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End of my Rope!!!

24

Comments

  • RichRich administrator Posts: 582 Site Admin
    BetterMoustrap - are you wanting to license your invention or commercialize it through formation of a company?are you interested in running the company if the latter is your plan?
  • BetterMousetrapBetterMousetrap subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Rich-
    At the risk of sounding over-ambitious, both. I`d like to bake my cake &
    eat it too!

    In all honesty, I feel I have a very concrete plan to finance a large
    corporation with the revenues earned by a licensing agreement with every
    motorcycle manufacturer who desires to remain competitive in the
    market. When Volvo was proposing seatbelts be put in every vehicle
    made, the industry as a whole was reluctant. But when the "industry" saw
    the data Volvo had compiled through their R&D they were compelled to
    follow suite, otherwise face being ostrisized by the public for not caring
    for their customers well-being.

    My device could carry an equally large influence on the Motorcycle
    Industry due to the simple fact that it makes the operation of the bike
    more user-friendly, thus safer. If a company like Honda adopts the idea &
    Harley doesn`t, the consumer will vote with their money.

    In the interest of safer operation, the rider will be more confident, so men
    & women alike who were doubtful in their abilities to safely operate a
    motorcycle will now feel that the operation is "second nature", bringing
    into the market a customer base that could not exist before the adoption
    of this device. Using the industry`s sales data, demographics, & forecasts-
    this could essentially DOUBLE the sales of motorcycles both here in the
    U.S. and abroad.

    As far as "The Company" is concerned, I would like to branch out into a
    number of markets that could be considered as "durable goods", but at
    this stage it is more of a long term goal. I just want my potential investors
    to know that this isn`t a short sighted plan- if I were to start the company
    today I would retain the services of a company or companies that could
    manufactuer our designs to supply demand for the aftermarket industry
    until the idea caught on. As sales grew these company`s might become
    my subsidearies... But my preference would be to start at the top & work
    down from there. Honda is Top Dog right now- whatever they do the
    world takes notice.
    Sorry for such a long answer, any questions?
    Rob O.


  • EMMYTAYEMMYTAY subscriber Posts: 0
    Don`t forget that in patent law, once you start selling your product, you have only a year to patent it.  If you change it, as you suggest, then you have a year from that date.  I`m not sure about International Patents and their time frames.  I did not get my patent filed in the time limits and now have to make changes in order to patent my "product" now.
    Also, in my opinion, I would definitely cover myself with these patents before selling anything.  Many attorneys will take equity positions or fine the angel investor for you once they see your product.  It is easier for them to turn on an angel than for you to find one.  I`d be looking just to fund the patent filings at this point.
    emmytay
  • RainmakerRainmaker subscriber Posts: 1
    Call Sam Zell. He loves motorcycles and may just bring the capital & contacts that you need to drive this forward. He works in Chicago and went to U of M. Google him and you will find all you need to know to get a hold of him. If you are more forthcoming on what the invention is and I think it has promise, I could give him a call for you and then set up a time for both of you to speak.
  • KathrynKathryn subscriber Posts: 0
    You might want to check out http://www.inventored.org or another inventor organization for suggestions. 
  • ladderlessladderless subscriber Posts: 3
    Hmmm... It`s like I`m looking at myself a few years ago.  My product solves obvious problems, but until I started having success selling the product myself, I couldn`t find a licensee (...And I spoke with over 80 companies -- mostly the presidents and VPs).  Now we have several confidentiality agreements and are in negotiations with a few -- Mostly foreign.
    First thing is, motorcycle manufacturers will not put something on their bike that doesn`t solve a problem that they have or isn`t required by regulation.
    An ugly fact, but safety is rarely pushed, unless it`ll give them more sales.  It`s a marketing thing.
    As far as your provisional patent goes, tread VERY carefully there if you are looking at foreign protection.  There have been very few cases through the courts that deal with that relatively new combination.  You are MUCH better off filing your full patent application ASAP.  There is no cost for a year to reserve your foreign filing rights (you have to file for your foreign issues within 12 months of filing for first patent application -- It`s not that expensive to file the PCT application).
    If you might end up going it yourself, and want a supplier, let me know.  One of my primary suppliers does quite a bit with motorcycle parts.  They can make the parts in the US or Vietnam, whichever suits your needs.
    Do you have your company set up?  Investors need to know into what they are investing.  Given your answer to Rich ("Bake your cake and eat it, too"), I have a feeling that you aren`t ready to approach investors -- You call your plan "concrete" -- How much detail have you outlined on paper?   What sort of financial models have you set up?
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    stay away from "invention promotion firms."  There are several complaints about Invent-Tech and others at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/complaints.htm</A>
  • BetterMousetrapBetterMousetrap subscriber Posts: 1
    I have not started the Corporation yet except as I have stated in earlier
    posts I have used the marketing data that Honda had compiled about two
    years ago which allowed me to use their forcasts & demographics to
    compile what I believe to be some very accurate assumptions of future
    sales based on the incorporation of my device.

    My market research supports these assumptions closely.
  • RichRich administrator Posts: 582 Site Admin
    i assume you`re utilizing our 10 Steps to Open for Business. be sure to check step 4, about selecting a structure...you can find these resources at our homepage and click on the left hand side link to 10 Steps.ONWARD!
  • onlineeateronlineeater subscriber Posts: 16
    Bettermousetrap,I just read through this thread and I just want you to know I am pulling for you. It is amazing when you come to a place like this and find some extra rope. John
  • BetterMousetrapBetterMousetrap subscriber Posts: 1
    Yes, Rich,
    You have made an accurate assumption! I have not however gotten that
    far yet. I hope to have my models in order in the next few days. There is
    such a wealth of info here I have been gorging myself with podcasts &
    forum posts to better equip myself for a well thought-out plan.
    Thanks for asking.
    Rob O.
  • Jimmy17Jimmy17 subscriber Posts: 0
    I guess I have to be the realist of the gang.  Here goes:
    There are about 5 million idea people in the USA with products at about the same stage are yours.  Maybe you are further along with a proto, bplan, and some financial forcasts, I dont know.  But, in many ways you are in a worst situation.  You are bumping into the bigboys! 
    This can go several ways, mostly bad.  1)You can patent it, and present it to them, and they can just steal the idea and wait for you to sue their $MM team of lawyers who drag it out for 7 years.  2) You can sucessfully license it to them, and they don`t use it - they just wanted to take it off the market so no one else would have it - and therefore it generates no royalties.  3) Or You can sucessfully license it to them, and the product is a success. 
    The chances of scenario 3 are very rare when dealing with a big company, unless you yourself has a $MM team of well known lawyers, and the most well-known patent attorney in the world has filed your patent.  So, I would suggest that you forget about the bigboys for now and work with the smaller custom bike builders, refine the design, build up some cash, and become a threat to the bigboys the hard way.  Maybe along the way you will bump into a millionare that can see your vision and wants to give the bigboys a ride for their money. At that point, the bigboys will know where to find you.  Sorry, just being realistic.  And when dealing with foreign big manufacturers, multiply everything I said by 10. 
    Also, I went to a class a few years back and learned that a worldwide patent costs $60K per country. Gulp.
  • BetterMousetrapBetterMousetrap subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks for the insight- The Angel Money is slated for just that purpose,
    to buy the best Lawyers in town & knock `em dead with their own stick.
    I welcome the input of anyone who has a critical thought in case I might
    be missing something- It will make my endeavor that much better
    prepared. Keep the reality coming...
    Rob O.BetterMousetrap2006-11-16 17:59:20
  • ladderlessladderless subscriber Posts: 3

    Also, I went to a class a few years back and learned that a worldwide patent costs $60K per country. Gulp.

    You`re a bit off on that.  Costs vary widely by country.  I`ve filed for patents in the US, Canada, Germany, UK, France, Japan, India, and a few other countries.  My guess is that for a VERY VERY extensive patent in a country that required a translation, it could be around that price, if you add up years of maintenance fees.
    There are four primary costs:
       Legal Fees
       Translation fees
        Filing fees
         Maintenance fees
     
    The translation fees are by far the largest part upfront (especially if you have a large patent). 
    I can tell you that for me, if a translation was required, then the lawyer`s fees, translations, and filing fees ran from about $8,000 to $10,000 per country.  The maintenance fees have been running between $200 and $600 per year.
    You are right about one thing in particular -- If you think it`s expensive to GET a patent, then you`ve never seen the financial requirements to DEFEND one.  Be prepared to fork over at least $250,000 to get a decent lawyer to take your case -- Unless you`re extremely lucky and have a slam-dunk case (That doesn`t happen too often).
     
    One critical thing about international patents... Most of the upfront fees can be delayed for several years, while keeping your right to file in individual countries.  First, you file in the US.  Then, after one year, you file a PCT application.  Then, within three years of filing your original patent, you have to file at the national level (the expensive part...), but you can file for most European countries together as one, and then wait another year to file at the national level for those European countries.
    The idea is to delay as long as possible, and make sure the market will support it, and it`s worth filing at the national levels in your key market countries.
  • ladderlessladderless subscriber Posts: 3
    stay away from "invention promotion firms."  There are several complaints about Invent-Tech and others at [/QUO TE]
     
    Be careful...I believe that the Sloans might have some connection to one of those groups -- They give lectures at the INPEX show (or at least have in the past)... And I`m sure you are aware of the company that puts on that show.
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