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Bragging Rights!!! The Wire Bending CNC and the Patent Application - Page 6 — Parallax Forums

Bragging Rights!!! The Wire Bending CNC and the Patent Application

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  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    edited 2012-09-15 05:25
    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.
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-09-15 05:41
    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.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    edited 2012-09-15 16:49
    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.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    edited 2012-09-15 16:59
    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.
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-09-15 17:27
    @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.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    edited 2012-09-15 17:55
    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).
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-09-15 18:05
    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.
  • BeanBean Posts: 8,122
    edited 2012-09-16 05:09
    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
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited 2012-09-16 06:06
    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.
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited 2012-09-16 06:13
    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 GMike G Posts: 2,702
    edited 2012-09-16 06:27
    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?
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-09-16 06:35
    @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
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,191
    edited 2012-09-16 06:50
    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.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    edited 2012-09-16 07:19
    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.
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-09-16 07:26
    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
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-09-16 08:05
    @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.
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited 2012-09-16 10:05
    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)Bob Lawrence (VE1RLL) Posts: 1,719
    edited 2012-09-16 18:57
    @idbruce

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


    Bob
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    edited 2012-09-17 02:38
    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.
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-09-17 04:36
    @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
  • NWCCTVNWCCTV Posts: 3,629
    edited 2012-09-19 18:28
    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.
  • CircuitsoftCircuitsoft Posts: 1,091
    edited 2012-09-21 12:40
    SparkFun has a fascinating article on, what they call, IP Obesity. It may be worth reading.
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-10-08 12:21
    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
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,506
    edited 2012-10-08 13:00
    Great news!!

    snape.jpg
    500 x 348 - 21K
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-10-29 10:20
    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_brainoprof_braino Posts: 4,312
    edited 2012-10-29 13:30
    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!
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-10-29 15:42
    @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
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-11-05 05:13
    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!!!!!!!!
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-11-09 15:10
    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. :(
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2013-05-06 09:22
    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
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