how to approach company with idea w/o patent

ideasforrentideasforrent subscriber Posts: 3
Hi
I have an idea for a new design for an ink pen that offers a specific feature that I know people would love but that is not currently out there.  But I have no patent.  Is there a way to approach a company and share my idea with them for them to consider buying it from me if I don`t have a patent to protect the idea.  Would a confidentiality agreement cover such a situation.
Edward Clutterideasforrent.com  "Because an [idea] is a terrible thing to waste."
 ideasforrent2007-7-29 20:26:48

Comments

  • GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    Hello Edward and Welcome to the board!  There are some great attorneys around here so most certainly wait for the professional advice, but here is my 2 cents
    A NDA (non-disclosure agreement) or confidentiality agreement is something that you want to be armed with when talking to pretty much anyone if you do not have a patent.  The kicker is that most of the big companies will refuse to sign one because that leaves them open for trouble in case they are also working on the same idea or something similar in house.  It is common for manufactures to require a tangible asset such as a pending patent, copyright, or trademark.  There are cases though that this is not necessary and you could get a deal.  Personally (and this is just me) I would not start knocking on doors until I at least had "patent pending" status.  It sometimes takes years to complete the patent process so I would not wait around for the pretty piece of paper, but I would get the ball rolling.  That is JUST ME.  I`m sure you`ll get some more great advice soon.  Best of luck and keep us posted!  I`m very intrigued by the thought of a better ink pen!GrillCharmer2007-7-26 15:24:12
  • olliepureolliepure subscriber Posts: 3
    Yes Grill Charmer!  I piggyback your information with the fact that we at NHF  filed a provisional application for the sake of modifications and a covering.  That move alone enabled us to began to showcase our concept to countless people without fear of being robbed.  Since then we have been contacted by production companies and many who want to help expose our idea.  Again I agree with the term,"patent pending".  This will allow you time and a covering to showcase your invention as you promote yourself without fear!   
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    confidentiality agreements are not that useful if/when something goes wrong.  consider the patent route.
  • ideasforrentideasforrent subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice.  it sounds like I need to at least get a patent pending on it before approaching anyone.  I would be interested in hearing how one goes about contacting a company when the time comes.  Is cold calling companies the only way or is there another way?
    Edward Clutterideasforrent.com  "Because an [idea] is a terrible thing to waste."
  • EricCorlEricCorl subscriber Posts: 0
    Edward, I like your site. I`m guessing the reason you don`t have a patent is either because you are too busy or you are weighing the benefit to incurring the cost of filing a full patent which can get REALLY expensive.
    I would recommend filing at least a provisional patent. You can easily attain a provisional patent for less that $500.  One site I usually recommend is Legal Zoom.
    Once you file a provisional patent, you are patent pending and you can go to the table with more leverage.  Keep in mind though that you then have to file for your full patent within 12 months or you lose the protection.
    This is a low cost way to protect yourself when pitching a product to a company. 
    File the provisional and then see what the interest is in your product before incurring the full cost of the patent.
    Good Luck!
  • EricCorlEricCorl subscriber Posts: 0
    Look to first identify a patentable design. Do not spend money filing a patent prior to defining what you have and determining whether or not you want to continue.
    Feel free to view our educational articles; http://www.ideabuyer.com/news
  • unlimited22unlimited22 subscriber Posts: 1
    I short, don`t do it if you want to get paid at all.
     
    At the very least, copyright the design. (approx $40)
     
    Then get a Provistional Patent (approx $100)
     
    Then seek a Patent Attorney (can get an NDA) who may assist or counsel you.
     
    Good luck!
     
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