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re: looking for design parteners. to build or patten designs.
13 nov 2002
henri wilson  wrote:

>do you know of a case where an amateur successfully sued a big company?

the delayed-wiper guy was successful, no? i'd suggest getting a lawyer for
the suit, perhaps on contingency. david pressman's excellent "patent it
yourself" (nolo press) book can help you get a patent without an attorney. 

the invention has to be really useful for this "notify people and wait
for them to steal the invention" marketing technique to work. "submarine
patents" are an interesting game. you think of an idea that is useful, but
ahead of its time, ie impractical at the moment, eg cellphones in 1975, 
when they would have required a trailer full of electronics. the patent
office basically just cares whether an invention will work as described.
they don't care much whether it's the size of a sugar cube or a car, nor
if it costs $1 or $10,000, nor if the efficiency is 1% or 99%. so you get
a patent on an "impractical-for-now" invention and wait a few years for
tecbnological improvements that will make the invention useful enough for
someone to steal, ie produce, then sue them...

in the ae field, you might patent a windmill held aloft with a balloon vs
a tower (although i suspect that's already been done), even though present
balloon materials wouldn't last long enough in the weather to be economical,
and wait for higher electric rates or better balloon materials.  

nick




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