The Lotus Cars Community banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Just to add to what's already been said:

>> is it possible to patent a whole type of vehicle, or do I have
>> to patent every component therein?

You can patent the whole vehicle, and as long as the configuration is novel and non-obvious, you can get a patent. The problem is that anything that has ever been (a) done, or (b) published prior to your invention is "prior art". And the prior art doesn't have to have ever been built, or to have worked in order to make your invention unpatentable.

Patent applications have been rejected because of techniques illustrated in Donald Duck cartoons, and drawings of devices that were never built, and might not have worked if they were built.

That being said - you can almost always find SOMETHING patentable about whatever you're building, it's just often not what you really want.

>> How could I prevent someone from using the same
>> general concept with different components? Thx.

This is really hard unless you've come up with something that really has never been seen before. Very often, it is one of the components that turns out to really be the novel part of the invention. The good news is that if that part of the invention is what makes the configuration you're look at work, then a patent on that portion of the invention is good enough to protect your system, since your patent part is what is required to make the system work.

The more general the concept, the more likely it will be "obvious" or that the patent Examiner will find a reference that describes something that falls within the scope of what you want to claim in your patent application.

The best thing to do to start (as others have mentioned) is to do some searching on the patent office website. The patent search page is

www.uspto.gov/main/patents.htm

The tough part is that what you will probably most want to search are the figures, and you are pretty much limited to keyword searching.

Still - don't give up - it's not always easy (and it's never as quick as you'd like) but it is possible to get a useful patent, even in this day and age.

Good luck!

(Expected disclaimer - I actually am a patent lawyer, but because I don't represent you, you should take this as general information about patent law, and not holy writ or specific advice about your situation. There are a lot of details and caveats that I've simplified here. Once you've done some background searching, it may be worth your while to consult with a patent attorney for some basic advice on your specific situation, even if you intend to draft and file the patent yourself.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Regarding sending the invention inside a sealed envelope to yourself to prove your date of invention:

It doesn't hurt, but it really doesn't help. It is very easy to spoof this (the post office will usually deliver an unsealed envelope), and the document inside the envelope generally won't hold up as evidence if you ever need it to without some sort of additional witnesses, anyway.

There is an official invention date-stamping service from the Patent office. For $10, you can have your initial documents date stamped by the PTO. Details are on the website.

Better is to simply take your original invention documents (or a copy) and sign and date each page, with a witness present who then countersigns each page, writing "reviewed and understood" with each signature. Invention documents witnessed in this way stand up much better if questions of evidence ever come up.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top