Invented a new tool...now what?

NoDak Ninja

Well-Known Member
Has anyone here ever invented a new tool and worked with Lisle, or SP Tools, or anyone else? I have a new (I think) tool idea and would like to give it a go with a tool manufacturer. Lisle and SP seem to be the two best options, and searching the internet I haven't yet found anyone complaining about either.

Does anyone here have any first-hand knowledge? Or maybe someone you know has gone through it?
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
In order to determine whether or not you have come up with an "original idea that solves an original problem"... You will have to penetrate the maize of the US Patent Office. This link will guide you through the procedures:

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/general-information-concerning-patents

Here are some of the Main Hurdles you will have to overcome:

(1) Obtaining a Proprietary Patent.
(2) Locating a Company that will Manufacture your Device with Quality & Low Cost..
(3) Locating a Company that will Market, Advertise and sell your Device.
(4) Locating a National Distribution Network to Carry the Device.
(5) Fight with Lisle, K&M, OEM and many other Tool Manufacturers for Market Share.
(6) Have a Large Enough Customer Base to make this effort worth your while.
(7) Carving off a large enough slice of the Profit Pie to make any real money from it.
(8) Have Legal Representation in case you get Sued for Injury of Use, etc.
(9) Have contacts within the Press to Publish articles about this "Miracle Tool".
(10) Create a Business Model that will not be bought out from under you.
(11) Have enough Start Up Money to cover ALL of the associated expenses.
 
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NoDak Ninja

NoDak Ninja

Well-Known Member
It's an extremely specialized tool. It performs one job, on one (I think...still figuring that out) series of engines. I assume the cost of obtaining a patent would negate any potential profit . That's why I am leaning towards taking it straight to a company like Lisle or SP.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
They probably would not even take a phone call from you unless you have a Patent to sell them and Lawyers to hash out the sale of it to them. Please remember that before you can Make and Sell such a Tool and gain profit from it THAT YOU CAN KEEP... You have to be certain that Some Other Bloke has not already considered, designed and made an Identical Version...if not a better one... than your own.

If you were to Go Gang-Busters and Full Speed Ahead A-La John Paul Jones and just do what you want to right now... later on, you could receive a Subpoena for a Civil Lawsuit for Damages if that Bloke decided to take you..and your New Company to court, If you doubt that two people can invent an object or come up with the EXACT Idea at the very same time... Just consider "The History of The CALCULUS".

This is an incredible story involving two Very Famous Men who somehow managed to independently, yet simultaneously create an entire New Body of Mathematics. What arose in the contemporary minds of the English Scientist, Sir Isaac Newton (a distant relative of my Wife ...actually) and the German Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz... happened damned near on top of each other!

The two men Battled with each other for their entire lives about "Who was First to Create The Calculus?" with exchanges of scathing letters back and forth and public condemnations that were the 17th Century equivalent of having a "Public P***ing Contest".

https://www.math.uh.edu/~tomforde/calchistory.html

So like it or not... while there are any number of companies that WILL take your idea(s) willingly and perhaps eventually use them... without your having Patent and Trademarks to protect your creation... You would never see One Thin Dime of Profit from any of these Established Tool Companies.

One last thing to contemplate... Just because you think that your idea for this "Highly Specialized Tool" is unique... without proof in the form of a United States Patent confirming your belief... you will never know if this is true. For it is their Technologists and legal Scholars that have to research whether or not this belief of yours is founded in fact... First ...as a Truly Original Idea that Solves an Original Problem. If they deem this to be so... then a Patent is awarded for a certain number of years... and if not... They will send you a Rejection Letter to that effect.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
No one should ever stand in the way of a Very Determined Man... I hope that Your Pursuit ...Bears Fruit!
 
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NoDak Ninja

NoDak Ninja

Well-Known Member
I do appreciate all the patent advice. I just don't think that will be a feasible route for me, due to the significant up-front cost. I don't want to eat that cost if it turns out that no one thinks there is any money to be made with them. If a company is willing to do all the work in exchange for giving me a royalty, I think I'd prefer to go that route. I just want to be sure I am choosing the right company...
 

DocBrown

Well-Known Member
Have you discussed this with a patent attorney? You can probably get a free consult just find out what's really involved. Another avenue to take advantage of, if you live in or near a large city, is entrepreneur organizations that are usually staffed by retired business people who have been exactly where you are.

What ever you do, even if you find someone who wants to use your design, without a patent, you'll get taken to the cleaners. They are not there for your benefit.
 

Bow_Tied

Well-Known Member
Patents are granted because an idea is useful, new, and non-obvious. ~3/4 of patents granted now are not brand new ideas but rather improvements on existing ideas/patents.

Patents can be a double edged sword. This is partly due to cost vs. protecting your idea but also that the world is a small place now. If you patent in the US would you also do so in other countries? Even if you were given patents for free everywhere, could you afford to enforce a patent (litigation)? The other thing is that a patent must necessarily disclose the general idea, the benefits/claims. This could open you up to someone else patenting an improvement to your idea that essentially obsoletes your own. A bad but illustrative example might be patenting a wrist watch and then someone else patents a digital wrist watch.

All that said, getting advice is still a good move as there may be multiple routes to producing profit from your idea.

If you pursue a patent it will be worthwhile getting a patent attorney to help you before you talk to anyone about the details. Writing a good patent is truly an art - a good patent discloses the invention in a vague way that makes it hard to replicate, and makes it hard to find in a public patent search. A patent attorney will also do a search for "prior art" on the topic.
Public disclosure can invalidate the ability to get a patent in some jurisdictions. The US I believe has a 12 month window for patent application after disclosure but don't quote me on that; some countries have a no allowable time frame. Sharing the idea privately without a non-disclosure agreement can lead to someone else patenting the idea or the sharing could be considered disclosure in some instances.

Good luck!!
 

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