Quote from: TheBox
You don't expect me to give the entire information of the design away do you when there is no copyrights or patents ?There are Copyrights, and they are free.
- All you have to do is put a note down the bottom of the picture that says "Copyright 2019, The Box" (although your actual name would be better).
- That will prevent someone making copies of your diagram and distributing them for money
- But it won't stop people on the discussion board where you posted it discussing them (this is "fair use")
- Most importantly, Copyright does not protect an invention. If someone draws a picture of their oven, and uses a different way of showing heat coming out of their oven, it doesn't violate your copyright, and they can make as many copies of it as they like (provided that it isn't a blatant copy, eg mirror image reversal, or thicker lines, etc)
To protect an invention, you need a patent.
- The first step is to define the invention - what is novel and useful
- The next step is to search for any other patents that may have similar ideas ("prior art"). Fortunately, Google has some patent search tools
- I imagine many people have had the idea of a stove with a door you can open! So there will be lots of prior art.
- Then you have to document the patent, with all the details so anyone skilled in the art could reproduce it.
- And explain in detail what is novel about your invention, and why yours is different from all previous patents
- If you want this to be enforceable, you will get a patent attorney to help you. This will cost thousands of pounds/dollars; I have dealt with these guys, and they speak a language all their own!
- Then you have to file the patent with the patent office (and pay 4000 pounds), where it will be examined, queried, and filed under a suitable category.
- You can't patent a law of nature or a formula (although the patent office has become more flexible about patenting algorithms)
- If you have a well-written patent application, and are very quick about answering all the questions, you will get a patent awarded after about 5 years and a lot of money, after which you can discuss it with other people without a non-disclosure agreement. Then they will tell you how much money they think it is worth.
Filing a patent used to cost a lot of money, but now many countries have a cheap self-filing patent system for individuals (but the UK doesn't seem to be one of them)
- These self-filing systems only have a simple review - if an application is clearly unsuitable, it may be rejected at this stage
- But the difficulty really comes if you want to enforce it later - you may find that the language used by ordinary people makes it totally unenforceable
So you could file a patent, which will cost you a lot of money, and a lot of time and have to answer a lot of tough questions, only to be told it is worthless...
- Or you could just tell us about it, and we'll do it for free! (and quite quickly, too, if the past is any guide...)
- I think you will save yourself a lot of grief if you just describe it fully on the discussion board....
The following users thanked this post: Thebox