1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How can I get support for my inventions.

  1. May 7, 2009 #1
    I have several tested and untested inventions that I would like to get some help developing, and hopefully getting credit for.

    They are: a working model of a mechanical “antigravity device” That creates 2N of lift, weighing 400 grams, a “green” device that can harvest 300v, 0.970 microamps of electricity from trees and rough plans for the machine that will machine metal in some untraditional way. I also made plans for various heat engines.

    I have no money to patent it.
    Right now I am a senior at a rural high school and I am going to attend
    a dedicated art school next year to become an architectural designer, so I don’t know where to get help.

    Can you give me some advice?
    Are there any programs can I apply for or what actions I should take?
    I don't want my ideas to be stolen by capitalists and turned into working, profitable products.
    Thanks.
    Cavemen.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2009 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor


    Welcome to the PF, cavemen (how many of you are there, anyway? :smile: )

    It is probably too early to think about trying to patent any of your work, based on what you have posted. You should strive to learn as much physics and math and engineering as possible in the next few years, to put you in a position of developing workable ideas, and then look into whether patents make sense.

    It is important not to waste time on ideas that have no possibility of working, so that you can focus your time and efforts on ideas that have a chance of working. That's why it's important to understand physics, so that you understand why some things are fundamentally impossible, while others are potentially do-able, given enough creative work and inspiration.

    You should also look at a book called "Patent it Yourself" by the Nolo Press in Berkeley. Not so much so you can run out and start filing patent applications, but more for the introductory material that discusses intellectual property, and the various ways to protect it and profit from it. The Nolo Press also has some pretty good on-line information sources about the patent process and intellectural property that you may find interesting:

    http://www.nolopress.com/resource.cfm/catID/FD8C060B-5DD4-4809-A53ECCF6BBD87E32/310/

    So keep on studying, and being creative. And I encourage you to starting thinking in terms of "existence proofs" and "non-existence proofs". If you find yourself starting to work on an intersting possibility for a perpetual motion machine, or an over-unity energy device, or an anti-gravity device, then you should be able to realize that there are non-existence proofs for such things, and not waste your time on them. Instead, look for fundamentally useful things, where you can come up with an existence proof (it should be possible because....), and then spend more cycles getting creative about ways to make it happen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. May 7, 2009 #3
    Thanks.

    I have a nearly-full scholarship for the art school.
    Who will pay for my physics degree? I can't afford to change majors or to pick majors.

    Everyone tells me to learn. But no one asks me how much I know. Or what I want to know.

    I don't want to just patent.
     
  5. May 7, 2009 #4

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Congrats on the scholarship. I can imagine that you are a pretty creative guy, and since you're a senior in high school, I have a pretty good idea of what you have studied and know (assuming you took physics and hopefully calculus). Depending on how demanding your art studies are, you might be able to take a few physics and math and engineering classes at a junior college at the same time, or maybe during your summer breaks. You really do need some more knowledge to help you make contributions with real inventions, IMO. And to avoid wasting time on inventions that cannot work because there is a known non-existence proof against it.

    It is possible to self-study in physics, but it's not easy, especially after the intro college class level. There are some fun books that can help, like this one I gave my son recently:

    https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Phy...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241747037&sr=8-1

    Pretty fun book.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. May 7, 2009 #5
    There were a lot of instances in history where things that were not given a chance to be tested worked.

    Rejecting things from the beginning is unwise. Then Earth would still be flat and a center of the Universe and air would still be responsible for objects maintaining there straight path.

    Some commetee had defined that objects heavier then air cannot fly back in the 1850's (forgetting kites and balloons)...

    I have a working model proven by math...
     
  7. May 7, 2009 #6

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, that's why you need to keep on learnin', son. Show me your anti-gravity patent application, and I'll save you a lot of time.

    You are correct that great ideas come out of left field sometimes. But they are based on science. Just do a patent search on me, for example. No pseudo-science hopes on my history at the PTO, just a lot of profit for my assignees. :approve:
     
  8. May 8, 2009 #7
    The best you can hope for is to go to somebody who already knows how to get things like this pushed through, and have him front the money for a patent. In return, you get credit for the invention and he gets 80% of the profits.

    20% of a fortune is better than nothing.
     
  9. May 8, 2009 #8
    So you ARE an inventor?
    Well... I will get you a description of my debatable "levitation machine", maybe my metal machine. Firstly I will make plans and get them whiteness approved and give them to an attorney. I will also give some engineers I know a chance to look at it. (my grandpa and his coworkers in Russia)

    Still writing about it in forum is like putting your credit card number on your car bumper.
     
  10. May 8, 2009 #9

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    As a matter of fact, yes. I have several issued patents, and another one pending. My inventions have made good money for the companies that I assigned them to. This one is my favorite (and my first, many years ago):

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...rke+AND+TTL/tablet&RS=IN/berke+AND+TTL/tablet

    Please spend some time at the Nolo Press site -- they have some very good info posted there.
     
  11. May 8, 2009 #10
    I believe that I own a device like that.

    So far I got a "Patent it Yourself" book.

    I had seen patents with such stupid claims and such childish drawings on them from back in the day. I was amazed.
    Is it true that claims don't have to be true?
    I had built a "levitation" machine in accordance to a patent and it did not work for sure.
    And I knew that it obviously would not work. This patent claimed that shifting mass on a rotating flywheel would cause an unbalanced force in one direction.
     
  12. May 8, 2009 #11

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, just because something earns a patent, doesn't mean that it will work or is practical. Kind of sucks. You'd like the vetting process to be better and more uniform by the Patent and Trade Office (PTO), but it varies a lot in quality, in my experience.

    One patent that got me a bit tweaked was one for a solar power converter device. It showed an array of antennas (small, because of the wavelengths of light), with a "rectifier" circuit at each dipole antenna. There is no light-frequency rectifier (or at least there wasn't 20 years ago when this patent issued), and the antenna voltages are so small that adding a diode drop in the conversion would blow most of your efficiency anyway. I couldn't believe that the PTO examinier issued a patent for that.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  13. May 8, 2009 #12
    Thank you very much for helping me.

    patent 5653404 is my favorite
    I like the main drawing.

    Isn't a solar panel a diode that allows excited electrons to go only in one direction through the circuit? Maybe there some diodes that can do it today with rectifying light frequency.
    Though it will be "eaten" by the inductance of an antenna even before it reaches the rectifier. Every magnetic antenna has capacitance and every capacitative antenna has inductance.

    I have to prepare my plans and description.
    Is it true that I can get whitenesses to sign my plan, description and claims and such document has some legal strength if it is approved by some attorney.
     
  14. May 8, 2009 #13

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It is important that the witnesses have expertise in the field of your invention, so that they can honestly write "Read and understood" on each page, and sign and date that statement on each page. If there is a court case later, you need to be able to call that witness, and have them explain what they witnessed, in detail. So you wouldn't have someone who wasn't an EE witness a circuit diagram, for example.

    There are other important issues with witnessing documents and protecting your intellectual property, which you can read about in the Patent It Yourself book, and also at the Nolo Press website (as well as other websites, but I find Nolo to be very good and practical).
     
  15. May 8, 2009 #14

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    BTW, I should mention one other thing. This probably doesn't directly apply to your ideas (or maybe it does), but for any others interested in patents who might be reading this thread.

    The trend right now in some industries (including mine, the high-tech electronics industry), is to not file patents on new inventions, and instead, embed the innovations in products (like ICs or microcontroller-based products) so that the intellectual property (IP) is hidden, and cannot be easily copied.

    The reason for this is the rampant patent and copyright violations that take place in some parts of the world (I won't name names). Even if you file and are issued all the applicable international patents, you will still end up with illegal copies of your product making it into your markets, and cutting your earnings on the IP. So a better option, if you can make it work, is to hide the IP so that it cannot be copied, and sell that product. When your patent issues, it's like assembly instructions for the pirates. It's better to not give them any assembly instructions, and force them to try to figure out how to do it themselves. And if you've been very clever in your inventions, you probably have something that is hard to independently come up with, so that pirate copies will not perform as well, or will actually be more expensive than your products.

    Even if you do get issued a patent, you can easily spend millions in court defending your patent, when other competitors want to claim that they thought of it at the same time or earlier, or that your patent uses other patented things that they own.
     
  16. May 8, 2009 #15
    I don't know how to embed a levitation machine or a metal machining machine in something that cannot be studied by a competing manufacturer.
    They are as obvious as internal combustion engine in there theory.

    I am trying to get help from non-profit organizations like universities in the first place.
    How do I attract there attention though? Science fairs? Wasting time to prepare for a "dog and pony show", as my tech-ed teacher would call it. Number one place to get my ideas stolen by professionals.

    My ideas are fairly abstract and need to be developed into products.

    Not like a new program for a micro controller or a new radio component.

    Although I have a theory for a new radio component i cannot develop.

    There is another fellow that is from my rural school who is an inventor. He is even more paranoiac.

    Stealing engineering inventions of other countries happens in Russia a lot. As my grandfather calls it "institutes of converting inches to millimeters" Everything that was brilliant was for the Red Army or space. All civilian technologies were underfunded and still are, therefore they were acquired by calipers and industrial espionage.

    Maybe that is where I should patent for that very reason?
     
  17. May 8, 2009 #16

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, embedding and hiding IP is not always possible. That's actually why my company has filed a patent on my current work -- it will be open and easy to understand in the physical device, and they want at least some level of protection against competitors copying it.

    Another way to profit from good ideas is to be the first to market with it. Rather than waiting years for a patent to finally issue, tool up your invention (assuming it works), and bring it to market in an aggressive way. Yes, it will get copied within a year or two, but by then, you may be able to bring another idea to market, and stay ahead of the curve. Especially for your first couple of products, this is a good way to "test the waters", to see if you reallly are coming up with useful and workable ideas, or if you need to get more technical education behind your creations.

    Best of luck.
     
  18. May 8, 2009 #17

    RonL

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    cavemen,
    You might try going online and search inventor groups, could be there is a group near you.
    A well formed group will generally have a few people that have had success in the field of inventing, this can lead to introductions and tips about taking a patent to the end of the process.
     
  19. May 8, 2009 #18

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    So, the next most important thing is to build a working prototype. That used to be required by the PTO, but unfortunately isn't required any more (I think). But you should hold yourself to a higher standard (IMO), and build a prototype as yet another "existence proof". Got a working prototype of your levitation machine?
     
  20. May 9, 2009 #19
    To add and expound on what others have said, I think you need to prove your idea by fact--some solid data. Math can work. Sometimes it can mislead you, if it doesn't fit reality as expected. In your case, I would want some solid data before I committed to learning patent law, and the harsher realities of pantents.

    After that, if you've still got something, a patent won't protect it. The harsher reality is that money protects a patent. It's costly to defend a patent, and it takes a lawyer to negociate an infringment contest.

    But before considering a patent, a patent pending would be your choice as a private person without a great deal of money. Then you would still need to learn patent language and formalism to write the patent pending in legally defendable language. A patent pending is a lot, lot less money. So in your case I would first prove to the most skeptical of my friends that my idea worked--not be words, but by action.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  21. May 9, 2009 #20
    I thought of the second way:
    Get a machinist training, start a custom manufacturing shop, make my own parts and test my inventions.

    The problem is with the machinist training. Nobody offers it in our area.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: How can I get support for my inventions.
  1. Can i get a job? (Replies: 1)

Loading...