[rollei_list] Re: OT - "Praise don't pay the bills" (was: "NIH Syndrome" (was: Liquid Lenses))

  • From: Ardeshir Mehta <ardeshir@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 09:55:22 -0500


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. They don't bother to actually read 
it, of course: they just file it away for two years, and then destroy 
it. However, if the sender keeps the copy which they send back, he or 
she can produce it at any time as proof that whatever is written in 
that paper is a description of his/her concept on the stamped date. If 
anyone can prove that they thought of the same thing before that date, 
then he/she is out of luck. But if they can't, then he/she is clearly 
proven to be the first person to think of the idea. I have many such 
copies in my files, with the US Patent Office stamp on them, plus the 
date. Of course I try to write up the paper in as accurate and 
foolproof a way as I can: more or less like a patent application 
without the claims, so that it covers all the bases (or more correctly, 
all the bases I can think of). But the date and the US Patent Office 
stamp on the paper are sufficient to prove in any court of law that on 
that date at least, it was I who thought of the idea described therein.

Perhaps they don't offer this service any more. But if so, that's news 
to me, because as I said, I have done it personally, and that too many 
times, in the past.



On Monday, January 24, 2005, at 11:56  PM, Austin Franklin wrote:

> Ardeshir,
>> REGISTERING the idea, however, with the Patent Office, with two 
>> copies of your paper outlining the idea - or better still, your 
>> patent application (*sans* claims), if you can write it - sent to 
>> them by you, and a stamped and dated copy sent back to you by them, 
>> is a good idea.
> There is no such thing as "registering" an "idea". What you can do is 
> file a "provisional application", which does not have to include a 
> formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information 
> disclosure (prior art) statement. After you file the provisional 
> application, you only have 12 months to submit your actual patent 
> application.
> You also don't patent an "idea", you patent an implementation. A 
> provisional patent application must include a written description of 
> the invention (implementation), and any drawings necessary to 
> understand the invention (implementation). Not simply a description of 
> some "idea".
>> It costs only $10 or so, and you have an official and unimpeachable 
>> record of a date at which the idea was thought of.
> Filing a provisional application is $200 minimum. I don't know where 
> you got $10 from.
> Austin

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