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

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

idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
edited 2013-05-06 18:17 in General Discussion
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
«134567

Comments

  • ercoerco Posts: 20,013
    edited 2012-01-12 13:39
    Sweet! Congrats on the patent and hope it does you well!
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-12 13:51
    Thanks erco. I just wish I had someone to do the marketing for me.
  • PublisonPublison Posts: 12,154
    edited 2012-01-12 14:03
    idbruce wrote: »
    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
  • schillschill Posts: 741
    edited 2012-01-12 14:05
    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?
  • ercoerco Posts: 20,013
    edited 2012-01-12 14:10
    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? :)
    600 x 800 - 45K
    600 x 800 - 45K
    600 x 800 - 37K
  • Dr_AculaDr_Acula Posts: 5,484
    edited 2012-01-12 14:24
    Congratulations and I wish you success in your business!
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-12 14:25
    @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"
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-12 14:31
    @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_brainoprof_braino Posts: 4,312
    edited 2012-01-12 15:14
    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.
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-12 15:35
    @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.
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,970
    edited 2012-01-12 21:31
    Congratulations and best of luck Bruce.
  • bill190bill190 Posts: 769
    edited 2012-01-12 21:48
    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
  • bill190bill190 Posts: 769
    edited 2012-01-12 21:52
    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???
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-13 04:52
    @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.
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2012-01-13 09:13
    Congratulations!. Keep us posted on how you cash in on it.
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-13 13:06
    @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. :)
  • $WMc%$WMc% Posts: 1,884
    edited 2012-01-13 16:50
    Congratulations on the Patent..!!!!
  • 4x5n4x5n Posts: 729
    edited 2012-01-13 18:12
    idbruce wrote: »
    @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.
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-13 18:33
    @$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.
  • MicksterMickster Posts: 1,892
    edited 2012-01-14 06:13
    idbruce wrote: »


    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

  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-14 07:59
    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
  • MicksterMickster Posts: 1,892
    edited 2012-01-14 08:40
    Ummm OK :blank:
  • davejamesdavejames Posts: 4,031
    edited 2012-01-14 08:46
    ...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!
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-14 09:12
    @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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  • MicksterMickster Posts: 1,892
    edited 2012-01-14 09:44
    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_brainoprof_braino Posts: 4,312
    edited 2012-01-14 10:00
    Good insights. This patent thing is a large and icky (technical term) issue. It will be interesting to see how different approaches pan out
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-14 10:14
    @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_HMartin_H Posts: 4,050
    edited 2012-01-14 10:21
    Bruce, congratulations.
  • MicksterMickster Posts: 1,892
    edited 2012-01-14 10:33
    @idbruce...I for one am getting mixed messages from you...


    idbruce wrote: »
    @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?:
    idbruce wrote: »


    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:
    1. 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.
    2. Once again, it puts the concept on record and it gives you the right to state "patent pending".

    Mickster
  • idbruceidbruce Posts: 6,173
    edited 2012-01-14 10:51
    @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.
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