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Thread: Patent a concept

  1. #1
    Bronze Member bjsteyn's Avatar
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    Patent a concept

    Hi people, havent been here for a while. Helloaah

    I have a question.
    Is it possible to patent a concept. Say I have an unique software idee. Is there a way I can protect the concept?
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Yes.

    I did some years ago, I had to make a presentation to a group of people of a new idea/concept as part of an alternative way of doing what was requested in the tender. To protect myself, I did a provisional patent and got the provisional number. AT the presentation, I informed all present that they could not take the idea/concept to any one else to tender, as I had a provisional patent on it. During the presentation, I showed them all the pitfalls of the current way they wanted the tender to present. I then showed all the ways that my concept would overcome this with more.

    Needles to say, I never got the tender, and they went with the way the current tender was laid out, and with in 2 years they closed the company down due to many of the pitfalls I highlighted.

    What you can do is register as an agent at the patent office, and then you can lodge the provisional yourself, at minimal cost, a couple of hundred Rands for the lodging application costs.

    There is no requirement to even do a search at this time. You can provisionally patent anything, what is important, is that you ensure that the embodiment of the application is what you really want, and make it a bit open ended, so that when you do want to go further and patent it, it has substance in which the patent can be built on. Then you can do a search, and pay for the services that a patent attorney has to offer.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    As far as I am aware you cannot patent an idea.
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    Full Member Xplosiv's Avatar
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    A few months back I was watching Dragon's Den. Guy claimed he had a patent for the idea of the business he wanted funding for. One Dragon didn't believe he could patent an idea, but the Dragon reading the patent assured them that it was the idea, and not the actual equipment, that was patented.
    So I believe you can patent an idea.

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    Bronze Member bjsteyn's Avatar
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    To put my idee in simple terms. There will be multiple software programs that is used in certain acpects/areas of this client base and specific to the needs of the different categories of clients all in the same overall industry. Everything will interlinked an be centralised by web system , from where we will offer other services to. Look at it as a complete mangement system of this industry, where certain aspects of the industry can comunicate and retrieve other information on other aspects of the industry , aswell as using it for recruitment which is one of the core profit areas. There is nothing like that out there at the moment and will move this I dustry into new heights. Lol, I cant mention what I trying to do, as it will give it away. As there is probably software out there already in certain aspects, there is nothing in the interlinking of all the areas and recruitment aspects where everything fits together.
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    Bronze Member bjsteyn's Avatar
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    Can n person patent an idee like this, using different information systems to centralize data for the industry.
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    Bronze Member bjsteyn's Avatar
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    I dont want to patent the specific software, as it all is going to be developed under the same company, and all the software is working towards the same goal. I want to patent the centralization idee and what the data is used for.
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    As far as I am aware you cannot patent an idea.
    One can do a provisional patent on anything.
    What will make it stick, is when you actually attempt to patent the provisional patent. This is when all the rules and regulations kick in. Up to there it is an idea, and effectively provisionally patenting is at this time an idea that you are reserving the rights on, and that is why you get a year to make your idea work, and if it does, and follows the criteria of the laws and provisions of an official patent then that is when you pull out the beeeeg cheque book.

    Some 2 years back, we patented an algorithm, which effectively was an idea when we did the provisional.

    Some 18 months after having done the official patent, did we get the all clear from the head patent office, that in fact our idea/algorithm was a novel idea and that the patent was now official, and that no one else had made anything in the past which had anything to do with what we had patented.

    They really do a deep background check, looking for anything remotely associated with the patent, even as far as looking for white papers that may have been filed by universities etc world wide, that is why it took almost 18months.

    It may not be easy to officially patent, just remember that there are 7billion minds on the planet, who all are fed similar information, and experience similar problems you do, so the chances of being a novel idea, are getting more and more difficult every year.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
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    Bronze Member bjsteyn's Avatar
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    Thanx , I just looked online for attorneys that can assist with patents in SA. I found one that actually specializes in software and from I read on there website I should be able to patent my concept. But they want between 14000-18000 to do the provitional patent. Is this rediculous and should I do it myself or just look for cheaper attorneys?
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    That's the average cost for provisional filing.
    The reason for this fee is it is a way for the attorneys to survive, probably out of all the provisionals filed, maybe 1% goes as far as being patented.

    That is why it is better to do the provisional yourself, save the bucs, and if it looks like it is going to be serious, then solicit the services of the patent attorneys to do the final patent filing.

    Please note that I am no attorney, and any discussions here in no ways construes as a legal opinion.
    Before making any decisions, please make use of legal advise.
    Last edited by Justloadit; 26-Jun-15 at 06:30 AM. Reason: Added Disclaimer
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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