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I Invented a New Weapon... Now What?

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posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 09:16 PM
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Howdy y'all! I have a question that pertains to patenting new weaponry:

I have come up with a device that is totally new to the battlefield. I thought it up when Jessica Lynch was kidnapped. This weapon is larger than a breadbox, smaller than a fifty-gallon drum, and can be totally lethal or not lethal at all, depending on what ammo you load into it. The device uses standard off-the-shelf ammo and is very simple to understand. Anyone who sees this device will agree that it is (A) a moneymaker, (B) new to the battlefield, and (C) something you'd want if you were driving a humvee through the triangle of death in Iraq. This is a seriously awesome weapon I am talking about and it would alter the nature of close-quarters combat, IMO. It would also (just by its nature) keep people from being vehicularly-kidnapped. If you were a contractor in Iraq, you'd want this device mounted onto your vehicle because it WILL keep you alive.

I showed it to my friend, who is a USMC combat veteran and he agreed that it is unlike anything he'd ever seen before, but he's not the best person to give advice on how to get something like this to market. I could probably build a prototype for less than 10 grand, but I don't have the money. So what do I do? I don't have the money to go through the patent process either. I barely have the money for bus fare. :^)

I did create a full 3D animation, about two-minutes long, which shows exactly how the device works. I have debated posting the details of this invention to ATS just because I'm itching to show it to a bunch of smart folks, but then I wouldn't be able to make any money off my idea 'cause it would be stolen, of course. I want to get it made and into production so that it can save lives on the battlefield. I'd also like to make some money off the thing.

What do I do? Are there any patent attorneys on ATS who can help me make this thing a reality? Is there someone who can prove to me that they're trustworthy enough to view my animation and then confirm that my invention is all that I say it is? I'm not posting this to find an investor (although that'd be perfect) but I can't stand keeping this thing on the shelf.



[edit on 18-3-2005 by smallpeeps]




posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 09:23 PM
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i can't believe you frequent a conspiricy site and don't know about DARPA.

Google it.

Wupy



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 09:34 PM
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I do know about DARPA, but don't I need to build a prototype and then demonstrate it in order to get any attention from them? I can't just mail them a DVD with my address, right? If I'm wrong, and I can just send them an animation of my device and have them call me back saying, "Nice work! The check is in the mail!" then I will certainly do that. From what I understand, however, the process is a bit more complicated. Isn't it?

Additionally, this device is not something JUST for the military. Say you've got a corporation like Perot Systems that cares much about its employees. Say those employees are working in Iraq and are in danger of being snatched from their cars. Such a corporation might buy these devices to mount on their vehicles and thereby keep their employees safe. I need to ensure that the rights are kept by myself and my investors, right? I don't know, so that's why I'm asking.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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Sounds like your looking for a copyright or patent on the cheap. Heres what you do. Take the blueprints or idea or whatever and spell it all out on paper. Put it in an envelope and mail it to yourself. DO NOT OPEN IT when you get it back. You have an official date stamp from the post office and its sealed. Lock it away.

Its not much protection and might not even work. Still, it's something if you ever have to go to court.

The only sure fire way to protect it is with a full blown patent. That does take time and money though.

It wouldn't hurt to write DARPA and ask them about it. They might just send someone by to check it out, shoot you in the head and keep it all for themselves


Good luck my friend,

Wupy



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 10:17 PM
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Don't know about the utility of mailing the plans to yourself, but if you are really concerned about your intellectual property you should consult a patent attorney. At the very least, check out the patent office web site (www.uspto.gov) and familiarize yourself with the US patent process. Frankly, there is a lot of misunderstanding about intellectual property out there. And a lot of people looking to take advantage of the ignorant.

DARPA does not require a prototype for funding. They do require a proposal. They have different offices that handle various technologies. Unsolicited proposals will probably be read, but you probably have a better chance when responding to an official solicitation.

Taking money from the government, even DARPA, usually comes with strings attached. In many cases the government retains license-free rights to the technology for a period of time. What this means is that the govt can take your concept and pay someone else to build it for govt. purposes only. The other company is precluded from using the info for commercial purposes without licensing it from you. Even without taking govt funding, the govt. has broad rights when it comes to intellectual property.

Another option is the SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) program. All DoD agencies have at least one SBIR solicitation each year with many topics. Check out:

www.acq.osd.mil...

If your concept fits within the topic, a Phase I contract is generally worth $100k and 6 months. Phase II is generally up to $750k and 18 months. Of course, you'd have to start your own business, but it is not unheard of for a 1 or 2 person shop to get funding. MDA, formerly BMDO, used to publish 16 topics per year including a generic "Surprises and Opportunities" topic that allowed responders to propose just about anything. As long as the proposal meets format and other basic requirements, it will get read and reviewed. Phase I usually does not require a deliverable device, but you would have to make enough progress to convince the contracting officer to invite a Phase II proposal. A detailed final report would also be required. If your proposal is rejected, you are entitled to a de-brief explaining why the reviewer(s) rejected you.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 10:30 PM
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Im still scratching my head on how to help you get a patten on it, From the details you gave it sounds like it could be very profitable but could hit the pocket book pretty good to get it goin, Not everyone wants something That is lethal, but your idea sounds like it could have great selling points Because it can be used for non lethal purposes and lethal,

What ever you do DO NOT GIVE ANYMORE INFO until you have a patten on it, even if you never get a patten on it, never let it out in the open if you do let it out someone will find a way to patten it and it will make you mad,

Be patient something will com along, i have had some friends that have had ideas but talked to the wrong people and lost it, nothing major like inventing a microwave or anything like that but still just small things that most people wouldnt think of.

Ill look around for some info on pattening ideas.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 11:58 PM
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I'm dying to know what it is (mainly because I'm nosy) but like the last guy said tell no one!

I know it sounds obvious but check the patent office website its a little daunting but if your serious about this you wont let that get in your way.
US patent office

In the end though good luck on your idea (hope I dont get killed by it in the future:lol



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 12:34 AM
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First!!!
DO NOT REVEAL YOUR INVENTION TO ANYONE. Doing so will spoil the "novelty" requirement under tha law and you will not be able to get a patent. ANY kind of public disclosure (or personal disclosure without a confidentiality agreement in place) will invalidate your patent rights.

The next thing you do is write your idea down, sign and date it with a notary or at least one witness. This establishes your priority date (invention date). The envelope thing is not a bad idea (with a witness).

The next thing you need to do is a bit of research.

This will be difficult due to the fact that your are dealing with a weapon as invention. Most patents that deal with weaponry are deemed secrets and are not available to the public. You need to determine what "prior art" exisits around your invention. In other words what has already been patented in your field that is similar to yout idea. If it's already been done or discribed as an idea then no novelty and thus no patent rights.

For you to have patent rights you need to meet four criteria. 1) Novelty: in other words this is totally new and nothing like it has ever been discussed in public berfore. Second: it must have a practical application or industrial use. Third: it must not be obvious to a skilled practitioner "in the art" (in your case it must not be obvious to a weapons designer) and lastly you must have "reduced it to practice" and describe it in sufficient detail to allow another "person skilled in the art" (i.e. a weapons designer/manufacturer) to make (or "practice") your invention.

Filling a patent will cost you about $5-10,000 if you need a patent agent to help you draft it. If you can do it yourself you can probably do it under $2,000.

That's to file it.

To see it through to the end is another matter and you will definitely need some help from a Patent Agent that is qualified to deal with the USPTO Examiners. However, once you file a patent (even as a "provisional" application) you have started the processs and have something to sell; rights to an invention.

Arrange meetings with weapons manufacturers and invenstors to give a presentation about your "patent pending" invention (under confidentiality agreement) and sell your idea.

It's much more complicated than that but you get the basic idea I hope.

Patenting and commercialising an invention is not a simple task. To do it right takes just as much dedication as starting your own business. Its not some simple "hey I have an idea that will make millions" kind of thing. Lots of hard (and serious) work with some money invested. STAY AWAY form any of those fly-by-night "patenting" kits or "sell us your idea and we'll help you patent it" kind of shylocks.

Get a real patent agent or lawyer (there is a difference!). The first half hour of consultation should be free.

One more thing. Trying to patent a weapon will get you some attention from the government. After all the USPTO is a government department. They have a special classification for weapon inventions. It could be labeled a state secret and you may have to sell the idead to the government. Sorry, don't have any experience with this so you will have to look into it on your own.

Some links:

www.uspto.gov...

www.patentlawlinks.com...

www.bitlaw.com...

www.findlaw.com...

library.lp.findlaw.com...
.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 12:50 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I guess I'm in for the long haul and the patent process. Too bad it's not like copyright where you can write something and at the moment you create it, the rights are yours so long as you can prove you did it first. To me, the patent process seems like its designed so that only the rich can navigate the maze. Even then, I wouldn't be surprised if someone steals it along the way. It should be easier for an inventor to get something like this done, particularly when this thing has an immediate lifesaving sphere of operation where it could be applied.

I know you're supposed to write down the idea and all that, but I have gone a step further in actually creating a 3D .avi movie that shows the device in operation. I guess my question is, doesn't demonstration of the device, even in a simulation, give me some kind of rights? I guess not, but I figured I'd ask. I don't know any good patent attorneys so I'll have to start there.

Yes, I know I've got to keep it under wraps. I think what I'm going to do is save up my dough and actually build the prototype. Then, once it's built, I shouldn't have a problem finding investors to help me with the big bucks required for patenting it. Once I get it patented (some day), I'll post some pics. Thanks for the tips.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 01:23 AM
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Don't use the mail trick, it will not hold up in the court of law as envelopes can be steamed open.

Trust me. Bands used to try this back in the day to protect their music


[edit on 19-3-2005 by rktspc]



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 01:49 AM
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Not much to add here as there are some excellent advisories above. You will have to have a formal patent search as part of
the process, and that can be dissappointing if something technically close is found to be patented. You probably need some technical
consultation with someone you trust, and get a notarized statement of consultation from them with a summary of what you discussed.
At the same time, if you pick someone you can also convert into a believer, you may acquire a finiancial partner, but you share the patent with them.

Another consideration is your current employment. In some fields, there are clauses in the employment that grant your employer certain
rights reguarding patents you may acquire while in their service.

If you are really serious about this, you will find a way. The patent process
is complicated for a reason. If you want to patent another perpetual motion machine, super goop, or better mousetrap, you are either
very serious about it or have more money than cents (I mean sense). Keep a patent notebook, dates, times, contacts. Might want to start
with getting a signature from the Marine fellow on a paragraph summarizing your conversation and everything you have posted here. If
someone "steals" your idea, the quality of your "notebook" will also be the quality of any legal challenge.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 08:48 AM
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Keep us updated on how things are going



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by mrwupy
Sounds like your looking for a copyright or patent on the cheap. Heres what you do. Take the blueprints or idea or whatever and spell it all out on paper. Put it in an envelope and mail it to yourself. DO NOT OPEN IT when you get it back. You have an official date stamp from the post office and its sealed. Lock it away.

Its not much protection and might not even work. Still, it's something if you ever have to go to court.



actually, that works fairly well provided anyone claiming they thought it up first doesn't have a timeline prior to the mailing as their proof.

patent the idea and then build a prototype. If you don't have the money to do this you might want to consider taking on an investor to aid in the next step. Just remember that an investor will then own a % of your product.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 10:55 AM
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Sounds like some type of old fashioned shrapnel cannon.

I would be careful building things because you needa permit to build traps, mines, cannons, missiles and rockets. Also you are taxed 500$ a year for the permit. Each "weapon" I think you posses considered a destructive device and not a firearm is 500$. I think you have to pay for each weapon instead of just paying 500$ a year for the general permit.

So be careful building more then one.

But you also have the second amendment which guarantees you the right to keep and bear arms, so screw the permit and tell the ATF to shove it and move back to Russia.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by smallpeeps
To me, the patent process seems like its designed so that only the rich can navigate the maze.


It does seem that way doesn't it?

You can do it yourself but it will take some dedication. Intellectual Property law is complicated (and a specialty in the legal field) but once you understand it and the jargon it really isn't. The costs are out of hand if you need a patent agent to do it for you because they are specialists who charge by the hour but the government filling fees are not that high. (2005 Fee Schedule)

I recommend you immediately go to a bookstore and buy "Patent It Yourself" - by David Pressman (Amazon). This is a great book for the do it yourself type and explains the process in plain english.

I also recommend that you read some patents in the field that your invention falls into. All patents have a USPC (us Patent Classification) number and can have several class numbers assigned to them. Figure out which classes are applicable to you and search by class number (e.g. maybe class 102, 124 and 149 in your case?) or search by keyword on the search page.

If you can read a few and understand them then in all likelyhood you can take a crack at writting one. At that point it will only cost you the time it takes an agent to review it (rather than draft it from scratch).

It comes down to do your research and have lots of patience and perserverence.

Oh and you actually don't need a working prototype to patent so don't waste your time or money on that, but the description must be detailed enough that someone else can build a working model of your idea. If it doesn't work your patent will be invalid.

So if you build a prototype it's just so that you can prove to yourself that it works. You can't show it to anybody anyway to preserve the novelty requirement.

Hope this helps and good luck.
.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 12:08 PM
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It is absolutely imperative that you seek a patent. The 3d movie is not acceptable by itself. The patent costs can be prohibitive, however, not at the outset and for a small inventor, where you apply for a design drawing and technical patents. The fees should run you between $150-$700. Well worth it if you think you have a money maker on your hands.

The idea of the mail is technically for copyright, however it too can be incorporated for safety, but it should be sent registered to yourself, where you have the post office place a seal over the envelope flap, the courier type envelope is the better choice. Enclose your drawings, technical design outline, a copy of your video, and date every printed document, state your name, address and beside same, place the copyight symbol, month, year and country, then sign it. Imprint on your video the same information, sans signature of course, you might even wish to video your documents to make sure the connection is made.

Mail this envelope and recieve same back, prior to appearing at the patent office or a lawyer. Do not ever open the envelope except as ordered in a court of law! Do not give any more information on your invention to anyone until you get a patent unless via a patent attorney. The contents of the envelope goes to proof that you had the design, concept of workability and when, relative to proving infringement if necessary, and may only be opened in a court at the order of a judge, not by anyone else for it to be considered.

If the patent is accepted, you just mind find you need not solicit anyone for production, they may be soliciting you.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 12:51 PM
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Wow, thanks to everyone for the help. So as I understand:


1. I need to draw blueprints or a technical description of the device to such degree of detail that a "practicioner of the trade" could build one. I should take those plans and have them notarized. Then, I should seal them, and the video in a 'courier' type envelope and take that to the post office where they can affix a seal to the envelope that will be tamper-proof.

2. I need to search the patent records for 'prior art' and specifically for the four criteria Gools mentioned, 1: Novelty, 2: Practicality, 3: Non-Obviousity, 4: Duplicability.

3: I should then (if nothing like it is found) file a patent, assuming I can do that on my own (I think I can), which will give me the rights to a "patent pending".

4: With patent pending, I can then safely show my idea to weapons manufacturers and see if any of them wish to buy the idea.


...Doesn't sound too hard. I've spent some time searching through the US patent office's website. Man, there are some freaky sounding weapons in there! Did you know that a UV beam of light can carry an electrical charge along it and into a target? Just like a phaser from Star Trek! It's weird how there's weapons patented that we haven't seen yet.


I guess I'll just have to submit the patent and cross my fingers as some weapons-patents are restricted. I suppose a patent attorney that has worked in the weapons field might be able to advise me.

No, it's not a shrapnel cannon. My mom said I could only design weapons that have a non-lethal application.


Thanks again!



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by smallpeeps
No, it's not a shrapnel cannon. My mom said I could only design weapons that have a non-lethal application.



I'm sorry Small, but that last line about killed me. Seriously, as tempting as it may be, do not, I repeat, do not mention anything on this plan. If it is as effective as you state it will most definitely be stolen. Go through the proper channels and you could be set for life. Please though, when your jetting around the globe in your new Gulf Stream, remeber us for the good advice we gave you early on



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 01:30 PM
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If your idea is as unique as you say, you're better off obtaining a patent and paying the necessary fees than giving your idea to the military for nothing.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by smallpeeps
Wow, thanks to everyone for the help. So as I understand:


1. I need to draw blueprints or a technical description of the device to such degree of detail that a "practicioner of the trade" could build one. I should take those plans and have them notarized. Then, I should seal them, and the video in a 'courier' type envelope and take that to the post office where they can affix a seal to the envelope that will be tamper-proof.
Register same to be sent back to you.


2. I need to search the patent records for 'prior art' and specifically for the four criteria Gools mentioned, 1: Novelty, 2: Practicality, 3: Non-Obviousity, 4: Duplicability.
Not sure about US patent office, but you just might find it is they who search their records, as it is they who issues the patent, the onus should be on the office to ensure none duplicated. Give them a call.



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