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Thread: How to sell unpatented ideas?

  1. #1 How to sell unpatented ideas? 
    New Member
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    My father, a physicist and electronic engineer, has a few dozens of brilliant ideas, some of them tackle important issues like global warming, fuel etc. How can he go about selling his ideas without patenting them first?

    He has no cash/time for patenting, plus he has a LOT of ideas. To make the matters worse, he lives in Russia where it is nearly impossible to find someone rich interested in investing into innovations, for obvious reasons.

    Please do no recommend patenting, it is not for us at this stage. I will be greatful for any advice on how to go about selling IDEAS. We have heard of some mechanism practised in developed countries, but do not know what it's called or how to start.
    Please


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    An option I've heard of (but haven't tried) is a company called Quirky that has a decent reputation for developing ideas without ripping the inventors off. However, if the idea is too complicated they might not be able to make use of it. There's also a fee for submitting ideas, but it's not very much, $10.00 USD.

    http://www.quirky.com/ideas
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    Also, in the USA, you can get a "provisional patent application" even if you can't afford a real patent, but it still costs you about $300.00 USD. It grants you protection that is just about as good as a full patent for one year. After that year, the protection expires unless you file for a real patent. Lots of sites are willing to file it for you at around that price. Just google "provisional patent".

    Provisional Patent Application for "Patent Pending" by Thoughts to Paper

    Otherwise, your only remaining option is to require anyone you present the idea to to sign a non-disclosure agreement. However these agreements are not very reliable and it is likely you will get ripped off. Here's a site that gave me some useful advice on this, but remember this option isn't very likely to work out.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/inventing/protectingyouridea/sharingyouridea/article30054.html

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    Mostly, though, I'd advise reading a lot of websites about it first. Just google the topic "selling inventions", and then use google translator to put them in Russian as necessary.


    Last edited by kojax; August 28th, 2011 at 11:26 AM.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  4. #3  
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    Thank you very much, kojax! Quirky might be useful, although my dad's ideas are mostly for more expensive products than they require.
    He doesn't want to do anything with patents, even provisional ones, at the moment. Even if he does, American patent application will not help much as where protection is concerned, he would need worldwide protection, not just American.
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  5. #4  
    Time Lord
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    It's true that a provisional patent application won't protect the invention in the sense of excluding others from using it. What it does is guarantee that if they try to steal your idea, they can't patent it. It establishes that you are the original inventor.

    Also I'm pretty sure there are international treaties. Without those treaties, someone who saw an American's idea could easily just pick up a telephone and call a friend of theirs in another country, and steal the idea in that way.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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