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Thread: Free motion quilting invention

  1. #1
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    Free motion quilting invention

    Hi, I have an invention and do not know what steps to take to get it out there. Quilters are very inventive. Is there anyone out there that could give me some help. I believe this will be a product many will be able to use. I need some direction first.
    Thank you. Leanne

  2. #2
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    Do you want to market it yourself - initially at least?
    Have you applied for a patent?

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    Put that pre-paid legal to work! LOL
    ~Laura

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    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Obtaining a patent is essential for you to own your invention, and should precede marketing.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

  5. #5
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    The problem with inventions is that big companies with deep pockets will steal your idea, if it looks like a money maker, whether or not you have a patent, and it's up to you to police it, discover the theft and sue them, which can be costly for an individual. Generally they'll offer to buy your invention from you, and if you don't agree to sell, they'll bankrupt you with a lifetime of legal wrangling. Sorry to sound so downbeat, but that's just the way it often goes.

  6. #6
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    see if there is a local chapter of the Small Business Association. They have a corps of retired employees who volunteer to help start up businesses.

  7. #7
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Get a patent and sell it here. Im sure that most quilters venture here anyways

  8. #8
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    Talk to a patent attorney before you do anything, including telling anyone what you have invented. Let him (or her) guide your next steps so you don't lose out on anything. Good luck!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  9. #9
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    First PROTECT your idea!~! Get that patent, and monitor competition closely!! Can't wait to hear what it is, and probably purchase it!!

  10. #10
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    One of the first things to do before you put out money for a patent attorney is to do a research for products that may be similar to yours. You may not see the product out in the market place as readily but it may be in the works somewhere. Best of all you can do the research on your own. We have a R&D center in our area which was free to browse the inventions already "on the books". Your invention would have to be substantially different not to infringe on an existing project. When I worked for a manufacturing company, we had to do this all the time before we marketed a new product. We didn't necessarily have a patent on our projects but we did "register" them...this is using the tiny (R) after the name of the product. This is different from a name trademark (TM) which you would eventually need to do..although some names cannot be trademarked unless they are unique. There is a lot of law that goes in patents, trademarks and registered items. It is very expensive to bring the product to market thru all the hoops to jump thru. But don't be discouraged but do protect yourself by dating any design drawings, taking photos of the invention in progress and as stated, don't let ANYONE see your drawings or prototypes that you can't trust. I believe there is invention information you can research in D.C. also. Another concern is NOT to fall for those firms that say they can get your invention to market.
    Last edited by Nanamoms; 04-08-2012 at 09:37 PM.

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    wow cant wait to see.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by momto5 View Post
    Talk to a patent attorney before you do anything, including telling anyone what you have invented. Let him (or her) guide your next steps so you don't lose out on anything. Good luck!
    I have an interesting story. My daughter ran into someone from high school who did home maintenance work for a company. He told her about going to a huge, beautiful house only to find the owner was a former classmate, and they all were in their late-20s. So he asked how they were able to afford the house at their ages. The other guy told him that a few years prior he and some buddies were drinking, messing around with glue and crayons. Somehow they figured out how to mix them together to create colored glue. One of them had the sense to contact a patent attorney and developed the patent. A couple of years later a large company came out with colored glue, the guys sued them, and won.

    Get the patent!,

  13. #13
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    NanaMoms is utterly correct - check the USPTO data base to see if there is already something similar out there.

    http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search/#heading-1

    The USPTO site also has a lot of information on how to file a patent, recommendations, etc. It is worth browsing.

  14. #14
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Once you do your research, and find out if your idea is new, don't forget that another option IS to sell the idea to a large company. It's no shame to be paid for the ideas and let someone else deal with the hassles of production and marketing.
    I used to be "hot", now it's just "hot flashes!"

  15. #15
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Make sure you patent it. Be careful who you show it to as well. A friend of mine showed his invention to a big company. They rejected it and later on, that company produced two things from his original one.

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    get a patent...keep any and all original paperwork, designs etc...make sure they are signed and dated...many,many picts..wouldn't hurt to have the original design notarized as well just for the heck of it...after that I have no idea...lol...good luck...really looking forward to seeing what you've come up with...
    Kitty

  17. #17
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    I would also suggest you ask the advise of several close friends who also quilt, to make sure they think your idea is in fact marketable and worth your time to develop. Close friends who obviously wouldn't steal your idea, but would be honest about its worth, and not just tell you to go for it because they like you. That's very often hard to say AND hear, but would be a big help to know what others think.

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    Go to the Shark Tank?????

  19. #19
    Junior Member mlt150's Avatar
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    I'll buy your product. Need lots of help in FMQ!!!!!!!! Dianne
    Dianne

  20. #20
    Senior Member Nancy Ingham's Avatar
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    I own a manufacturing company, Audioplex Technology, Inc., and have had experience with patents so here goes:

    1) Conduct your search to see if your product is unique. There DOES NOT have to be huge differences.
    If you find something similar to your product but you believe that your product is better, easier to use, etc.,
    yours could very well be patentable as long as you do not infringe on someone else’s pattern. Example,
    In the electronic field; An infrared repeating system was patented which ran on Co-Ax cable only, another infrared repeating system (same) can received a patent that runs on Cat-5 cable.

    2) APPLY FOR A PATENT. When you list your item for patent be explicit in your description…..leave nothing to vague interpretation. Over describe your product, its function, etc. You may list 15 points that you want patentable, after a period of time (can be a year or two) you may receive a patent for six of your points.

    3) As long as you are not infringing on anyone else’s pattern, you may manufacture and market your product BUT ONLY AFTER YOU APPLY FOR YOUR PATENT! However, you must put “Patent Pending” on your product, its manual or instruction sheet, advertising or anything else representing your product. That will protect you and allow you to market your product while you await your patent from the patent office.

    4) Once you have applied for a patent and are marketing your product should anyone else copy your idea? When you receive your patent, and if they are infringing upon your patent, you can sue them. You can receive a substantial lump-sum amount of money, plus any profits that they received from selling their product.

    5) Don’t be afraid…..just search for a similar product like your, then if none, file for a patent.

    Best of luck….I wish you much success and financial reward!

    Nancy
    You can choose to live your live as though nothing is a miracle; or as though everything is a miracle!

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Get a patent. If it is a salable tool then you have to have the tool made and packaged. Then you go vend and demo at all the quilt markets to get a distributor to wholesale your tool to quilt shops. You go to all the quilt shows to vend to quilters. One of the newest products out there for quilters and designed and marketed by an individual is Pinmoors. http://www.pinmoor.com/ I would contact her and see is she would give you some start up advice or who to contact first. Watch the reruns of Shark Tank!
    Got fabric?

  22. #22
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    Thank you to all that answered. Has given me some direction. Leanne

  23. #23
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    I want to emphasize what someone else said - by all means sign and date all drawings, etc. but have them notarized as you go along. A date can be faked on anything.

    And be prepared to litigate over any infringements on your patents. if you have a successful product, the sharks (not the ones in the tank) will be out to steal, "modify". whatever. If you ar enot prepared to defend in court, your patants are worht nothing.

  24. #24
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    my daughter is going through this process on an idea she came up with: what she has learned is
    1. use an intellectual property attorney, 2. Even if idea isn't something that can be patented ( too general), you can trademark a brand logo or name

  25. #25
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    If you are wanting someone to test drive and give you honest feed back, you have plenty of people here on the board that, i'm sure, would be willing to do so -- including me. I am always looking for something to make free motion quilting easier so will wait patiently to see what you have to offer.

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