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Who here holds a patent?

May 22, 1999
How many and what are they for?

If it was a patent for something other than a knife do you also have a patent for a knife design?

Are you a knife maker?

Or are just an ordinary knife collector?

What were the pitfalls and was there anyone trying to steal it from you?

Did someone get around your patent and is making money?

How do you get money from your patent and do you split the proceeds?

I did an internet search and couldn't find any real answers to my questions. Just companies that will do it for you. Are these mostly reputable comanies?
I hold one. It has been infringed and my company has spent more than 6 million $ defending it. A patent is worth no more than you are willing to spend to defend it. In many ways, patents are not nearly as valuable as excellence in "carrying through" on an invention. Getting a patent is relatively cheap and you can contact the IP (Intellectual Property) department of any decent sized large firm for advice. Good luck.

Dances with lemmings

I hold the Patent (utility) for the locking system of the Uluchet. Yes, we do manufacture knives. Processing a patent isn't a drop in the bucket, but it is worth paying for a lawyer to prosecute it for you unless you are very knowledgeable in patent law. The pitfalls, YOU have to know what you want the lawyer to do in reguard to variations and claims. No one has tried to steal it that I know of. As far as getting money out of your patent, there are numerous ways, all of which involve contracts and fine print. Ditto's to what Fracmeister posted too.

YES,it is sharp, just keep your fingers out of the way!

several, but none knife-related.

While on the subject, here's an interresting link for your bookmarks. The complete text of most US patents can be found at http://www.patents.ibm.com/ibm.html

They have a nice search engine too.

Keep in mind, if you have a patent, that there are no "patent police" who run around ticketing people who violate your patent. It's up to you to sue people who violate it. If you don't make an effort to discover violations, and if you don't enforce your patent when you find violations, then you can be considered to have abandoned your patent and it can become worthless.

How do you make money off of your patents? Well, you can be the only one in your market with that product and/or feature. Spyderco, for example, was, for several years, the only company with a hole in the blade to open the knife. Another option is to license or sell your patent. Spyderco now licenses their hole to several other companies. Of course, this now means for Spyderco that they don't have the blade-hole market all to themselves anymore.

The real money comes when you can license your patent without intruding into your own market. I used to work for a company that made mobile computer equipment for warehouse and factory automation. In order to gain a market advantage over our compeditors, we patented the idea of a portable computer with a removable battery pack. A few years later, the idea of a laptop computer for traveling business people emerged. This is a completely different market from ours. But, for about five years (until our patent expired) all of the laptop makers, HP, Dell, Compaq, IBM, etc., had to pay us to license our removable battery pack patent. Checks just arrived in the mail, checks for which we had done absolutely nothing, free money!

The process of filing a patent application with the Patent Office is fairly simple. There are books on the subject. A quick trip to amazon.com, via the bladeforum link, of course, so that bladeforum gets a kickback on whatever you may buy, should turn up a few. The trick to getting the kind of payoff that our removable battery pack patent ended up making, the trick to getting a patent that a compeditor can not easily work around, is often just the correct choice of a few words in the patent text. This is a fine line. If your patent is way to broad, vauge, etc., then it can be thrown out in court. This is where a qualified patent attorney earns his keep.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right. If you think you've got something worth patenting, then it's worth patenting right. So, I'd suggest you talk to a patent attorney. BTW, patent attorneys usually aren't as greasy as most other lawyers.


[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 30 June 1999).]
I hold a patent for an archery product, and I can tell you that if someone wants to steal it they will, and you must have the money to back yourself up.

Your best bet is to patent, and then make your product better and cheaper than anyone else.

The patent does stop some of the smaller guys but if a large company wants to take your product, they will.

We also O.E.M. our products to a couple of large bow makers and this stops a lot of the copy cats.


[This message has been edited by wll (edited 01 July 1999).]
I hold a patent for a magnetic therapy product. We have only been producing it for about a year (August marks the anniversary). So far I have had no worries as far as rip offs or infringements but the process of defending it seems tedious. And I am only a knife collector so far...Though I do have some designs I would like to and may in the furure produce.

Long live Bladeforums!


David - Is there somethng in particular that you are trying to do or is this more an an "interest only" survey?

If there is something in particular,you might Email Peter or I. We've have assisted a few with simple directions.
I thank you for your posts, they have helped me make up mind not to purue my idea. But I have passed it on to two other people.