On Tuesday, January 25, 2005, at 10:35 AM, Siu Fai wrote: >> I have registered my ideas with the US patent Office in Washington >> many, many times - over two dozen times, if memory serves. In the >> past - that was more than ten years ago - it used to cost me just >> $10, plus enough US postage for them to mail back one copy of >> whatever it was that I sent them. It never cost me anywhere near >> $200. All it takes is a write-up of the idea - it doesn't have to be >> a patent application, provisional or otherwise: it can even be crude >> drawings or a rough concept - in two copies, and they send back one >> of the copies with a date and an official stamp on it, proving that >> on that date the idea had been thought of by the sender. > > I don't think that this is the official way. Do you get a patent of > file number for your ideas? No, you don't. It is just available to prove that on the stamped date you had thought of the idea described in the paper. IOW it means that if anyone files a patent application purporting to have thought of it after that date, you can produce your paper in court saying that they are not entitled to a patent, since the idea is not a new one. (To be suitable for a patent, an idea must be "new, useful and unobvious".) > Here in Germany, the official patent application is definitely > different. Our institute has special officers that write official > patent application. They first check if the idea is viable for a > patent application. After this, they start writing the official > application, which means that they make ten pages text out of one page > of original description ;-). It then goes to the German patent office, > and if the claim is real, then you get an official patent number. > After the German patent, we often send to foreign patent offices as > well applying for their patents. But the numbers of foreign offices > are limited since there is some costs involved (probably that $200 > that Austin said). So we have a standard list of countries for the > patent inquiry. The institute pays the fees, if we want to add another > country that is not on the list than we have to pay ourselves. This doesn't seem much different than it is is over here. For organisations, that is. Cheers.