• Welcome to engineeringclicks.com
  • If I use a forum member's idea does that wreck my patent?

    Discussion in 'Protecting your designs or inventions' started by AriLiquids, Aug 29, 2013.

    1. Patent attorney engineer

      Patent attorney engineer New Member

      Joined:
      Oct 2013
      Posts:
      3
      Likes Received:
      0
      Dear Cam2248,

      No. You do not need a provisional patent application to the benefit from the Australian, Canadian and US grace periods. Each of these twelve month grace periods end when the first non-provisional patent application is filed in each country.

      Here is is a link to a page of my firm's site with more on the Australian patent grace period.

      I'll leave it to US and Canadian patent attorneys to comment on the nuances of their countries' grace periods. The relevant laws differ from country to country, and the America Invents Act made significant changes to the relevant US law in 2013.

      It's worth repeating that as a general rule to get valid patent protection for an idea, the idea must be kept secret until an initial patent application is filed. Most countries do not have grace periods, and even in the few countries that do have grace periods you improve your prospects of obtaining effective patent protection by keeping the invention secret until a suitable patent application has been filed.
       
    2.  
    3. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Dec 2018
      Posts:
      139
      Likes Received:
      0
      I had a guest-lecturer from the Patent Office when I was in Design School and one example that they gave was of a patent being denied because the idea had already been shown in a comic book in the 1940s!

      So, be very careful about sharing anything, anywhere public!
       
    4. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Nov 2018
      Posts:
      71
      Likes Received:
      0
      I took a course on patenting in 2014, and I had the same question “If I find something meaningful online and then base my design on that, would this be nonpatentable.” And my professors answer to it was. “If you patent it first, it does not matter. The design will be yours. However, you should always make sure the product/mechanism you are designing actually needs patenting or not, if its fairly complex and cannot be reverse engineered you don’t need to patent it, therefore you don’t have to reveal the design of it to the world.”

      The point being said, it does not matter who came up with the idea, as long as you designed it and patent it before he patents the idea, the product is yours.
       
    5. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Dec 2018
      Posts:
      139
      Likes Received:
      0
      Yeah, some interesting points there.

      Once you get the idea out there into the Public Domain it can't then be retrospectively patented by someone else.

      I often tell my clients basically not to bother patenting - firstly you're basically describing how your idea works, in great detail, to the entire world, but mostly importantly you then have to protect that patent which can potentially cost a LOT of money.
      I often advise just to get your product out there and use the 'first mover advantage' whilst all of your competitors are still trying to catch up.
      In reality nearly everything can be reverse engineered but this might take six months or a year, by which time you have established yourself as a market leader.
       
    6. Dana

      Dana Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Sep 2010
      Posts:
      375
      Likes Received:
      3
      Your professor is mistaken. If you document an invention and work on developing it and somebody else applies for a patent for the same invention first, you can still challenge it and get the patent yourself, provided you were working on developing or marketing it. If, however, you document the idea and then leave it untouched until somebody else comes up with the same idea and patents it, you're out of luck.
       
    7. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Dec 2018
      Posts:
      139
      Likes Received:
      0
      Yeah, I bet there are thousands of great ideas sitting in people's notebooks, never to be properly developed!
       
    8. Obashb

      Obashb Member

      Joined:
      Dec 2018
      Posts:
      14
      Likes Received:
      0
      First off, as an engineer you must be guided by ethics. It will always be in best interest to contact the person sharing the idea and ask them whether or not their ideas are patented or seek permission to use part or whole of the idea.
      Lifting off someone's idea and implementing it without their approval is jeopardizing the effort and skill put in by the person in formulating it.
       
    9. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Dec 2018
      Posts:
      139
      Likes Received:
      0
      Yes and no. I agree that you shouldn't rip other people off, but building on their ideas is pretty natural and has occurred all throughout history.

      It's like when a cool new product comes out and you always have that one friend who's like, "Hey! I had that idea in college, I knew I should've patented it!"
      Yes, it's easy to have an idea, but how many people can develop it, productionise and market it so that it's a success?
       

    Share This Page

    By using this website you agree to our Cookies usage. We and our partners operate globally and use cookies, including for analytics, personalisation, ads and Newsletters