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Filing a Patent on a Product I have already sold

steamslinger's Avatar

Never filed for a patent on a system (Machine Zero) that I designed (in 1997) to perform a specific task. I am still not convinced that the patent would be worth the time or money as the market is relatively small and if somebody started manufacturing copies I dont have the financial resources or willingness to pursue such a tenuous battle.

Since that time I have gaurded the Trade secret very closley by selling to select companies with NDA requirements. And have continued to develop the system components for re-marketability. Truth is that we make considerably more money utilizing the system for our own services than we would selling them. And our R&D innovations have allowed us to stay ahead of any potential competitors.

However, our newest system/model(Machine X) is in a class of it's own with featurability, ease of use, increased safety considerations, upgrades, maintenance and repairs. And most importantly, our brand has allowed us to be recognized as leaders in our field. Thus creating a bigger focus on our market and equipment/systems. 

These developments have allowed me to revisit the Patent Question , which brings me to the real question. 

Can I now file for a patent on Machine X ? 

A.) which has not yet been publicly disclosed in any manner, 

B.) Utilizes the same dynamics and concepts as Machine Zero

C.) is based on all the improvements from Machine Zero-Machine Nine

RC

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kabuj's Avataree_badge

In a nutshell...It sounds like the the original invention is now in the public domain, but you should be able to patent the improvement(s).

Many (if not most) patents are improvements of existing items. I'm sure others will chime in.  I'm not an attorney, nor do I play one on television.

Best of luck!

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chicagoinventor's Avatarg8_badge

Hi RC,


Since you were diligent with protecting your trade secrets and used NDAs there is a decent chance you could file a patent. Definitely a subject you'd need to take up with a lawyer.

You will spend 10,000+ on legal fees so you need to take that into consideration when deciding if it is worth it.


BTW, Edison Nation's focus is on licensing mass appeal products so it might not be worth submitting your idea here but they would protect your idea if they did.

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kabuj's Avataree_badge

Just a clarification... NDA agreements typically relates to confidentiality of the disclosure in question, however, if the actual product/item disclosed is visible to the public or used in public, it likely  does not meet the 12 month non-disclosure requirements. Of course, this is my opinion.. as Daniel mentioned, legal counsel would be prudent.  

Best of Luck

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kristina.poindexter's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi RC,

Unfortunately Edison Nation does not provide any legal guidance on patenting your idea. We would suggest speaking with a patent attorney for more information.

That being said, Edison Nation does not require an idea to be patented or patent-pending to evaluate your concept for commercialization.

If you feel like Edison Nation is a fit for you, we look forward to reviewing your idea soon! 

Best of luck!

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kevin_johnson's Avatar

It seems like a good question to present to an attorney would be how to solidly protect yourself as prior art in case a patent was filed on your existing but secret technology.

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