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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Let there be magic! » » I have an idea... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

big k
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I have an idea. But I don't want to say what it is or does becuase I don't want my item stolen. So what can I do to market the effect? And where can I get a patent? isn't a patent for so I can protect my self so no one else steals my idea?

thanks,

big k
Blitzen
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A patent is the best way of protecting an idea. Some may say that copyrighting it is the way to go, but they're wrong. I'm a patent attorney. Patent prosecution can be done by an individual for $400-$1000, patent prosecution through a patent attorney will start at $4000 and go up from there. It can be done by an individual...I've yet to hear of a patent prosecuted by an individual that made money. There are legal subilties in drafting a patent that non-patent attorneys simply won't grasp. It can be done however, if you're willing to read the manual of patent examining procedure (available for download at uspto.gov) and convince yourself that you're up on the manual as well as the Festo progeny.
It takes a whole other day long examination to become a patent attorney and the exam is only offered to those with a hard science background. In other words, the lawyer down the street is almost certainly not qualified to help you.
If you're serious about obtaining a patent you can email me directly and we'll talk.
big k
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See the thing is I have a magic idea. But I don't want to get it stolen. So you say I have to get a patent so no one steals my idea? But man thosound bucks! that's a lot of money, I'm not sure if I will even make that much if I even martet the effect I thought of. (but ya never no)

big k
Blitzen
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That's the big catch...can you make enough off the patent to justify getting the patent. The actual costs are probably greater since if you find that someone is infringing your patent you'll need to pay a lawyer to sue them. Damages aren't what people generally think they are (most think they can get a few million off of any legal claim). I'm honestly not sure just what is the best way to protect a trick. Some have been patented, but patents do get published and are costly to get. Copyright doesn't work. A shrinkwrap license may be the best way to go, depending on the trick. Something you can see selling for $20 or less probably doesn't justify the patent expenditure. A big stage illusion may be different. I'm tossing this idea around in my head since I have a killer deck that I'm planning on releasing shortly.
redstreak
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But you can't patent an idea or method, you can only patent a gimmick or product. In other words, you can't patent a card trick or something like that which doesn't use gimmicks. And the method will be published for anyone to look up at the patent office website so they could make their own anyway. There is not real way to stop people who steal stuff and sell it, all you can do is give them a bad reputation and tell people not to buy from them. Ellusionist is a great example, they took of bunch of tricks, renamed them, and published them themselves. Now they have a terrible reputation among honest people.
Blitzen
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Actually you can patent methods. There's a whole subfield of patent prosectution devoted to patenting methods of doing business. Honestly, that's not a field I'm competent to expound on with any real depth. Many patents contain claims drawn to methods of using the invention itself. For example in pharaceutical patents there is almost always a claim to using the invention in a particular matter to treat a person or animal. I would think that a slight could be patented if it passed the other patentability tests (novelty, utility, etc).

You are right about bare ideas. To qualify for a patent the invention must be reduced to practice meaning that it's either been built or done, or that plans exists which would allow one to practice the invention.

In another thread on this board DenDowhy listed a number of patents that were issued for magic inventions (grand illusion --> Ethics). I honestly didn't look throught he patents all that closely so I'm not sure off hand if there were any pure method patents there.
dg
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I heard of one idea where you mail the full manuscript to yourself by registered post and don't open it. This way there is a recorded date of when you first thought of the idea in case somone comes up with the same idea or takes your idea without consent. I was advised to do this on a number of occasions. Can somone clarify if this would be OK?

I've had a look 'round the other posts and it looks like the mailing thing doesn't work anyway.
Sorry about that.
kihei kid
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That is correct; mailing yourself something going certified mail and not opening it does nothing. I however came up with a great way to make 15 million dollars: first, get a million dollars...
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
big k
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Quote:
On 2004-04-05 21:09, Blitzen wrote:
A shrinkwrap license may be the best way to go, depending on the trick. Something you can see selling for $20 or less probably doesn't justify the patent expenditure. A big stage illusion may be different......


Can you tell me more about this "shrinkwrap"?

thanks,

big k
Blitzen
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A shrinkwrap license is a contract that is signed by tearing open the product. You're probably familiar with clickwrap agreements; those are the ones that pop up when you install new software ("by installing this you agee to the following..."). They generally have the same enforceability as a regular contract.
Rick Fisher
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Yes, it is very difficult to patent an item and justify how much you will make on it because you just don't know how much you are going to profit on the item or if it will sell at all! We would be happy to look at your item and be assured we wouldnt rip it off. There is so much of it going on these days that eventually, regardless of what it is, chances are it will be stolen. Examples: look at Rocco's DeLite - how many cheap copies out there?, the chap from India is reproducing almost everything that has ever been made! He dresses up a bit and reintroduces a lousy piece of magic - poorly constructed and to be quite honest just a bunch of junk! We have to stay ahead of these folks....they are our competition -not the regular dealer - you can check us out online at http://www.fabmagic.com or e mail me privately. rileysshop@fabmagic.com - ask Bev Bergeron about us and how we "ask" permission to make anything

Thanks. Rick Fisher, president, FAB magic, Colon, Michigan...the magic capital of the world
Rick Fisher, President FAB Magic

"One of the largest magic shops in the world!"

www.fabmagic.com
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