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  • Got gearbox idea, no-one interested

    Discussion in 'Protecting your designs or inventions' started by borges, Jun 2, 2010.

    1. borges

      borges New Member

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      Hi,

      A few years ago I came up with an idea for a gearbox for hybrid cars. I don't work as a mechanical engineer, and I don't have access to the facilities needed to prototype or patent a car gearbox. Still, I believe the idea has value.

      I did try to contact a couple car manufacturers, but without patenting and a ton of legal work (which I can't afford) following the idea, they don't want to touch it with a ten-foot poker.

      Have you been in a similar situation? What would you do? Rather than have it collect dust on my hard drive I thought I might as well put it in the public domain. Or publish it and hope that maybe a sponsor in a first-to-invent-not-first-to-patent legislation shows up.


      Thanks for your advice!
      Borge
       
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    3. Pete

      Pete Well-Known Member

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      Hi Borge,

      I don't consider my self an expert, but there are a couple of paths that i've heard of people taking:

      The first is a "business angel" - (think dragons den) - some guy or company with a lot of money (and more importantly, contacts) who will invest it in a project that they like - for a share of the profits!

      The other might be to look at some consultancies - I know of one who specialises is getting inventors up and running through to a working prototype and patented phase. I belive the company is called Innovate Product Design (other design consultancies are available...).


      I'm currently working for a company who's MD came up with the idea for his product nearly a decade ago, and it's taken him this long to get the prototyping, testing and funding in place to build a company around his idea. My advice would be to expect to be rejected. A lot. But never ever give up. Also, if your idea is not patented, you have to be SO careful who you show it to and how you talk about it. Someone around here might know some more info on None Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) which bind both parties to confidentiality, but i don't know how that works in terms of patent infringement etc.

      Best of luck!
       
    4. borges

      borges New Member

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      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your advice. I've got too much going on to consider funding a company based on this idea. This isn't the only "good idea" to strike my head lately! If it can be of benefit to someone, that's great. But I'm not in a position to take a lot of risk with my time and money right now. If that means a smaller share of any profits, so be it.

      My experience is that a large company will not sign my NDA if they fear that may bind any of their own unpublished projects. Or they will sign my NDA knowing that if it comes to a court case I will not have the resources to enforce it. It's a little bit like dark-age warfare. You may be right and own a stick, but the other guy owns a sword and a war horse and doesn't really care.

      I did submit the idea to BMW's inventor submission thingy and got it rejected. Mazda wouldn't look at it unless it came with a licensing agreement.

      If there are any business angels reading this forum, please let me know. I guess one option in my position is to give it to them openmindedly and open-source the whole thing if there isn't a positive response.

      Borge
       
    5. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      I've just moved this topic into the Legal/IP subforum where it might feel more at home :)
       
    6. Camid

      Camid Well-Known Member

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      Check out http://www.reallyuk.co.uk/ - they run IP workshops. Also sign up to www.Ideas21.co.uk (they hold workshops up at the British library - one coming up soon)

      These may help in your search. As Gareth says, maybe you need to talk to an engineer with expert knowledge. I know one or two engineers that would be happy to sign NDA and have a quick look for you. Also talk to ImechE and see if they can help point you in the right direction. Maybe there is an engineer on MDF that can help?

      Approaching the car companies direct does not seem to work out but finding engineering firms connected to the gearbox industry may prove more fruitful. How about - http://www.llewellins.co.uk/ or http://www.muffettgears.co.uk/ or http://www.parker-eng.co.uk/ for example (don't know if they are have the right experience for you) You need a company with gearbox experience - not just the ability to assemble a car (remember the car companies sub out a lot of their sub-systems to companies like Visteon etc.)

      My advice would be to talk to an engineer BEFORE you go to the expense of IP.
      Best of luck.
      Alex
       
    7. borges

      borges New Member

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      Thanks a lot Alex!

      I'll be quite busy for a week but I'll contact the people you mentioned.

      Regards,
      Borge
       
    8. spiceage

      spiceage Member

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      I would be inclined to discuss it with one of the patentee "institutions" before exposing to any commercial interest. Ideas21 has already been mentioned: also contact the IPI (Institution of Patentees and Inventors) who I have found helpful and knowledgeable. Business Link and their association with the British Library who have an "Inventor in Residence" for consultations (by appointment) is another good resource. Good luck, Charles
       
    9. toler-fes

      toler-fes Member

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      If there is any element of "perpetual motion" to your idea for a gearbox, do yourself a favor and do not spend any money or time on it. I recently reviewed such a design from a hopeful inventor that had a spring that was wound up by one shaft to power another shaft. If it was only that simple and easy to get around "conservation of energy", it would already be in your car.
      Good Luck.
       
    10. adiguntemitayo

      adiguntemitayo New Member

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      What are will advise you to do is that find some design laboratory that invest in Discovery and can be able to work with you on your idea and you will see that you dream of A Gear Box for Hybrid Car. Moreso, if you can design a prototype of the concept on your system, You can go futher to market your ideals.


       
    11. garnettools

      garnettools Member

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      Here in Dewas there is a company named Fluidomat Ltd. They manufacture couplings which are useful in generators and have helped companies to increase efficiency.
      Is your gear bos similar?
      I would like to know more about it to see its market and propects.
      ANKUR BANTHIA
       

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