every once in a blue moon, somebody comes along and spouts off about this or that, and you just have to say hmmmm.....



Methinks that you will probably need to know something about patent attorneys once your provisional patent expires (after 12 months)...and you'll need to be ready to spend.


The "provisional application" expired years ago.



To be honest, the provisional patent was an absolute breeze to obtain because you don't have to disclose too much and no 3rd party has access to what you do disclose to dispute your claim. The patent office are happy to accept the filing fee though.


There is no such thing as a provisional patent.



In my case at least, the shock I received after being awarded my full patents was the "annual maintenance fee" which ran to thousands of dollars per year.


Maintenance fees are not paid every year and they do not cost thousands of dolloars.



As I understand it, you basically have a year's worth of protection to develop and/or promote the product and decide if it is worth pursuing...If you don't, you leave it wide open to be ripped-off anyway and produced somewhere like China.


When 01/31/2012 rolls around, I will have 20 years of protection.

It is very clear to me, that you do not know as much about patents as you think you do.

Bruce

Mickster
01-14-2012, 04:40 PM
Ummm OK :blank:

davejames
01-14-2012, 04:46 PM
...all that anyone would want to know about "provisional application":

http://www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/types/provapp.jsp

I found this thread to be very interesting overall as I might be facing the need/desire to go through the process.

Congrats Bruce!

idbruce
01-14-2012, 05:12 PM
@davejames

Thanks for the congratulations.

To me, the patenting process is very interesting, plus it helps to build mechanical, artistic, and literary skills. I personally think that the patenting process should be a required course for high school here in the USA.

Since you posted a link to the USPTO, let me just say a few words about "provisional patent applications". Provisional applications are basically handy for two reasons:
It is a quick and easy method to put a concept on file and to get an early filing date. Just in case another person comes up with the same idea, the person with the earliest filing date will usually prevail.
Once again, it puts the concept on record and it gives you the right to state "patent pending".
If you are not in a hurry to get it on record or to get it to market, then a "non-provisional application" is the way to go to save money.

Bruce

EDIT: But a "non-provisional application" is also more time consuming and much more stressful, because it all has to be perfect the first time, or you should at least strive for perfection. Ammendments are allowed, but no "new matter" may be introduced within ammendments.

Mickster
01-14-2012, 05:44 PM
Once filed, you will probably find that your patent attorney refers to it as your "provisional patent" because it affords you similar protection, albeit temporary.

I have three patents for products that command $1M+....I have patent attorneys and have cut them many a healthy check over the years.

Steve Ciarcia of Circuit Cellar Inc., wrote about this in his "Priority Interrupt" editorial:

http://www.circuitcellar.com/archives/priorityinterrupt/247.html


"Being a traditionalist and thinking that the patent filing date is the holy grail, he said he had obtained a provisional patent (a filing, that is) so he could better convince potential investors. I just shook my head."

Except for mega-rich companies trying to burn out their competition’s resources or the few truly unique ideas left, I think today’s patent system is a worthless concept for individual inventors and entrepreneurs like us. Without having the revenue and resources of a Fortune 500 company, we’ll always end up on the short end of any litigation. In my opinion, involvement with the patent system is an exercise in frustration, expense, and insanity. Reality is this:


A patent is merely a right to sue someone. It does not protect your idea or keep anyone from using it. You have an obligation to fight infringers or you lose your patent. Typical (1st round) litigation averages $500,000. You don’t “win” a patent fight. Since the primary consequence of patent litigation is to burn financial resources, you have merely demonstrated a willingness to spend the most.
All patents can be invalidated. Considering the millions of people in the world and the millions of places they may have posted or published ideas and designs, it can probably be shown that with the evidence of those other sources, “Your idea could be reasonably obvious to any practitioner in the field,” and therefore public domain or not patentable. It just gets down to the expense of finding that info.
Thinking that there are large companies out there looking to buy your ideas or market your inventions (and still pay you) is an urban myth (albeit a techie one). “Not invented here” (NIH) is their cardinal rule.
If you have an idea worth manufacturing, don’t mess around. Either do it or publish it. The market life of technology products today is a year or less. Don’t miss the window of opportunity. It takes two to three years to get a patent (and then what?).
Nobody voluntarily pays royalties! You will be ripped off (see item 1 again).




Proprietary ownership of ideas via patents and copyrights probably made complete sense in 1790.....

Mickster

prof_braino
01-14-2012, 06:00 PM
Good insights. This patent thing is a large and icky (technical term) issue. It will be interesting to see how different approaches pan out

idbruce
01-14-2012, 06:14 PM
@Mickster

Once again, I say you are wrong.



Once filed, you will probably find that your patent attorney refers to it as your "provisional patent" because it affords you similar protection, albeit temporary.


Any patent attorney that refers to a "patent application" as a "provisional patent" is an idiot. A "provisional patent application" offers no protection whatsoever, temporary or otherwise. To have any type of protection, you must have a "patent". The only thing that a "provisional patent application" does for you is acquire a filing date. (PERIOD)

I am my own patent attorney and it hasn't cost me a dime except the necessary fees, so it is not worthless to me. Infringement awards are costly.

Martin_H
01-14-2012, 06:21 PM
Bruce, congratulations.

Mickster
01-14-2012, 06:33 PM
@idbruce...I for one am getting mixed messages from you...




@Mickster

Once again, I say you are wrong.



Any patent attorney that refers to a "patent application" as a "provisional patent" is an idiot. A "provisional patent application" offers no protection whatsoever, temporary or otherwise. To have any type of protection, you must have a "patent". The only thing that a "provisional patent application" does for you is acquire a filing date. (PERIOD)

I am my own patent attorney and it hasn't cost me a dime except the necessary fees, so it is not worthless to me. Infringement awards are costly.

But didn't you just state this?:




Since you posted a link to the USPTO, let me just say a few words about "provisional patent applications". Provisional applications are basically handy for two reasons:
It is a quick and easy method to put a concept on file and to get an early filing date. Just in case another person comes up with the same idea, the person with the earliest filing date will usually prevail.
Once again, it puts the concept on record and it gives you the right to state "patent pending".


Mickster

idbruce
01-14-2012, 06:51 PM
@Martin_H - Thanks Martin I appreciate it.

@Mickster - Yea I stated that and what is your point?

I am about tired of wasting my time on this conversation.

Mickster
01-14-2012, 07:23 PM
@Mickster - Yea I stated that and what is your point?



By filing first, you just "protected" your invention from anyone else that might be planning to do the same thing.

My patent attorney works with the automotive industry and he gave me this example; If Ford and GM both have an idea for a new product, it's especially a problem for the one who didn't file the provisional app first....why? Because the other guy has no access to what's being patented and therefore is reluctant to invest in their own design to find later that they can't use it because they infringed on the patent of the one who filed first.

It's not as bad with patents that have already been awarded because anyone can grab a copy and figure what they need to do to avoid infringement. So it can be a 12 month head-start for he who files first.

Just how it was explained to me.

Mickster

idbruce
01-14-2012, 07:54 PM
@Mickster



By filing first, you just "protected" your invention from anyone else that might be planning to do the same thing.


This is an accurate statement, but it only protects you from someone else obtaining a patent on the same concept. In order to receive protection from infringement, a patent must be granted. The entire time that a patent is pending, for example when a provisional patent application is filed, the product can be copied and produced without infringing until a patent is granted. Once the patent is granted, anyone producing the product after the grant, well they are infringing and monetary damages can be awarded.

The filing date or type of application (provisional or non-provisional) has nothing to do with infringement, only the issue date and the claims of a patent can determine infringement.

idbruce
01-17-2012, 07:43 PM
Hello Everyone

I wanted to say something else concerning patents.

There are a lot of people going around saying that patents are worthless, offer no protection, etc... I say that is nonsense and I can say this because I have been studying the patent process for approximately 30 years. For everyone that has a good idea and has considered getting a patent, I say get the patent. Your odds of hitting it BIG are definitely much better than playing the lottery. During my research throughout the years, I have seen countless patents granted to individual inventors like you and me, and a lot of those patents granted to individuals were purchased or licensed by major corporations. And believe me, those individual inventors are much better off financially then before they filed for a patent.

If you have a very good idea, but don't have enough money for a patent attorney, then write the patent application yourself. There are plenty of good books available that will guide you through the patenting process and help you get a patent on the next BIG thing. If you have any questions about the patenting process, please feel free to ask. I am not an actual patent attorney, but I can also help to steer you in the right direction.

Bruce

prof_braino
01-17-2012, 08:19 PM
I applied for a patent, and the attorney charge me $4700 to start the paperwork, then got hired by a large corporation. He said it would be a conflict if I were his client (with my patent on a kids toy) and he were working for a large company (that makes sweetener substitute from cellulose). His last act as my pattent attorney was to advise me to start from scratch with a new attorney, preferable a large firm downtown that would cost 10 times more than a lone new grad out in the sticks. I never got a patent, or any paper work, or any money back. Also, I had spent all my money, and had to stop work on the project itself.

The patent system as it exists today is in place to prevent innovation by individuals, and retain ownership for those with large resources. If one hase 30 years experience with the system, one might work around the system, at least for a little while. We won't know until somebody tries to take bruce's invention from him.

My lawyer buddies said you get what you pay for, and the patent is only as good as the person how wrote it. Hopefully Bruce will show where they are wrong, and where they are right.

mindrobots
01-17-2012, 08:36 PM
Prof B.,

I'm glad it wasn't a conflict for the attorney to take YOUR money and then go work for someone else and not complete YOUR work.

If you compare your experience to Bruce's advice ("go for it"), it doesn't sound like anybody has much to lose by trying to do the patent thing themself. If nothing else at the of your self-patenting experience you'd at least have a pretty complete package to turn over to an attorney.

Once the patent application is accepted and your patent granted, I don't think the Patent Office could say "Ooops, this is worded incorrectly, you're patent is no longer valid, this big company now has the rights."

idbruce
01-17-2012, 09:30 PM
@prof_braino

That is very interesting.... I would think that you would have some recourse, which I believe would be good news. However there is also bad news associated with it. If it was a very good idea, you only have 1 year to file a patent on a given idea, and I imagine it has been over a year, in which case you could no longer file an application on that idea, certainly since the attorney is living proof that you gave him money to file an application on the idea. As for the attorney just taking your money and saying goodbye, well that is quite a different story. I don't know the circumstances, but if you paid him any monies besides an initial consultation fee, I would at least request a billing receipt to show how the money was qualified. If you do not agree with the billing or how the whole situation was handled, I would definitely contact the patent office and have a chat with them about it. Who knows, the attorney might even have to pay you for what the idea could have been potentially worth, because he robbed you of financial resources to find out for sure. You may want to refer to 35 U.S.C. 32. This SECTION references 2(b)(2)(D) of the same title, which you should also read. I am sure you could file a complaint if you feel were wrongly deprived of your money and he could lose his right to practice before the USPTO. I will see what else I can find for you.

Bruce

idbruce
01-17-2012, 09:43 PM
@prof_braino

Here is a link to that law:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/appxl_35_U_S_C_32.htm

Dave Hein
01-17-2012, 10:16 PM
If it was a very good idea, you only have 1 year to file a patent on a given idea, and I imagine it has been over a year, in which case you could no longer file an application on that idea, certainly since the attorney is living proof that you gave him money to file an application on the idea.
Bruce, the 1-year time period starts at the time that idea becomes public. Disclosing the idea to an attorney does not make it public, and it appears that prof_braino did not complete development of the product and sell it. So, even if it's been many years since he came up with the invention he could still patent it as long as nobody else has already patented the idea.

idbruce
01-17-2012, 10:25 PM
Dave

Perhaps I do not know as much as I think I know.... I stand corrected.... Dave is correct.

Duane Degn
01-17-2012, 10:31 PM
Bruce, the 1-year time period starts at the time that idea becomes public. Disclosing the idea to an attorney does not make it public, and it appears that prof_braino did not complete development of the product and sell it. So, even if it's been many years since he came up with the invention he could still patent it as long as nobody else has already patented the idea.
This is also my understanding of the 1-year limit. It's from when the invention is made public.

Edit: Sorry Bruce, I hadn't seen your agreement.

idbruce
01-17-2012, 10:40 PM
Yep, this law clearly states that I was wrong:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/appxl_35_U_S_C_102.htm

Dave Hein
01-17-2012, 10:44 PM
Bruce,

Getting a patent is a great accomplishment, and I congratulate you on it. It is impressive that you and your colleague were able to get through all the paperwork required by the patent application process. I like the invention that you patented. It looks like something that will be really useful.

Dave

idbruce
01-17-2012, 10:51 PM
Dave

I appreciate the congratulations... However, as far as the patent application and paperwork goes, my collegue only signed a few documents and helped draft one claim as required by patent law.

This is my second one by the way, the first one was just a learning exercise.

Anyhow I truly appreciate the congratulations and thanks for correcting my previous error.

Bruce

idbruce
01-17-2012, 11:00 PM
Just in case anyone is interested, here is a copy of my first patent. Please note the drawings with the jagged edges, this is a no-no for patent drawings to have borders, but I referred to them as fragmentary views, so the USPTO allowed them. I have never seen any other patent where this was acceptable :)

Bruce

EDIT: By the way, I had to work a lot harder to get this patent :(

Mickster
01-19-2012, 01:26 AM
Getting a patent is a great accomplishment, and I congratulate you on it.
Dave

Simply in the interests of not wanting others to be misled....obtaining a patent is actually very easy! You would think it was on the level of a Nobel prize or an Olympic gold medal...No! Just dream up something that nobody else has bothered to patent (no guarantee that you are the inventor, BTW)...walk through the process and voila! Here's your patent sir!

Now, does that mean that you have something commercially viable? No! The proof of the pudding is in the eating! (the correct phrase BTW)

If so, are you "protected" in any way by the USPTO? No! It's completely up to you to go after any alleged infringement at YOUR cost and "prior art" is so easy to fake that you'll need very deep pockets to defend anything worth having.

Anyone interested can PM me for a link to my patents which have all been infringed upon...they are a joke!

Sincerely

Mickster

idbruce
01-19-2012, 01:30 AM
@Mickster



Simply in the interests of not wanting others to be misled....obtaining a patent is actually very easy!


Is it? Hmmm...... Okay you have spoken your mind often enough. Give me a patent number or give me an application number of something that you have submitted to the patent office without any attorney assistance.

The proof is in the pudding.

Bruce

idbruce
01-19-2012, 01:43 AM
@Mickster

I am waiting, give me some numbers

Bruce

1 Hour later

ADD ON: That is what I thought. Yeah it is real "easy" to hand an attorney some money and have him do the work. :)

Mickster
01-19-2012, 12:46 PM
I am currently in the UK....GMT?

http://www.clarion-call.org/yeshua/pudding/proof.htm

B (http://www.clarion-call.org/yeshua/pudding/proof.htm)ruce, I manufacture very sophisticated CNC machine tools with up to 17 closed-loop servo axes (up to 100HP). Yes you certainly are correct...I have never attempted to obtain a patent without a patent attorney.



Mickster

idbruce
01-19-2012, 01:16 PM
@Mickster

Okay so let me get this.

You say:



obtaining a patent is actually very easy!


But you have never written one. WOW! That is really speaking from a vast amount of experience.

Writing a patent application requires writing skills, legal skills, drafting skills, research skills, computer skills, etc... It is not "easy" by any means of the imagination, but it can be done by an intelligent and dedicated person. And then, after the application has been submitted, when it goes into the prosecution stage, and the patent examiner starts rejecting your "claims", well that certainly adds a whole other level of complexity to the process, and you better be ready for battle, performing your fights in a timely fashion.

You say that you hold numerous patents and that you consider them worthless because it does not stop infringement. You are correct, it does not stop infringement. However, in my opinion, you are attempting to give patents a bad reputation because you are failing to exercise your rights as a patent holder. If someone infringes upon your patent, it is your obligation to pursue them. It is not the fault of the patent. If an infringer is pursued and you win your case, not only will he have to pay damages, but he will also have to pay court costs, your legal fees, etc....

Bruce

bill190
01-19-2012, 02:13 PM
Speaking of lawyers, I have a question...

They call the wording in legal contracts "legalese"...

And the wording in patents is unique to say the least! Perhaps you could call it "patentese"?

Actually I just googled that and it is a word!

Anyway can anyone write that wording for anyone else? For example Bruce is quite good at writing in that "language", something I and many other people would not be good at.

So can you go out an hire a "patent writer" or whatever to write the patent for you?

Dave Hein
01-19-2012, 02:21 PM
There is still some work required by the inventor even with a patent attorney. However, it does make the process a lot easier when you have someone who can translate engineering documents into legalese. So, Mickster is correct to say that getting a patent is easy, if you use a patent attorney that does almost all the work. Of course, this also means that you have to pay him lots of money to do all the work.

On the other hand, if the inventor does all the work, then it is not easy. However, I think it is still worth paying an experienced patent attorney to review the application. It will pay off years later when someone who infringes on a patent gets away with it because a claim was not worded strongly enough.

Beau Schwabe
01-19-2012, 02:46 PM
"So can you go out an hire a "patent writer" or whatever to write the patent for you?" ... I believe that a Patent attorney does just that, upon which you submit your idea/concept/whatever, and he/she does the research to make sure your idea is indeed unique, and in the process through working closely with you (the "patentie"), the "patentese" dialect is applied to the official form. So, "patentese" seems to be a direct derivative of "legalese".

...At least after writing the bulk of the patent claim ourselves and then handing it over and working with the patent attorney, that's how it worked 15 or so years ago.

Reference:
http://www.google.com/patents #6287253 & #6500210

idbruce
01-19-2012, 02:48 PM
@bill190



So can you go out an hire a "patent writer" or whatever to write the patent for you?


Bill I am unsure of the legal implications, but I doubt it. I would imagine that the writer would be open to all kinds of trouble, but I really don't know. However, with the exception of patent attorneys, the actual patent writers are the inventors. So if you have a good idea, know someone that can write patentnese, and trust this person, you could always have this person write the patent application and make them a co-inventor. Of course you would have to share the patent and profits with the writer, but then you can eliminate the high dollar patent attorney fees.

@Dave Hein



On the other hand, if the inventor does all the work, then it is not easy. However, I think it is still worth paying an experienced patent attorney to review the application. It will pay off years later when someone who infringes on a patent gets away with it because a claim was not worded strongly enough.


That is good advice

idbruce
01-19-2012, 03:03 PM
@Beau Schwabe

I don't know why, but the USPTO does not offer an "image file wrapper" for either of those patents, which is odd. Anyhow, after reviewing the transaction data for patent 6500210, I can clearly see that one was a real pain, definitely not an "easy" one :)

Bruce

Mickster
01-19-2012, 03:47 PM
Writing a patent application requires writing skills, legal skills, drafting skills, research skills, computer skills, etc... It is not "easy" by any means of the imagination, but it can be done by an intelligent and dedicated person. And then, after the application has been submitted, when it goes into the prosecution stage, and the patent examiner starts rejecting your "claims", well that certainly adds a whole other level of complexity to the process, and you better be ready for battle, performing your fights in a timely fashion.

I never did see a need to bark when I have my own dog :)



You say that you hold numerous patents and that you consider them worthless because it does not stop infringement. You are correct, it does not stop infringement. However, in my opinion, you are attempting to give patents a bad reputation because you are failing to exercise your rights as a patent holder.
If someone infringes upon your patent, it is your obligation to pursue them. It is not the fault of the patent. If an infringer is pursued and you win your case, not only will he have to pay damages, but he will also have to pay court costs, your legal fees, etc....

Bruce

It's clear you have no experience of litigation. In these matters you will not find contingency-based legal representation. Good luck with that!

idbruce
01-19-2012, 03:52 PM
It's clear you have no experience of litigation.


I have spent more time in court proceedings than I would wish upon any man.

idbruce
01-19-2012, 03:55 PM
Don't go away mad, just go away :)

EDIT:



I never did see a need to bark when I have my own dog :smile:


LOL... I think you need a new dog, because from what you have been telling me, he is not that good of a protector :)

Ttailspin
01-19-2012, 04:21 PM
Hey Bruce, I am a little late with my congratulations on your Wire Bending CNC... Congratulations, cool stuff...

On a different note...
If only you had a mustache, You might have use for this right now...
88727
If you don't want to grow a mustache, then try this one...
88728
And if you hate dogs at all, then mayhaps this is a more generic choice when in need...
88729
Enjoy.

Anyways, congratulations on your patents, and Wire Bending CNC... :thumb::thumb:

-Tommy

Mickster
01-19-2012, 04:21 PM
LOL... I think you need a new dog, because from what you have been telling me, he is not that good of a protector :)

You continue to miss the point. I don't care about patents because they are not worth it! Here is one that I didn't pursue...A bender with 21 servo axes, 8 of which are wirelessly controlled. Research indicates that this is a unique design (video has glitches).

Fuel injector lines for one of "the big three"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkb9oHinf1I&feature=context&context=C34c091aADOEgsToPDskJHX8ndupP7Ky0Tlx6jk9vJ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkb9oHinf1I&feature=context&context=C34c091aADOEgsToPDskJHX8ndupP7Ky0Tlx6jk9vJ )

idbruce
01-19-2012, 04:40 PM
@Mickster

Instead of showing an unsuccessful attempt to get a patent, perhaps, a successful patent grant might give you a little credability for your claims. All I know is that I am tired of wasting my time on someone who does not believe in the patent process. If you cannot provide constructive contributions to this thread, PLEASE find another location to share your interests.

@Ttailspin

Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Funny pics by the way :)

Mickster
01-19-2012, 05:07 PM
@Mickster

Instead of showing an unsuccessful attempt to get a patent, perhaps, a successful patent grant might give you a little credability for your claims.


No problem with credibility here:

Mickster

idbruce
01-19-2012, 05:13 PM
Well there you have it folks, credentials and all.

idbruce
01-20-2012, 10:38 PM
I apologize folks but I could not help myself.

Getting a patent is now easier than ever!

idbruce
01-28-2012, 01:47 PM
Just three more days and I should have a new patent :) Countdown 1, 2, 3.

idbruce
02-01-2012, 09:31 PM
Just in case anyone is interested, my patent issued yesterday :) Patent No. 8,104,743

Pertaining to infringement and big companies stealing your idea, here is an article that talks about a $56,000,000 judgement against Ford Motor Company, http://www.patentcafe.com/index.asp?body=company&page=weeklypatent&articleid=26345

According to the patent, he was an independent inventor without an attorney.

Dave Hein
02-01-2012, 09:58 PM
The sad part is, that according to the article, he sued 14 years ago, has since passed away, and the suit is in appeal. His heirs might get some money out of this if they win the appeal, and the lawyers don't end up with it all.

BTW, congrats on the new patent.

idbruce
02-01-2012, 10:56 PM
@Dave Hein

Yes, that is the sad part. However, if the original ruling does prevail, I am sure his hiers will be fairly well off, providing he included them in his will :)

GordonMcComb
02-02-2012, 12:39 AM
Unfortunate choice of patent-win stories for the little guy, because actually Ford won on appeal, and further the patent was invalidated. His heirs get nothing, and can never get anything, as the patent (or at least the contested claims) basically no longer exists. Score to Goliath on this one, I'm afraid.

Congrats on your patent, of course! It's a fine achievement.

-- Gordon

idbruce
02-02-2012, 01:10 AM
@GordonMcComb

It took a little investigating, but you are correct, Ford did win that case. The web site that I linked to and visited was quite misleading. Sorry about the poor information on my part. The final analysis can be found here, which was determined on 01/27/2012, http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=In FCO 20120127232.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR

Well thank you Gordon, and congratulations to you on your new book. I wish you a lot of success with it.

Bruce

idbruce
02-02-2012, 01:16 AM
Actually it is not a complete loser. I just noticed "REVERSED-IN-PART, VACATED-IN-PART, AND REMANDED".

idbruce
02-02-2012, 01:19 AM
And the remanded part means that it is not completely resolved.

GordonMcComb
02-02-2012, 01:26 AM
Actually it is not a complete loser. I just noticed "REVERSED-IN-PART, VACATED-IN-PART, AND REMANDED".

Haha! But that's because the court only had to decide on one aspect, and then the rest of the case was made moot. The part they decided was that the critical claim in the patent was invalid. Without that there was no further case to hear.

"Remanded" of course means the appeals court has given instructions to the lower court to reverse their judgement, and declare Ford the winner. It doesn't get much more terminal than that, I'm afraid. Even the Black Knight would accept defeat here!

I haven't seen the patent in question, but if it's "claim 2" that's been found invalid, odds are much of the rest of the claims that were based on claim 2 are also now invalid, which could be a substantial part of the patent. That leaves claim 1, I'm guessing, but that's something of a hollow victory for the inventor and his family, as the patent is now expired anyway.

He should have sold the patent to a troll back in the late 80s, much as I dislike "patent enforcement" companies. It's one way inventors can hope to win against the big guns.

-- Gordon

GordonMcComb
02-02-2012, 01:38 AM
And the remanded part means that it is not completely resolved.

No, it's resolved. The court of appeals has given explicit instructions to the lower court to "remand for entry of judgment of non-liability for Ford." Upon receiving the case back into its jurisdiction, the district court will then revise its judgement in compliance with the higher court, basically "rewrite" the ruling in favor of Ford -- this based on the technical errors of law that the appeals court discovered. The higher court has clearly not remanded the case for retrial or a further hearing of evidence.

-- Gordon

idbruce
02-02-2012, 03:19 AM
Gordon

You actually took the time to read that? You must have found it interesting. Well I am sorry to hear that the big guns won the complete battle.

Bruce

GordonMcComb
02-02-2012, 03:42 AM
Bruce, Really just skimmed it, but I have practice at it and I usually know which parts are important and which aren't! The whole middle part isn't important!! :lol:

Just read the end of the first paragraph, which summarizes the decision, where apparently there was prior art (by someone named DuBois -- you get that by reading the last page footnotes) that caused the relevant patent claim to be invalidated because of prior art. That's the worst possible outcome in any patent litigation, but that's the gamemanship of patent litigation. Under the uber-intense scrutiny of litigation, many patents can be invalidated, at least partially.

Winning a patent litigation suit against a major corporation is about as rare as being hit on the head by a meteorite. Taking a patent to court is in itself not common. Almost always they're settled, which is cheaper for everyone, and unlike a court case, the terms of the settlement can be made private.

If someone infringes on your '743 do consider licensing or selling it to a patent holder. You'll live longer!

As you now have experience writing and filing patents, you might look into the "business" of setting up a portfolio with the intent to sell or license it. I know of several who amass and sell their patents in blocks, carefully timing the sale to avoid the maintenance fees. I assume you filed as a small entity.

-- Gordon

idbruce
02-02-2012, 04:41 AM
Gordon



Just read the end of the first paragraph, which summarizes the decision, where apparently there was prior art (by someone named DuBois -- you get that by reading the last page footnotes) that caused the relevant patent claim to be invalidated because of prior art.


That is the way I understood it on the first glance, but then I saw that statement REVERSED-IN-PART, VACATED-IN-PART, AND REMANDED which made me think it was not completely over and a complete loss.


If someone infringes on your '743 do consider licensing or selling it to a patent holder.

Actually I have decided to sell and pursue other interests. I am sure you understand, more machines to build and I need a machine shop. It took me a long time to come to this decision, but my finances are hurting and I don't have much choice. I think it will be a big mistake in the long run, but as they say you gotta do what you gotta do.

Yea, I filed both under small entity.

Thanks for your input and the conversation.

Bruce

Invent-O-Doc
02-02-2012, 09:28 PM
Congratulations!

idbruce
02-02-2012, 09:44 PM
@Invent-O-Doc

Thanks Doc. Long time no see. Where have you been?

Bruce

Mickster
02-03-2012, 09:08 PM
You see folks? Invent some contraption that you will never do anything with and get a patent on it...gives you "Bragging Rights"...Woohoo!

Mickster

idbruce
02-03-2012, 11:19 PM
Mickster

Yes it does. As I can clearly see that you were incapable of writing and getting your own patent without an attorney.

Bruce

idbruce
02-03-2012, 11:21 PM
Mickster

In fact, the one that you gave as a previous example, it was abandoned. Was it too hard for your intelligence to handle?

Bruce

Mickster
02-04-2012, 10:39 AM
Well I can't believe I'm even entertaining such an infantile response but the fact is, as most who have had their patents infringed upon will confirm, patents are a waste of time/money/energy!

If the objective is to have a piece of paper with which to impress one's friends, family, etc., well that's a different matter.

There are endless opportunities out there and once you identify an opportunity you should jump on it and capitalize on it then move on to the next. Time wasted on patents would be better invested in sourcing venture capital, if needed.

Mickster.

idbruce
02-04-2012, 12:56 PM
Mickster

Please do not insult me or my intelligence, and not expect to get an insult in return. It appears that you are clearly on a mission to antagonize me, because you keep returning to my posts with negative input. I am proud of my patents and I am proud of the machines I have built. As far as impressing people goes, I have plenty of admirers that are amazed at some of the things I have done and the things that I can do, because I am a determined man. Additionally, major companies will not even discuss an idea with you unless you hold a PATENT and sign a non-disclosure agreement. Are patents worthless? I don't think so. I think you had some bad experiences pertaining to infringement and wasted alot of money trying to enforce your rights. And I feel sorry for your situation, but that does not mean that someone should not obtain a patent just because Mickster had some bad experiences.

If I share my success with the friends and folks here at the Parallax forums, why do you want to come along and bust my bubble, and tell me it is all an exercise in futility? I would hopefully imagine that you should have better things to do. If not, then I feel sorry for you, and believe that you need to seek some help for this problem or please allow me to attempt to do it for you.

ATTENTION FORUM MODERATORS: Please make him go away. :)

Bruce

prof_braino
02-05-2012, 04:15 PM
Congratulations! You got a lot further along than I did. Now do the second part, get rich!

idbruce
02-05-2012, 04:21 PM
Thanks prof_braino

I intend to try the get rich part. We will see how it goes.

Bruce

softcon
02-07-2012, 10:33 PM
The only experience I have with patents is my attempt to patent something I thought was unique. I submitted it to a patent company, and heard nothing from them for more than a year, whereupon I approached a different patent company, who did contact me almost immediately. However, in my attempts to get something drawn up (not being able to see was a major barrier in that regard) I discovered someone else was already selling the item I'd tried to patent. I can't tell when it started being offered for sale, but there definitely wasn't any trace of said item when I'd contacted the first company (at least none I could find, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there, just that I missed it if it was)
So, the second patent company has now stopped contacting me with any info at all. Guess they found out something I didn't. <sigh>
That's ok, I don't really care, I'm just glad the thing already exists. One of these days, I'll go buy one. :)
What was this idea you ask?
A dog collar with a built-in leash, so you don't have to go hunting all over kingdom come when your dog gets loose to try to find the darned thing which seems tohave slipped under the couch while you weren't looking (which is something I do a lot).
Ah well, it's still a nice idea, and I now want one of those super collars.
heh.
So, congratulations on your patent, and hope you have many more.
It's always a nice achievement to do something like that, even if nobody else thinks so.

idbruce
02-07-2012, 11:23 PM
@softcon

Well thank you very much for your congratulations softcon. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to leave a message. However it is people like you that are an inspiration to me, such as people with a handicap that overcome adversity to go on and do great things. Learning to program is a difficult achievement all by itself, but learning how to program with the handicap of being blind, now that is what I truly call an achievement.

Since you already have the inventing spirit and the desire to create new things, I encourage you to investigate the the patenting process a little more. Throughtout the years, I have always found patents very interesting, and by being able to read and understand patent applications, you always get first hand knowledge of products that may reach the marketplace in the near future.

Best of luck to you softcon.

Bruce

idbruce
09-04-2012, 03:44 PM
UPDATE:

For those that may be interested, there is a major meeting occuring today, within a very large corporation, for the sole purpose of discussing my patent. I suppose it is needless to say that I am a nervous wreck. I sincerely hope that all goes well.

Bruce

Heater.
09-04-2012, 03:59 PM
Mickster,


Time wasted on patents would be better invested in sourcing venture capital, if needed.

Nice idea. In the case of some start ups I have worked for the venture capital guys were not interested unless we had an IP portfolio, i.e. patents.

But I do concur, unless you have a bottomless pit of money available to defend a patent it is not going to do you much good.

ctwardell
09-04-2012, 06:19 PM
Good luck Bruce.

Publison
09-04-2012, 06:25 PM
Bruce,

Best of luck.

Looking forward to a very positive outcome!

Jim

idbruce
09-04-2012, 06:26 PM
They are already trying to pull a fast one :)

mindrobots
09-04-2012, 07:16 PM
Bruce,

Realizing that you may not be at liberty to add details...

is this a large corporation interested in buying your wire bender and making you wealthy beyond my dreams or is it a large corporation playing IP games and trying to jump your IP?

Either way, I hope the outcome turns out in your favor.

Good luck!

idbruce
09-04-2012, 07:23 PM
mindrobots

I am not attempting to sell the wire bender CNC to the corporation, I am just currently trying to catch their interest, independent of the avenue it takes, such as assgnment, licensing, or distribution. This is the second meeting pertaining to this patent, and it has been concluded.

They want samples, but want to bypass my input, which I am disappointed with.

Bruce

frank freedman
09-05-2012, 03:13 AM
Mickster,

Nice idea. In the case of some start ups I have worked for the venture capital guys were not interested unless we had an IP portfolio, i.e. patents.

But I do concur, unless you have a bottomless pit of money available to defend a patent it is not going to do you much good.

Probably true in many instances regarding defence of patents, but I guess that if patents had no value then there would not be any point to corporations having armies of lawyers in house to defend them, not to mention all the private firms making a great living providing services to all the major medical centers and their research and to all the inventors not entrapped by the 2am infomercial patent dream scammers out there.

Good Luck Bruce!!!!

prof_braino
09-05-2012, 05:38 AM
They want samples, but want to bypass my input, which I am disappointed with.

I say as long as they BUY the samples, they don't have to take any input.

Hope you sell a boatload!

idbruce
09-05-2012, 11:18 PM
I want to thank everyone for their well wishes.

The outcome of the meeting did not turn out the way I had hoped, but they intend to do a market evaluation, so it is not all bad. I still have the old fingers crossed.

Publison
09-05-2012, 11:28 PM
I want to thank everyone for their well wishes.

The outcome of the meeting did not turn out the way I had hoped, but they intend to do a market evaluation, so it is not all bad. I still have the old fingers crossed.

Yes, an open ear is a good thing. I'm sure something good will come out pf it.

Jim

idbruce
09-05-2012, 11:35 PM
Jim


Yes, an open ear is a good thing. I'm sure something good will come out pf it.

I have had my fingers crossed for many months now and they are getting tired :) Hopefully it will be a quick decision when they get and test the samples I provided. I wonder if the crossed finger stuff really works. Perhaps I should cross my toes as well. :)

Humanoido
09-06-2012, 04:16 AM
Bruce, congratulations!
I'm very impressed with your ability to do so much with your mind.
Humanoido

NWCCTV
09-06-2012, 05:49 AM
I just wish I had someone to do the marketing for me.

Have you heard of Shark Tank? These guys could get you yo yhe next level: http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/casting

Heater.
09-06-2012, 10:42 AM
Humanoido,

I'm very impressed with your ability to do so much with your mind.
I'm sorry I had to have a little giggle at that statement. You see it is ambiguous and could be taken as a compliment or a put down.

It reminds me of this exchange between Arthur Dent and Marvin the paranoid android in Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Marvin (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0601891/): [talking about the Ultimate Question to the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything] It's printed in the Earthman's brainwave patterns, but I don't suppose you'd be interested in knowing that.
Arthur Dent (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0429254/): You mean you can see into my mind?
Marvin (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0601891/): Yes.
Arthur Dent (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0429254/): Well?
Marvin (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0601891/): It amazes me how you manage to live in anything that small.


Anyway, well done Bruce.

idbruce
09-06-2012, 02:32 PM
@Humanoido

I must say that I appreciate the compliment, but believe me, there is nothing to be impressed about. I just have several areas of interest that I have dabbled in for many years and I just know enough about these subjects to make me slightly dangerous. And most of these subjects, I had to study diligently to learn anything at all. On the other hand, I am very impressed with other people in the forum, and the communication exchanges that goes back and forth amongst the members. There are some very smart people here within this forum who deserve much more credit than me. It is true that I am proud of my patents, but the truth is that most people could file and get their own patents, if they had a sincere desire to do so. I can only claim bragging rights, because I had a sincere desire to learn and write my own patents with follow through. I certainly cannot make any claim to superior intellect. It is always a struggle for me. However, it has been said in this thread that acquiring a patent is easy, and this is very far from the truth. You must know the rules and laws very well, have the ability to write and describe ideas accurately with great detail, and be able to accurately draw your ideas so that others may understand the concept. The USPTO does not allow mistakes.

@NWCCTV

From what I have seen of that show, those investors are more interested in products and concepts that apply to the general population of the world as compared to specialized markets. However, there are many venture capitalists in the world, but the key is finding these people and convincing them that an idea is valid and worth financial pursuit. Considering that my patent has a very specific market, my best bet is to seek out investors that already have a significant foothold within the electrical construction industry, such as, Greenlee, Ideal, Gardner Bender, Erico, etc.... I also have the option of incorporating and selling stocks to acquire funding.

As for the PM, I will answer your question later today when I have more time available.


@Heater


Anyway, well done Bruce.

To be perfectly honest, this project has taken a turn in a direction that I did not want to go. I was hoping that I could manufacture and market my product without assistance from outside resources. I now realize that I was living in a fantasy world. Manufacturing is the easy part, but getting it to market and producing sales, well that is going to be very costly.

Humanoido
09-06-2012, 04:22 PM
@Humanoido I must say that I appreciate the compliment, but believe me, there is nothing to be impressed about. I just have several areas of interest...

To be perfectly honest, this project has taken a turn in a direction that I did not want to go. I was hoping that I could manufacture and market my product without assistance from outside resources. I now realize that I was living in a fantasy world. Manufacturing is the easy part, but getting it to market and producing sales, well that is going to be very costly.

Bruce, it's Ok, you can be modest but I still can admire your projects and whatever methods you employed to gain your knowledge. Thanks for sharing your ideas along the way. Equally important as knowledge is respect towards others and you seem to have a lot of both.

(Yes, Heater, if you're listening.. it was a compliment and I was not trying to activate your giggle button. But if it made your day, that's ok too. You should know by now, I'm a positive person. That's interesting about the quote from Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and it makes me wonder what brain respectively is larger than the human brain in terms of over 23 billion neurons. Even the Big Brain Machine has grown upwards toward a million but getting to 23 billion will take considerable effort and an ultimately large supercomputer. Did they have the technology to measure the number of neurons in Einsteins's brain? We need to start another thread. Sorry Bruce for this small diversion of off topic.)

As to the marketing, you may try finding distributors and dealers already in place with a network of similar products and make a deal so they can carry your product too. As I recall, this was a technique used with sales and distribution of presses, milling machines and mechanical robots. I wish you the best of luck and don't give up! There are less costly methods of marketing.

Heater.
09-06-2012, 05:03 PM
Yeah, I know it was a compliment.


..makes me wonder what brain respectively is larger than the human brain in terms of over 23 billion neurons

I had a thought about that recently.
Consider the "brain" that is now constructing itself on earth where it's "neurons" are the brains of 7 billion humans and it's synapses are our computers and internet.

The emerging intelligence of that brain constructed out of man and machine may be something we will never be able to understand or even be aware of it's existence.

skylight
09-06-2012, 05:42 PM
@idbruce Before investing loads of money in trying to market the device I think you should use the advantages of the internet to market and sell the product, create a website, get it promoted on Google ads etc.and see if it will sell well enough before going to the big boys who will take a large sum out of your sales.

Mickster
09-06-2012, 08:23 PM
I now realize that I was living in a fantasy world.


Absolutely right!




Manufacturing is the easy part.


And the fantasy continues.....An unproven prototype built down-to-a-budget...Now expected to produce how many parts/week?

Mickster

idbruce
09-06-2012, 11:45 PM
@Mickster

Put your money where your mouth is!

NWCCTV
09-07-2012, 12:19 AM
@Mickster, What is your problem? This forum is not for your type AT ALL. People apply for Patents every day of the week in droves. Just because you obviously do not have the intelligence to do so yourself, there is no need for you to bash and insult those that do. I have many ideas that I would love to get patented, but the simple fact is that I do not have the finances to do so. I refuse to put my ideas out there for others to steal. At least with a Patent you have the grounds to go after someone that does infringe on them. If Patents are worthless then please explain to all of us how the US is going after China for infringement???? How did Apple win their lawsuit against Samsung? I think you need to seek the help @idbruce advised and let the good people of this FRIENDLY and powerful forum go about our business.

Also, I have not seen ANYTHING that YOU have created.

Heater.
09-07-2012, 12:40 AM
NWCCTV,


How did Apple win their lawsuit against Samsung?

That's what I want to know. It's absurd. If I was following correctly th court in the UK was on Samsungs side.
Anyway, love the Samsung add here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/technology-video/8911064/Samsungs-new-advert-takes-a-deliberate-dig-at-the-Apple-iPhone-4S.html

Circuitsoft
09-07-2012, 12:57 AM
To be perfectly honest, this project has taken a turn in a direction that I did not want to go. I was hoping that I could manufacture and market my product without assistance from outside resources. I now realize that I was living in a fantasy world. Manufacturing is the easy part, but getting it to market and producing sales, well that is going to be very costly.Could you sell it directly to Viking Electric (MN/WI) and other such places? They could probably stock it out on the shelves in the small "shopping" area they have, and they could be picked up and marketed-word-of-mouth by bunches of electricians who need them.


And the fantasy continues.....An unproven prototype built down-to-a-budget...Now expected to produce how many parts/week?While I agree with you on the patent issue, he has already said he can produce numerable quantities on the CNC wire bender in his house.
Also as many of you know, I claim (and it is true) that my wire bending CNC machine will produce 25,000 units of this product per day.That's not a particularly small number, and with that quantity, he should be able to sell enough to buy a bigger, or multiple, CNC machines to cover what market there actually is. At this point, your arguments are appearing far more as personal attacks than actual attempts to provide technical discourse.

Circuitsoft
09-07-2012, 01:01 AM
How did Apple win their lawsuit against Samsung?That's what I want to know. It's absurd. If I was following correctly, the court in the UK was on Samsung's side.
Anyway, love the Samsung ad here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/technology-video/8911064/Samsungs-new-advert-takes-a-deliberate-dig-at-the-Apple-iPhone-4S.html
Jurors didn't know what they were doing and did exactly what the judge said not to do. (http://www.techdirt.com/blog/?company=samsung)

Mickster
09-07-2012, 09:08 AM
@Mickster, What is your problem? This forum is not for your type AT ALL. People apply for Patents every day of the week in droves. Just because you obviously do not have the intelligence to do so yourself, there is no need for you to bash and insult those that do. I have many ideas that I would love to get patented, but the simple fact is that I do not have the finances to do so. I refuse to put my ideas out there for others to steal. At least with a Patent you have the grounds to go after someone that does infringe on them. If Patents are worthless then please explain to all of us how the US is going after China for infringement???? How did Apple win their lawsuit against Samsung? I think you need to seek the help @idbruce advised and let the good people of this FRIENDLY and powerful forum go about our business.

So, hypothetically, what if Samsung had blatantly infringed upon your patent. Right....now what? Well, I don't know you so maybe your are willing and able to dole-out millions of dollars in retainers for several year? After all, that's why you went to the trouble of obtaining a patent, right? Or did you think that the US Patent Office would jump in to protect you?

The last that I read, Bruce wasn't able to raise the $2,000 for his Universal Product Code!



Also, I have not seen ANYTHING that YOU have created.

Then I suggest you read the entire thread where you will find not only my own patents but also a link to a video of my own real machine that actually makes fuel-injector lines for big-name automotive, 24/7
Maybe YOU can point me to a link of Bruce's machine?

Mickster

P.S. I only just checked the start date of this thread and coincidentally it is the date that I started development of another industry first. An Android-based wireless CNC control system for bending machines. This system is already up and producing dash-supports for one of the "big-three's" luxury vehicles and towing-bars for one of the Japanese SUV's. All OEM, not after-market. www.adaptivemotion.com

Mickster
09-07-2012, 10:45 AM
At this point, your arguments are appearing far more as personal attacks than actual attempts to provide technical discourse.

I entered this thread as one who has been-there, done-that, etc. but because I wasn't treating Bruce's patent award like some Nobel prize, he immediately went on the offensive, suggesting that I was of lesser intelligence because I "had" to use a patent attorney whereas he'd patented his overgrown paper-clip all by himself.


he has already said he can produce numerable quantities on the CNC wire bender in his house.

Did I miss the video?

I see you're in Minnesota. I don't know if you've ever toured the Polaris Industries factories but if you ever check-out the 17-axis CNC tube bender that produces the RZR, you will be looking at the machine that was designed and manufactured by the company that I founded and own. There are only two machines, one in Roseau and one in Polaris-Mexico that make the entire RZR frame. They both feature several of my patents that have been infringed-upon and were just not worth defending when my competitors have a much, much bigger war-chest than I.

This is the point I'm making....A patent only provides you with the right to sue.

Now, forgetting the patent issue, if I were a distributor of widgets and Bruce approached me to distribute his widget, I would be thinking:

I would need to sell huge volumes for this to be worthwhile
I would need to invest in marketing
Do we need product liability
We would need to have a website for this
Now Bruce has claimed a production capacity of 25,000/day on a home-made piece of equipment using hobby-grade components.
What is the longest, non-stop run that he's done
What if Bruce becomes incapacitated, who else can operate and maintain the equipment
Alternatively, a real wire bender with spool-feeder, straightener, cut-off unit, etc., etc., starts at around $350,000 but then a facility with 3-phase power would be required, adding to the production cost.....

But hey, don't mind me, I've only been in the CNC bender business for 31 years, what do I know?

Mickster

Mickster
09-07-2012, 11:06 AM
@Mickster

Put your money where your mouth is!

Not sure I know how to respond to a master of such stunning repartee

Please elaborate, bearing in mind my inferior intelligence :)

Mickster

Heater.
09-07-2012, 11:27 AM
Hey, Guys,
We come here to "get stuff done" and help others "get stuff done". Throwing rocks at each other does not help now.

As a counterpoint to Micksters experience of large expensive industrial operations I have seen some very home made looking equipmment working 24 hours a day for years and years in factories on production lines and such. Some of it contributing the final degree of accuracy to parts for machine tools, lathes, mills etc quite critical to the quality of the finished product when it is a lathe or a mill etc.

Some times those Heath Robinson contraptions were doing a speciallized one off task, hence the home made aspect, and sometimes they were patented. Sadly the proud inventors were not holding the patent but their employers.

So I would not say Bruce was without a chance here. On the other hand I agree with Mickster, if big boy wants to use your patented idea what are you going to do?

idbruce
09-07-2012, 01:09 PM
Mickster

Are you willing to pay me $1 for every unit that I create over 20,000 in a 24 hour period? You can even watch the machine work :)

No video needed, with your own two eyes, you can watch your money disappear.

idbruce
09-07-2012, 01:32 PM
On the other hand I agree with Mickster, if big boy wants to use your patented idea what are you going to do?

Well let's see. If a major corporation stole my idea, I could always ask them to stop repeatedly, and wait the maximum allowable time before starting proceedings. At which point, the patent would have significant value, because infringement has occured and profit has been made.

I could either:
Sell the patent to their competitor, and let them pursuit it.
Acquire a starving patent attorney to work on a contingency.

skylight
09-07-2012, 01:39 PM
There are quite a few home grown products that are selling comfortably on this site and others and for some although it would be nice to be selling their product all over the world earning "mega bucks" it's the joy of knowing people are using and enjoying something that they have invented from scratch rather than the massive profits it could be making.
This is a community of hobbyists and although i've only been visiting this forum for a short while I am in awe of the products and ingenuity that others here have come up with.

It was my previous post to idbruce that was anti corporate in a way by saying don't let the "big boys" take a chunk of your profits.

idbruce
09-07-2012, 01:46 PM
I entered this thread as one who has been-there, done-that, etc. but because I wasn't treating Bruce's patent award like some Nobel prize, he immediately went on the offensive, suggesting that I was of lesser intelligence because I "had" to use a patent attorney whereas he'd patented his overgrown paper-clip all by himself.

That was not the situation at all. You came to thread spouting off incorrect information, and clearly did not know what you were talking about.

Loopy Byteloose
09-07-2012, 01:56 PM
Ah, yes.... Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a pathway to your front door.

Unfortunately, not all patents are for better mousetraps. The core of any business is Sales, and that is why the fastest path to the top of a company is usually through the Sales department.

There are some items that do sell themselves, but if you want to seeking good help from people that are in it not-for-profit, the Southern Oregon Inventors Council has been around for quite a while and has no interest in creating fees or stealing your ownership. There are other similar organizations in most of the states in the USA.

I suspect there are lots of ways to pull wire. Your device is handy, but with construction down it isn't going to be easy to sell 25,000 units even if you can produce that many in one day. You need to use Thomas Catalogue to locate electrical material distributors across the nation and to contact them directly. You might personally visit a few that are near you and get some real input into the demand.

www.thomasnet.com/

If you need stainless steel wire, let me know as I can get you all you could desire produced in South Korea. I have a friend of 18 years here in Taiwan whose brother represents a Korean stainless steel mill.

BTW, "over-grown paper clip" is a rather disparaging slam -- not good form.

Rsadeika
09-07-2012, 02:04 PM
Acquire a starving patent attorney to work on a contingency.

If he is starving, I doubt that he will be working on a contingency.

So, now it is time to put on your salesman hat, and start to devote a 120% to selling your product. Usually this is where the downfall occurs, it is very rare to find the product creativity, and salesman qualities existing in the same person. And it also takes more than just pointing to the ever so clever way of doing something, and expecting it to sell itself. Even if you go the other route, have somebody market your product, you better be able to sell yourself first, and then your product. Stand in front of a mirror, and see if, in all honesty, you see a dynamo salesperson, because that is what it will take to get a new product off the ground.

Good Luck
Ray

idbruce
09-07-2012, 02:15 PM
As mentioned and as it stands now, my patent has been read and my samples are in the hands of probably the largest manufacturer and distributor of electrical supplies in the world, and they have mentioned that they intend to do a market evaluation. If they like the idea well enough, I am sure they will want to own the patent, as compared to letting other manufacturers have access to it. PERIOD

Hopefully this major corporation will see value in the patent of my "overgrown paperclip" that Mickster cannot see. :)

Loopy Byteloose
09-07-2012, 02:31 PM
Well, since you own the wire bending machine and now have the know-how to DIY patents, other things will come. After all, Thomas Edison didn't patent just one thing. He took his light bulb, hired everyone that was is competition and patented everything he could get them to think up.

Some good ideas are just niche markets, others are suitable for mass market. But nothing gets done without effort and a bit of a risk.

Patent laywers tend to suck the life out of innovation at tens of thousand of dollars a pop. If you want a global patent, I have heard that one has to start with application in Japan first or it will never be fully recognized.

Mickster
09-07-2012, 02:41 PM
Well when I served my 4-year apprenticeship as an Industrial Electrician, I bent an awful lot of conduit and pulled an awful lot of wires through that conduit. All I can think about this "invention" is that it's a solution looking for a problem. We would stagger the wires at the fish tape end and wrap them with electrical tape to streamline them. Attaching a string to the group to allow for future wires to be run was a non-issue. Anyway, need to get back to writing this patent for my new motorcycle ashtray.

Mickster

idbruce
09-07-2012, 04:08 PM
Well when I served my 4-year apprenticeship as an Industrial Electrician, I bent an awful lot of conduit and pulled an awful lot of wires through that conduit. All I can think about this "invention" is that it's a solution looking for a problem. We would stagger the wires at the fish tape end and wrap them with electrical tape to streamline them. Attaching a string to the group to allow for future wires to be run was a non-issue.

Apparently, once again, you lack knowledge that you profess. There are many conduits bent everyday that do not have wires pulled in by the contractor that bent the conduit. Strings are installed in these conduits by the contractor to allow future installation of wires and cables by some other company or contractor.


Anyway, need to get back to writing this patent for my new motorcycle ashtray.

Hey Mick, just use the tank!

Publison
09-07-2012, 04:17 PM
Hey Mick, just use the tank!

THAT got a definite LOL here!

Jim

idbruce
09-07-2012, 04:35 PM
THAT got a definite LOL here!

Jim, my comment was not intended to be funny, I was very serious and I thought it was an appropiate solution to his problem :)

mindrobots
09-07-2012, 04:45 PM
I assumed Mickster's ashtray comment was a joke.

How can you smoke on a motorcycle? if you do, doesn't the wind take care of the ashes? (how would you light a smoke, anyway at 60mph?)

I obviously don't ride.

idbruce
09-07-2012, 04:49 PM
@mindrobots

He was obiously trying to imply that my patent was useless and without merit. However, if he was serious, I think the tank might be a better solution for him.

Mickster
09-07-2012, 05:17 PM
Ummm not a problem, Bruce...Why? I ride a Night-Rod (V-Rod)...I'll let you figure it out. Great bike, BTW. All the frames are made in Canton MI on my CNC bender :)


Mickster

idbruce
09-07-2012, 05:19 PM
Ummm not a problem, Bruce...Why? I ride a Night-Rod (V-Rod)...I'll let you figure it out. Great bike, BTW. All the frames are made in Canton MI on my CNC bender :smile:

Good for you Mick, I wish you all the success you deserve.

prof_braino
09-08-2012, 12:50 AM
I missed something, why don't you just start selling your clip directly to contractors?

Seems to me you could suffer in comfort until one of the big boys buys it off you.

frank freedman
09-08-2012, 05:05 AM
<clip>

Then I suggest you read the entire thread where you will find not only my own patents but also a link to a video of my own real machine that actually makes fuel-injector lines for big-name automotive, 24/7
Maybe YOU can point me to a link of Bruce's machine?

Mickster

</clip>



So, tell us old, wise mickster, why the hell did you waste your time on patents given the "@+$#*#@$ that you dispense so freely in this forum?

Just askin'

FF

frank freedman
09-08-2012, 05:23 AM
apparently, once again, you lack knowledge that you profess. There are many conduits bent everyday that do not have wires pulled in by the contractor that bent the conduit. Strings are installed in these conduits by the contractor to allow future installation of wires and cables by some other company or contractor.



Hey mick, just use the tank!

ddddddddoooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

idbruce
09-08-2012, 04:11 PM
I missed something, why don't you just start selling your clip directly to contractors?

Seems to me you could suffer in comfort until one of the big boys buys it off you.

@prof_braino

That is a fantastic idea, BUT....

There is quite a bit of market research required for that type of endeavor. To be successful, I would have to know which electrical contractors are using large quantities of polyline (AKA pullstring). Acquiring that knowledge would be very time consuming and costly. However, I have been thinking about researching the major construction jobs going on in the US and finding out who holds the electrical contracts. Large construction jobs will probably require large amounts of pullstrings for fire systems, various alarms, data cables, etc...

While working for a particular construction company, I once had access to software that listed all the major jobs going on in the USA, and it allowed you to supply bids. When the bidding was closed, it gave contact information to the company that received the contract. I believe that if I had access to that software now, I think I could start a successful direct marketing campaign.

Of course that was approximately 15 years ago, and I can no longer remember the name of the software. I will have to do a little research to find similar software or perhaps contact my old employer to find out the software that he used.

Bruce

Mickster
09-08-2012, 04:13 PM
I missed something, why don't you just start selling your clip directly to contractors?

Seems to me you could suffer in comfort until one of the big boys buys it off you.

Mickster
09-08-2012, 04:16 PM
.................

idbruce
09-08-2012, 04:39 PM
I knew it the minute that I found it. My employer would always say "Check the Dodge Reports"

http://www.construction.com/dodge/

Dave Hein
09-08-2012, 04:48 PM
Bruce,

I don't agree with the way Mickster made his comments, but he does raise some valid points. Sometimes it's best to thank someone for their constructive criticism, and ignore nasty remarks.

I like your invention, but it seems like you may have a few hurdles to overcome in trying to sell it to a big manufacturer. I suggest you make a few hundred of them, and give them away to as many electrical contractors as you can find in your area. Tell them to give it a try, and then contact them after a few weeks to get their feedback on it. This way you'll find out how well accepted your product is. If they really like it they'll tell their friends, and you'll start getting orders from other contractors who want some for themselves.

After a few weeks, you may find that there is some problem that you hadn't realized. Maybe they get stuck under conditions you hadn't thought about. Or you might find that they always have to go check the other the other end anyhow, so the self-releasing feature isn't that important to them. Or maybe they'll love it the way it is. In any event, you'll have data on actual usage that will help to promote your invention to a big manufacturer.

Dave

prof_braino
09-08-2012, 04:50 PM
That is a fantastic idea, BUT....

... quite a bit of market research required .... To be successful,...Acquiring that knowledge would be very time consuming and costly. ...

No BUT's about it dude! So what if it takes time? If it take 5 years and you start now, you'll be done in 5 years. If you wait 15 years to start, it'll take 20 years.
It only costs time, and you spend that every day just breathing.

If you feel ill-equipped to do that part of the job, check out PS-1 (pumping station 1) mailing list on yahoo groups, and ask Sasha about Maker-biz. There's at least 25 guys doing what you need (bringing a product to market) and looking for folks that do what you did (creating a product).

Or if you trust me, I'll do it myself. I know a bunch of guys that are looking for something to do, and this is what they do when their doing it. PM me if interested. Let's get off our dead @$$ and make you rich! Folks need this, let's make it easy to find you.

@Mickster, and anybody else: I don't know if bruce ever posted a video, but I will tell you that I personal examined the machine and saw it in operation. It produces and packages the part (the process is actually two machines). I saw the part operate, it exactly addresses the need for which it was designed. The whole set up actually quite cool, especially when you get to see it operate up close in person. Nothing against any other machine or anybody else's work, but he's got something here. The finer points of patents are no longer relevant to this discussion.

idbruce
09-08-2012, 05:12 PM
@Dave Hein

I have enough wire on hand to produce 40,000 samples (2,000 pkgs. of 20). I have previously produced samples for companies, only to discover that I gave them to the wrong companies. I don't mind giving out samples, but giving them to the wrong companies can be quite costly.


After a few weeks, you may find that there is some problem that you hadn't realized. Maybe they get stuck under conditions you hadn't thought about. Or you might find that they always have to go check the other the other end anyhow, so the self-releasing feature isn't that important to them. Or maybe they'll love it the way it is. In any event, you'll have data on actual usage that will help to promote your invention to a big manufacturer.

As mentioned earlier in this thread and as discovered through testing, my product is not the magic bullet and it has limitations, but it is still quite useful and can be used to save a lot of money, providing it is used within it's limitations. I do believe that a large portion of the limitations can be overcome, but only by applying money to the problem.

@prof_braino

Thanks for the testimonial, I truly appreciate that :)

idbruce
09-08-2012, 06:47 PM
Now this is what I am talking about!

If I can get samples in front of the electrical contractor that wins this bid (http://dodgeprojects.construction.com/Clinic-Medical-Office_stcVVproductId101498669VVviewprod.htm), or others like this one, then I have a very good chance of making it on my own.

NWCCTV
09-08-2012, 07:12 PM
Yea, The problem is those people are always trying to "Sell" a list that is available for free. Check out your local/state laws on Open Bid Contracts. Also, the Chamber Of Commerce is a good place to go. I myself would go through the phone book/Internet for your local electrical contractors and low voltage contractors and just walk in or send out a free sample with a Patent number clearly marked on them.

idbruce
09-08-2012, 07:43 PM
@NWCCTV


Yea, The problem is those people are always trying to "Sell" a list that is available for free. Check out your local/state laws on Open Bid Contracts. Also, the Chamber Of Commerce is a good place to go. I myself would go through the phone book/Internet for your local electrical contractors and low voltage contractors and just walk in or send out a free sample with a Patent number clearly marked on them.

A "list" is exactly what I need to be efficient. If I could get a contact list of all the electrical contractors and the amount of polyline that they consume per year, I would have no problems making money. I would know exactly where my market is. However, I am certain that this very detailed request could only be supplied the various supply houses such as: Graybar, All-Phase, CEW, Englewood, etc...., and I highly doubt that they would supply such a list, and if they did, it would be very costly. On the other hand, if I knew who was awarded big contracts across the nation, it would be a pretty safe bet that they would be using a large amount of polyline to complete large projects, and definitely worth my investment to send them some samples. Door to door sales in my locality is just not going to cut the mustard. Seeking out potential customers is very time and money consuming, whereas with the type of service shown above, it would cut out a good deal of leg work and risk. And besides, the price sounds pretty reasonable for the amount of reward that I could receive.

As for sending out samples that are clearly marked, you will soon see, that I have that area well covered.

Bruce

EDIT: Additionally, when I start making money, providing I hold onto the patent, future packaging will include monetary rewards leading to the recovery of damages suffered from infringement. At which point, I believe the electrical contractors will be very careful about illegally manufacturing and using my patented product.

potatohead
09-08-2012, 07:58 PM
Bruce,

You've made the investment and can now produce something of value. Of course, that's half the equation as we all well know.

What you need now is to start moving the product --a bootstrap essentially. The time you invested in developing the means and methods of production was very expensive time. The time you invest in marketing and sales is also very expensive time. You valued the former low enough to warrant making the investment to produce things, consider valuing the latter in the same way.

That means, starting right now, you do the research. I've been involved with boot strapping efforts of this kind, and it's not technically hard work. It is tedious work, and depending on what one finds interesting, boring work. What usually motivates people to do that market research and prospecting work is dollars.

I strongly suggest the following:

1. Identify every possible use case for your product. For each use case, develop your value proposition. Value propositions are simple things. Some examples are:

-cost reduction. In this case, it's either a time or money or both argument. Somebody buys your product, and they get a return on that purchase in terms of their time, which basically is money to them.

-quality. In this case, they buy your product and they get a return in terms of repeatability on their product or process, or fewer warranty claims, or perhaps reduced service / maintenance costs or increased product life. For some products, sadly, a longer life is not a compelling business event. Know that.

-time to market / time to completion. In this case, they buy your product and it helps them get theirs to market sooner. Time to market is often an extremely compelling value proposition, simply because failure to reach market is extremely expensive, as you are experiencing right now.

There are others.

I cannot under-emphasize the importance of this step. You know your product has value, but nobody else does. You need to put that value in basic business terms and you need to do so in ways they can identify with. Every feature of your product delivers some benefit. Just delivering a benefit IS NOT ENOUGH. Each benefit needs to be linked to a compelling event, or business reality that establishes the value of that benefit, and that is what you need to communicate so that they can very easily see how using your product will give them a return on their investment in your product.

This is not a technical discussion AT ALL. Ideally, you can dry run this stuff on ordinary people in the target field and they get the VALUE of it cold. How it works is secondary. What they get for using it is primary. It's important to realize that there is a barrier to nearly anything. One must purchase it, learn about it, invest in skill surrounding it, maintain a supply of it, etc... Being able to demonstrate high value opens the door to people wanting to make that investment. People will see they can get a lot of value first, generally though this is not universally true, then they vet it technically to see whether or not it's snake oil. Lead with value. Lead with value. Lead with value.

You may find this work unpleasant. I often do. It is however, work that will lead to $$$, which is why people do it. :)

2. For each use case / value proposition set, and it should be a set as more than one value proposition may well apply to a given use case, you need to identify who is best aligned with said use case. Further, you need to break this down into segments. (AKA Segmenting your market) Segments are:

Size of Segment
-contractors
-small business / proprietors
-mid sized firms
-major players

Type of Segment
-electrical contracting
-builders
-service people

etc...

Make a matrix of these, and I like to use Excel for this purpose, so that you can start to link up your use cases and value statements to your targets.

3. Sort your segments by your personal barrier to entry, and then sort them by potential revenue back to you, AND very importantly, the use case alignment with their business needs.

The goal here is to not just shot gun everybody, diluting your message to the point of impotence which wastes your resources, but to focus down hard on one segment. This segment is the one that has the best use case alignment, in other words the one that you deliver the most value to, and it's the segment that is the least expensive for you to market to, and it's the segment that has the highest potential return, so that the risk you take stands a fair shot at getting paid off, ideally with some profit so that you can continue to reinvest and build your business.

4. Once you have identified this segment, it's time to produce collateral. You need a basic web site, brochures, business cards, and all that other stuff that marks you as somebody significant, not that smart guy in a garage. Nothing wrong with the smart guy in the garage, mind you, most of us are! But, that's a negative in the majority of cases you encounter boot strapping, unless a segment / niche is favorable to that kind of thing. Most aren't. What they don't know won't hurt them either. Know that too.

Ideally, you would produce a short sales video, training video, if required and ideally those are one and the same for a great, simple, highly useful product.

You absolutely need to fire up PowerPoint and craft your message. This needs to be short, compelling, clear as hell, and it needs to be nearly all business. If you are having to explain your product for more than a slide or two, you've not got the message clarity down, nor do you have your value proposition sufficiently realized in your own mind. Ideally, a single sentence can articulate why somebody wants this thing, and another single sentence articulates what they get for having it, done, next.

If I were you, I would develop this stuff to the best of your ability, then spend a few $$$ having somebody who knows design polish it up for you, leaving you with editable assets you can re-purpose as needed and as you learn about your target segment. And you will learn about your target segment, so plan on that learning and refactor it into your research and product launch efforts from the beginning. Everybody does, almost nobody nails it cold right out of the gate.

5. Now you are ready to get names, buy lists, etc...

Having done this work, you can actually make use of an SIC code list. You can buy these regionally, nationally, whatever. They range from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on the size of list and the scope and nature of companies and or people on said list. Remember your segments done earlier? This is why! You can focus down, be effective, close the deals and make the money on smaller, targeted investments, keeping your risks incremental along the way, and ideally your returns incremental too, so you've got $$$ to operate on.

6. However you get your target data, you research it. Visit the company web sites, and profile them in general ways. Take that profile and align it with your use case / value proposition so that you can message properly. Does it make sense? Is it short, sweet, hard hitting and to the point? If not, continue until it is. Continue until you can state all of this cold, to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

7. Now you are ready to prospect. Having looked at your target company data, and having thought about this crap so much you hate it, it's time now to decide how to approach people. Approaching people really sucks. It sucks, because you will get rejected a lot. But, you do it, because of the $$$ you will get when you aren't rejected. And it sucks. Did I tell you yet that it sucks?

Have a friend? Anyone you know that can do that work? The selling work? Strongly consider getting help here, unless you must just do it for the need to bootstrap yourself up to hiring somebody like that. Often that's the case, and frankly, if you can't get out there and look people in the eye and ask them for the business, you very likely won't have any success bootstrapping your product into the market.

Can't help you there. Either you go for it personally, or you get help. What I can tell you is that I was running very lean at the time I did this, but I believed in my product, and it came down to talking to other people and asking them to buy the product. After the first two successes, this was much easier, though unpleasant no matter what. It's still unpleasant. Always will be for me.

8. Ways to prospect.

You probably don't want to just cold call people. I wouldn't. Nobody does. Consider direct mail, e-mail, post cards, and such, and very carefully select your targets. You will have to contact them a few times too, and in various ways.

There is the phone. (brutal, but really cheap)
There is mail, and web, etc.... be very careful with your targeting or you spend a lot of money you don't have.

Conferences, and other places where interested prospects gather.

Recruiters may know folks you can talk to for cross promotional purposes.

Doing that first, gives you something to call ON. This helps a lot. Just asking to talk to them is hard. Asking them if they got your info, or free sample, or whatever is a whole lot easier. Know that.

9. Get meetings.

You have to talk to people, and you have to ask them to give you a shot. You also mentioned wanting to know some metrics, such as how much of something they use per year. These early meetings are GOLD, because they will tell you precisely that, and you can get them to put it into business terms too, which is very hard info to find anywhere else.

10. Throughout all of that, be ready to deliver, and manage expectations to be the right expectations, because your first business is the most important business. It can't go bad, be late, short, whatever. That first business pays you to get more business, grow, have a reference account, testimonials, and all sorts of other stuff.

***Put this here for general interest. Been there done that. Ugly, but useful stuff. Enjoy, or not. :)

Edit: The first product I ever sold was software. It was CAD software that made electrical shapes and precision sheet metal layout quick and easy. The steps above took me about three months to successfully execute after about three months of software development.

Wrote the software on a $20 computer, no joke, bought from a Value Village that met the minimum requirements for authoring the software. Made a lot of money over about two years. $15K or so in licenses in my region. I changed career direction, and needed to focus on that, so it ended there, but it was a great experience, and I was helped by some people who really knew this stuff.

(Yes, I got a much better computer with the first batch of dollars, so that the higher end features could be further developed and tested.)

Anyway, that's the content of the post. That is precisely what I did, and had it been a product that saw larger segments, I may well have continued doing it. As it was, the segments were small, and I got the most bang for the buck just doing business in my region, then moving on as CAD technology moved on too, rendering many product features moot in 5 years.

That 5 years was an important lesson in time to market too. I developed, marketed and sold in the prime time. Demand was high, I got good license fees and it wasn't too hard. Had I developed and then spent a year or two figuring out how to market and get it out there, I would have easily made half or less. Do not underestimate that effect. It's real.

***I would think the reward for infringement message through very, very carefully. You do not want to come off as hostile, or risky to work with, or overly demanding or controlling. Those are all product acceptance barriers that you do not need right now, IMHO. Might be a good thing, then again, it might not. That is a risk case.

Your biggest risk is not moving any of the product. A secondary one is being infringed on.

Let me put it this way, say you market this stuff and move very little product, yet somebody infringes. Compare that problem to moving lots of product and being infringed on.

In which case do you have ability to act?

I'm not saying don't do it. I am saying think how you do that through very, very carefully, and ideally focus test that on a few people who would be users of and decision makers about the product. You may find their reactions considerably different than you anticipate them to be. A misalignment like that can be extremely expensive. FYI

potatohead
09-08-2012, 10:55 PM
I'll add one more thing.

Why do this work, when the idea is to get somebody else to like it enough to do the work and just pay for the patent / machine licensing / royalties?

Having skin in the game, that's why. One potential consideration they will have is product support, updates, legalities, etc... Doing the work above is all about being able to properly position the product relative to other products, and most importantly to them, other opportunities they will be considering.

One thing people fail to recognize is they are always considering other opportunities and the big competition isn't whether or not the product offering does what it says on the tin, delivering the value it says it does, but whether or not that whole equation is even worth bothering with in light of other products / technology / opportunities.

"Putting skin in the game" helps to lower your barrier to entry Bruce. They may consider doing market research, and then again, they may not, and that's an opportunity cost for them, weighed against the other stuff they do. Now, if you can bring them market research, ideally products in use, etc... now your opportunity just got a lot leaner for them. It's leaner because there is now some vetting they don't have to do, and there is the very real impact of it actually doing stuff as opposed to theoretically doing stuff.

And in the mind of a business person, it's theoretical until some dollars are moving. They don't care. It's all fun 'n games, until people are spending real money.

Having gotten through that investment, if they are having to do it, they then would also still weigh that opportunity against others, or seek potential alternatives. You know they will. Wouldn't you? I would. Most folks will.

It is in your best interest to pave that road to the highest extent possible, and it's buying down risk too. While you wait for others to decide to act, your time to market window is slipping. If you really have nailed a niche that's worth a ton of money, right now, somewhere, somebody is working to meet that demand or opportunity, and tech overall is evolving with other products and or market changes closing that window in significant ways.

That's it for me. Just putting it out there. Would love to see your hard work pay off Bruce. Good luck.

Mickster
09-09-2012, 11:18 AM
Just delivering a benefit IS NOT ENOUGH. Each benefit needs to be linked to a compelling event, or business reality that establishes the value of that benefit, and that is what you need to communicate so that they can very easily see how using your product will give them a return on their investment in your product.


Thank you

Mickster

potatohead
09-10-2012, 02:44 AM
You are welcome, though I will temper that with my extreme reluctance to even put material like that here. It's relevant and truthful, but not really fun. At least I don't think it's fun, but it's necessary when business is being considered as opposed to doing cool stuff.

To be really clear, I contributed that because I would really like to see Bruce get some return on the time he's invested in this product. He showed up here, ready to do battle with the tech, and got it done, from what I can tell.

It's really worth noting that good tech often goes unrealized due to failure to also do the work to get people to understand the value of it, beyond cool. The biggest misconception is the whole thing being self-evident. Us engineering minded people see it, and it's not tough to get from there to some benefit and value. That's kind of what we do.

Sadly, most of the people who control the dollars simply do not have that skill to the same degree, and worse, they have a skepticism about value, simply because they spend a lot of time dealing in it, if nothing else. Things aren't self evident. There are always risks and potential rewards, and the word "potential" is where the rubber hits the road on these things.

Bruce wrote: "If they like it well enough..."

That, right there is why you do the work I wrote about here. A big part of the solution being successful, whatever it is, happens to be making damn sure there can be no mistakes on "liking it well enough!" And that conflict between having to do that work, which appears mundane, boring, etc... and the very real need for the people who matter to like it enough to see what the engineer sees inherently, having solved the problem, is what I wrote to.

No insults, sides taken or other ill intent implied, nor intended. I simply saw a value add to the discussion, nothing more. :) Carry on folks, and good luck Bruce.

Edit: One other thought struck me on this thing. Metrics. When I did the CAD software product, the value of the time savings was questioned regularly. I did a benchmark --actually a few of them to establish that it was quicker with the product, and by how much under various scenarios, which really helped people identify whether or not they were in the sweet spot to benefit from the thing.

Being software, I gave it to them on a permenant license and then set it all up and helped them get through some tough projects. Total win, but it was a time and product commit on my part. Ended up with real data and testimonials that were worth a whole lot, and did some tweaks too, worth just as much. Recommended.

If it were me, I would totally find somebody doing a project and just apply the product to get those metrics and use case data, right along with the real world input prof_braino mentioned. That's really good information that is likely not in the hands of those "who might like it enough."

PJ Allen
09-15-2012, 01:13 PM
http://tech.woot.com/forums/viewpost.aspx?postid=5161816

Heater.
09-15-2012, 01:25 PM
And here we have one small creator of an Android app being sued for patent infringment, for something so absurd it should never have a patent. http://www.x-plane.com/x-world/lawsuit/The cost of defending the attack? Lawyers advised it would be 1.5 million dollars and take two or three years.

idbruce
09-15-2012, 01:41 PM
Referring to PJ's link to a poll...

I would imagine that out of the 1113 voters that answered that poll, probably less than 2% ever had a piece of intellectual property with any possible value.

As much as I hate to admit it, at least Mickster has participated in the process, and at least his opinion is based upon his own personal experience. I cannot imagine a person giving a valid opinion, unless they have participated in the patenting process or had some experience in the field of patents.

Bruce

Heater.
09-16-2012, 12:49 AM
Sorry folks, I forgot to include the link to the case I was talking about in the post above so I guess it all looked like gibberish. The link is there now.

Bruce,

I have to take issue with you statement "...probably less than 2% ever had a piece of intellectual property with any possible value."

I have no idea about the guys participating in the poll but that statement is a real put down to millions of engineers and other folks who use their minds to create intellectual property every day. Clearly the products of their minds (intellectual property) has value, otherwise the companies that employ them would not do so. Plenty of people invent things everyday, their employers put those creations into production and we move on to the next day.

Now, you might say that it's a bit shity that your employer gets the patent on something you invented at work and that you only get a salary for the hours you work where as they collect on your creation for a long time. But that is the deal.

Never mind, the gist of my arguments is that unless you have the cash in the bank to defend a patent it's pretty useless having it.

Anyway good luck with your venture, if no one ever tried nothing would ever happen.

Heater.
09-16-2012, 12:59 AM
Bruce,


I cannot imagine a person giving a valid opinion, unless they have participated in the patenting process or had some experience in the field of patents.

Actually that got me thinking as well.

I have never made a movie and I've never written a screen play and I've never studied acting or film making. However I do watch movies and I hope I'm allowed to have an opinion as a paying customer.

As it happens us regular guys are paying customers for technological items and I think we have a right to express an opinion when it looks like the patent system is degrading our experience or costing us more money. This recent spat between Apple and Samsung is a good example. Whole product ranges are being denied to customers in this country or that because of some really nebulous patent claims.

idbruce
09-16-2012, 01:27 AM
@Heater

Hmmm....

First off, you did not provide the full quote, which was:


I would imagine that out of the 1113 voters that answered that poll, probably less than 2% ever had a piece of intellectual property with any possible value.

and you state:


I have no idea about the guys participating in the poll but that statement is a real put down to millions of engineers and other folks who use their minds to create intellectual property every day.

My quote specifically mentions the 1113 voters and I specifically stated that I imagined. However, since you bring it up, I highly doubt that 2% of the voters were engineers or others that dealt with intellectual property.

As for your statement:


As it happens us regular guys are paying customers for technological items and I think we have a right to express an opinion when it looks like the patent system is degrading our experience or costing us more money.

I could not disagree more. A patent gives the right of a monopoly to it's original creator, who in turn must make it as specified in the patent to qualify for protection and reserves the right to charge whatever he deems is appropriate for his intellectual property. If you do not like the intellectual property as presented, then create something better and if you don't like the price, then don't buy it.

Bruce

Heater.
09-16-2012, 01:55 AM
Bruce,

OK, you are right, neither of us can say anything sensible about the voters in the poll as we don't know who they are. We can "imagine" what we like but it is meaningless.


A patent gives the right of a monopoly to it's original creator, who in turn must make it as specified in the patent to qualify for protection...


As far as I know that is not true. It is not necessary to actually make the thing in order to get a patent on it. Having obtained the patent it still not necessary to make the thing. Perhaps you license the idea to someone else to use, perhaps you don't. Perhaps you just wait until someone else starts to make the thing (Which you know they will because the idea was obvious anyway) then hit them with patent infringement suite. Ever heard of "patent troll"?


if you don't like the price, then don't buy it.

That is not so clear.

As a consumer, I might observe that something has been invented, there is a way to make it, I would like to buy it. It does happen that sometimes this whole patent mess gets in the way. The product is not available, the price is too high, or supply is limited. All for no good practical reason.

In a history book on the development of steam power and industy the author noted that the patents held by James Watt and others had held up the development of industry for more than twenty years. That book is now a hundred years old! This is not a new story. (Wish I could find you the title of the book, Google has it online somewhere).

idbruce
09-16-2012, 02:05 AM
It is not necessary to actually make the thing in order to get a patent on it. Having obtained the patent it still not necessary to make the thing.

This is true, but whenever an item is created for sale under the protection of a patent, it must be made as specified in the "claims" and "specification".


It does happen that sometimes this whole patent mess gets in the way.

I agree completely, but if someone had not iniated the idea, it may not have been invented for 300 years. Since the original inventor owns the concept, it remains in limbo until the patent expires.

Bean
09-16-2012, 01:09 PM
Bruce, I wish you the best of luck.

I lost all respect for the patent system while working for a client I was told I couldn't use PWM to control a RGB LED to make different colors because it was patented. This is just one example of people abusing the patent system. And the patent system (an courts) allowing it.

The patent system has become nothing more than a way for big companies with lots of money to intimidate small companies. And to PREVENT innovation, not support it.

And I place the blame on the patent office. By issuing overly broad patent, and patents for totally obvious ideas (like using PWM to make colors). The whole patent system is a joke, and need a complete overhaul.

Bean

Loopy Byteloose
09-16-2012, 02:06 PM
At one time I worked for a friend that made a nice fortune in the mylar balloon novelty business where he had a basic patent on their manufacturer. He sold to places like GM, Disney, and so on.

But even with his patent, he had at least two very well funded rivals that completely ignored his patent rights, and one was a venture owned by a major trade union pension fund.

He simply had the choice of wasting all his profits in defence of his patent or to make money as fast as he could and get out when he was fed up with it. He choose to do the latter.

In business, one keeps score with dollar, not patents.

Loopy Byteloose
09-16-2012, 02:13 PM
Of course, you could sell it to the Electrician Union's Pension Fund for a royalty and just let them bring it to market. I am sure they would make sure contractors gave it due consideration.

Mike G
09-16-2012, 02:27 PM
Agreed Loppy B, I messed around with patents in a previous small business of mine. I found it more profitable to focus on getting new products out the door quickly and as comprehensive as possible.

Whatever is clever... If a patent makes you happy than by all means get a patent. Why does it matter if idbruce prefers a patent?

idbruce
09-16-2012, 02:35 PM
@Bean

Thanks for the well wishes.

I am sure there are many flaws within the patenting system and I am sure there are many patents that should not have been issued. However let me give you a different perspective. My perspective is that it is the only one that we currently have and I am glad it is in place. In my opinion and in the overall scheme of things, I believe it is a pretty fair deal, because in exchange for the previously mentioned 20 year monopoly on an idea, an inventor must accurately describe and provide drawings that will allow anyone "skilled in the art" to make the invention, after the 20 year monopoly has expired. In other words (and I say this loosely, because it would require further research), since patents are issued in numerical order and dated, if I am seeking very specific technical information to create something, I can always research patents, seeking out knowledge that I am unaware of or finding out information on how to do something. If a patent has a number or a date 20 years prior to the current date, it is fair game and up for grabs, and I can use this information for my own products and financial gain. There are many patents that have expired that still have a lot of financial potential. Now let's take a look at the opposite side of the coin, if the patenting process did not exist, do you think such well documented information would be available? I don't think it would, because there would be no incentive to create such a documented and detailed piece of literary work. Additionally, while it seems that everyone criticizes that patenting process, it is the only system capable of protecting the small guy like me with a valid idea. That piece of paper is my only protection to prevent other people with more money from stealing my concept.

Bruce

potatohead
09-16-2012, 02:50 PM
I second what Bean said.

I don't support the idea of software patents at all, and that Android case right along with many, many industry abuses in general are why. Additionally, we are struggling with things like the Amazon one click, FAT, etc... which really don't add a lot of value.

Set those aside, like some parts of the world do, and there still are issues.

In the late 90's, I helped a friend obtain a patent related to starters. It was a real boot strap operation, starting from concept, machined prototypes the two of us made, through product launch, including many of the steps mentioned above.

He got success on all fronts. Patent, distribution of product, etc...

The Post Office was interested in the technology because they go through a lot of starters. That proposal was made in Washington DC, and appeared to be the big one similar to what Bruce is looking for with his creation.

Then the overseas knockoffs came. We were never sure who actually triggered it, but once they started, it was no contest, and he ended up not realizing much of the benefit of the process as the realities of litigation costs and overseas labor hit home. Not a pretty story at all.

IMHO, his was a non-obvious design. Legit patent compared to the many "troll" type patents out there today. The real story ended up being simple $$$, and those with a lot of them just went ahead and did their thing.

Another one was the classic employer patent. A co-worker and I in the 80's designed a new sheet metal joint process that ended up patented. It's a useful thing that can actually be done on a standard press break, and it sits somewhere unused for that employer wanting the ego plaque on the wall more than anything else, asking very unreasonable terms...

That joint design ended up being altered by us, used in many places, and it's out there just because of that.

I think the idea of it is good. I don't think the current implementation of it on a policy level makes any real sense at all. I could put another set of stories from North Cali inventors all getting hosed in similar ways. They do real innovation only to see it knocked off, or litigated into impotence... with the real losses being products that are not ever seen, or mass produced with inferior performance, etc...

Heater.
09-16-2012, 03:19 PM
Bruce,

I agree with your arguments for patents there.


That piece of paper is my only protection to prevent other people with more money from stealing my concept.


However I think the question in many minds here is: How does that piece of paper prevent people with more money stealing your concept.? Unless you have deep pockets to launch a legal attack all you can do is wave the paper at them and say "pretty please don't do that".

And here is todays whacky patent (literally) award:

http://www.patentbolt.com/2012/09/microsoft-patent-how-to-silence-your-device-by-whacking-it-off.html

http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=20120231838.PGNR.&OS=DN/20120231838RS=DN/20120231838

At this point I can't tell if these things are jokes or not. Either way it should not be happening.

idbruce
09-16-2012, 03:26 PM
Heater


How does that piece of paper prevent people with more money stealing your concept.?

Even though many bad things have happened in my life, I have always been a positive thinker. I refuse to think about such things until it occurs. As they say, I will cross that bridge when I get to it. At which point, I will be glad that I have that paper to help defend myself.

Bruce

idbruce
09-16-2012, 04:05 PM
@Everyone

To help prove my point pertaining to the value of patents, please refer to the following links of major corporations:

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Submit/YourIdea/
http://www.fila.com/Idea-Submission/co-IdeaSubmission,default,pg.html
http://www.gmideas.com/gmideas/ideas?action=NewIdea
http://www.henkel.com/innovation/step-1-protect-your-idea-11835.htm
http://www.hersheys.com/contactus/ideas/idea.asp
http://www.nikeinc.com/pages/idea-submission-policy

These are just a few corporations with such requirements, and believe me, there are probably millions of this type of agreements. However, there are other agreements from major corporations, in which you give up all proprietary rights for an idea submission without a patent or receive a small sum of money.

Loopy Byteloose
09-16-2012, 06:05 PM
I would have claimed the patent system to be fair, but when the US doubled up the copyright law about the time Mickey Mouse was due to become public domain - it felt and still feels like the goal post were moved. Certain software dynasties benefited as well the music industry and so on.

I do realize these were principles that were embraced by our founding fathers in the Constitution, but there are periods in history where all countries get off in the weeds due to corrupt influences.

I am certainly not impressed by patented roses - though there are people out their that are seriously trying to make it big with the right hybrid. I have a song book here with the publisher claiming to own the copyright for 'Happy Birthday' and just maybe under the new copyright law it is true.

I suppose the only way to get ahead in life is to marry a brilliant lawyer that is truly in love with you.

Bob Lawrence (VE1RLL)
09-17-2012, 02:57 AM
@idbruce (http://forums.parallax.com/member.php?44920-idbruce)

Excellent Bruce. All the best with it.I hope you make lots of money. :cool:


Bob

Heater.
09-17-2012, 10:38 AM
Loopy,


..I would have claimed the patent system to be fair, but when the US doubled up the copyright law...

Do not mix up copyright and patents. They are not the same at all. Although they seemed to get bandied about together all the time. And then there is tradmark law. All intellectual property, all different.


I have a song book here with the publisher claiming to own the copyright for 'Happy Birthday' and just maybe under the new copyright law it is true.


If you want to be shocked and appaled check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You . That song is basically over a hundered years old and is still fought over.

idbruce
09-17-2012, 12:36 PM
@Bob Lawrence

Thanks Bob.Such is my hope also. I just wish the big corporations would move a little faster.

@Loopy

As Heater mentioned:


Do not mix up copyright and patents. They are not the same at all. Although they seemed to get bandied about together all the time.

In fact, copyrights and patents are governed by two completely different branches of government. The United States Copyright Office is a branch of the Library Of Congress and the United States Patent And Trademark Office is a branch of the United States Department Of Commerce. There is a HUGE difference between copyright law and patent law.

EDIT: I once used the term "method" in a copyright application (which is a patent term) and the copyright office responded by rejecting my application and telling me that "methods" were handled by the patent office. To me it was absurd, because with the exception of using that word, I believe the application was valid. LOL

NWCCTV
09-20-2012, 02:28 AM
OK. So Bruce sent me out some samples. After testing them out I have found that they work 100% as described. This will make life easier for anyone that is a one man operation and does not like wasting time. I will definately be ordering more once the samples I received run out.

Circuitsoft
09-21-2012, 08:40 PM
SparkFun has a fascinating article on, what they call, IP Obesity (http://www.sparkfun.com/news/963). It may be worth reading.

idbruce
10-08-2012, 08:21 PM
UPDATE

Okay folks, it appears as though the idea is gaining momentum. There is still no offer on the table, but positive feedback by the corporation earlier today, has made today a much brighter day.

Bruce

mindrobots
10-08-2012, 09:00 PM
Great news!!

96098

idbruce
10-29-2012, 06:20 PM
Well here is some news for my friends in the forum.

According to the last feedback that I received from the "unnamed corporation", this will be the week that a second market evaluation will be conducted concerning my patent and product. I should know very soon, whether or not they intend to invest. :)

The suspense is still killing me.

Bruce

prof_braino
10-29-2012, 09:30 PM
you deserve to be rich. and the electricians deserve to have your spring clip in their tool box. i hope it comes through this time, in time for the holidays!

idbruce
10-29-2012, 11:42 PM
@prof_braino

LOL I like the way you think. I don't know whether I deserve to be rich or not, but hopefully the struggling part will be over soon. And if that turns out to be the case, then I would imagine that electricians should be able to purchase them locally through their favorite electrical supply house or hardware outlet by the middle of next year. It won't take this company long to get them out there.

I have smoked enough cigarettes in the last two months to last the average smoker half a year. Perhaps another week or two of chain smoking and I should have an answer.

Bruce

idbruce
11-05-2012, 01:13 PM
To Those That May Be Interested

The second market evaluation should now be finished and it is now time for the unnamed corporation to start making a final decision. Will their final decision be interested or not interested? I don't know the answer to that question, but I hope and believe they will be interested.

Bruce


$$$$$$$$ or $0.00 That is the question!!!!!!!!

idbruce
11-09-2012, 11:10 PM
UPDATE

Okay.... I got a little impatient this morning, knowing that the second market evaluation should be complete, so I sent an email asking if they were still interested.

The good news is.... They are still interested. :)

and

The bad news is... It will take two to three months to get to the next phase, because they still have to cipher acquired data. :(

idbruce
05-06-2013, 05:22 PM
Hello Everyone

I am sure that some of you were wondering what happened to me, perhaps a few even missed my little antics. While I awaited an answer from the "unnamed corporation" (Ideal Industries, Inc.), I thought I would lay low for a little while and try to make some headway on my other projects, but it has been very difficult since the funds dried up. Anyhow, after having almost exclusive access to my patent for over a year and going through two market evaluations, Ideal Industries, Inc. finally decided against a venture with my product. I would imagine that the pressure I was applying didn't help to provide a positive outcome :) At the current time 3M is currently evaluating the patent, and of course my fingers are still crossed. And if they turn me down, there are still many other companies to pursue.

In the meantime, over the last month or two, I have been working on a new project, doing a lot of graphics work and programming. I have a new product that I want to offer, so I am currently building a new website to showcase the product line and attract visitors. The new product will be a wide variety of vintage and antique patent drawing reproductions, and the new website will be based upon the same programming of the old Scrollables.com website, that I am sure you have heard me refer to. It will be a very handy and unique website directory for those that don't like sifting through the results provided by search engines, and as an added attraction, there will be many historical, interesting, and even comical patent drawing reproductions to look at and purchase if you are so inclined. I am hoping to have the new website fully functional in a week or two.

Anyhow, there you have it, the drama of my life :)

Bruce

erco
05-06-2013, 05:48 PM
Gald to hear you're back in the fray, idbruce. Among your many "to do" projects, don't forget to have some fun trying that figure 8 challenge with a robot of your choice...

At one point, I thought we had you: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php/138125-Erco-s-Figure-Eight-Challenge?p=1078606&viewfull=1#post1078606

idbruce
05-06-2013, 09:58 PM
Erco

I have thought about that challenge many times since the reading it, however the foremost challenge for me at this time is to get some steady revenue rolling in. Hopefully the new website will help.

Bruce

NWCCTV
05-06-2013, 10:43 PM
Wow, I can not believe Ideal did not jump on those. You may end up seeing a modified version on the market. That's the way the "Big Guys" like to do it since they think their lawyers can handle any lawsuits. Perfect example, Robert Kearns (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kearns). Good luck in getting them on the market. I can attest that they work great and have saved me a lot of time.

idbruce
05-06-2013, 11:54 PM
Wow, I can not believe Ideal did not jump on those.

I think they really liked the idea, but I also think they got tired of me pressing them for a decision. I couldn't help but apply pressure, because they really drag their feet in evaluating new products and patents. I would not wish my last year +, on any inventor. Quite a few high and lows during that time, and it wore me out.

Anyhow, I am glad you liked them.

Bruce

Don M
05-07-2013, 12:07 AM
Do you suppose it was a ploy on their part to "keep your patent occupied" in essence keeping it off the market for others to see while they devise a plan of their own? Did you give them exclusivity so that you couldn't market it to others while they are evaluating?

Just curious....

Publison
05-07-2013, 12:44 AM
Bruce. Good to see you back!

Jim

idbruce
05-07-2013, 02:17 AM
@Don M


Did you give them exclusivity so that you couldn't market it to others while they are evaluating?

I can't real say that it was "exclusive", because my portion of the patent has an actual price tag and it is for sale, but I was not seeking out other companies, mostly out of courtesy and because I think they were the company that I wanted to end up with, just in case it would have become a licensing agreement, instead of an assignment.

The delay could have been a ploy, while they experimented with different ideas to circumvent the patent, but I think the claims cover the idea pretty thoroughly. I left an open door, just in case they change their mind before I actually make a move.

@Jim

I am not back yet, just visiting and providng an update. When I finally get some cash rolling in, I plan to start manufacturing my linear actuators and experimenting with building 3D printing machines and my pcb drillers, and then I will be back on a regular basis again.