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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
having been a sea angler for almost 40 years ive come up with an idea for a piece of kit that ive never seen before , even on the internet theres no sign of what i think is a good idea... ive even made a prototype and use it every time i go out... so what next ? do i copyright it or send the idea to a tackle company... if theres anyone out there who has had any experience in tackle development, could you help. any thoughts would be appreciated............. ps please dont ask what it is, its a seceret at the moment.... regards steve..
 

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Going back around ten or twelve years ago, I was in exactly the same position as you. I had invented a gadget that was for me and my mates, an absolute godsend and due to their constant praises, I decided to take the next step and contacted a development company to try and get my gadget patented. All I will say mate, is be careful and try not to get sucked in by all the company's who say you're onto a winner and can't lose. They'll tell you that for a small outlay they will get your gadget patented and before you can say 'wow, that was quick!' you'll be rolling in wads of cash. In reality, what you'll probably find is that initially,things will go swimmingly and you'll be bombarded with all kinds of official looking documents until they start claiming that to further develop your idea, you'll have to send them a small amount of cash...next thing you know they need more money, then more money - you get my drift? Yes, it was a bit exciting during the initial exchanges between the development company and myself but after a while I realised that to get my idea patented I was going to have to part with a serious amount of readies and in the end, I decided not to pursue the matter any further as the company couldn't give me an absolute guarantee that my idea was was a winner, like they said it would be. By the way, they didn't take kindly to me pulling out and for months after, they were still annoying me with phonecalls and mails, telling me not to give up - but in the end like I said, they couldn't give me an assurance that once I'd ploughed a load of my hard earned cash into the project, my idea would be a hit on the fishing scene. Turned out that a few years later a gadget very similar in design to mine suddenly became available on the fishing scene and it must've became so popular that there are now various different company's selling the same thing...so with hindsight, maybe I should've parted with the cash but it was a lot of money at the time for me and with no assurance at all from the developers, it was just too risky. Ah well, that's life I suppose!
Just be extra cautious out there mate and I wish you well with your gadget. Cheers.
 

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One thing I will say mate is this.

IF and it's a huge IF you can develop it YOURSELF then go down that road mate.

I realise that very few of us have untold wealth, and as you haven't said what it is (and rightly so) I have no idea if this is an avenue you can go down.

It's sort of catch 22, do you 'risk' giving your project over to 'professionals' or do you keep it SMALL in the start up stage and hope the gods are smiling.

It's a very difficult one mate, and only one you can decide, but all I can say is good luck and fingers crossed for you.

Copyrights are sometimes a minefield to try and negotiate, all different kinds, both 'ideas' and actual tangible goods are often copyrighted in very different ways.
 

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If you seriously want to market the item yourself, I'd suggest patenting is the first step.

I don't know a great deal about it either, although you can apply yourself I believe, you dont need a third party company.

Would seriously suggest your first port of call is with a solictor who deals with patent law and they can lay out all the options for you.

Yes, you'll have to pay for a consultation, but that might be worth it to know exactly where you stand.

There's no doubt reams of info on the web too, but if it was me I'd rather someone sat me down and explained it!
 

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Also agree with Kokomo, is it viable to do yourself or would you need expertise?

You dont want to appear on Dragons Den in three years time saying "I need £200k to develop my glow in the dark disgorger that I've already sunk my house and lifesavings into..." :unsure:
 

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I filed a patent registration for £1800. Depending on your product, techical drawings, etc. yours could be more or less.
That is registered worldwide, and gives you a year before you have to make the application in the UK.
It gives you about three years before you need to make applications in other territories, and every territory needs to be covered yearly.
So, for arguments sake, let us say you figured US, Aus and EU would be biggest territories, you would apply in their jurisdictions, and renew every year.

That said, patent law is civil, not criminal, so, if a big company ripped off your product, you would struggle to stop them, even if you had mega-bucks. And that is for Western companies. They would just keep you in courts. Chinese companies would just rip it off without caring.

The upshot is, it is damn expensive keeping on top of, and your product needs to make enough money for you that other companies would imagine you would have the cash to fight back. If not, they would just steamroll you.

Or, you could register patent, and approach the big boys to license. Take pennies per product, but they would do the fighting bit.

Hope that helps?
 

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I'd talk to the big boys if I was you.
Paying out for copyrights and whatever is just the start.
Production costs and do you know anyone that could produce it.

The cheapest way is going abroad and you would have to order probably 10k for them to do it.
Do they need to make moulds as your design will have to be modified for mass production.
Then your hoping everyone they send is good to sell (not always the case).

Once here after paying for the goods transport and duty you have to shift them.
How many tackle shops can you visit in a day can you also convince they to buy it.
What credit terms do they want also what would be your advertising budget.

Chat to the big boys ask them if they would or do buy a design from people.
Find out what sort of agreement they would offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hi fellas, thank you for your input and advice, dont know what im going to do yet although funding it myself is well beyond my means. ill spend some real time this weekend to see what i can come up with, once again many thanks ...steve.
 

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Is it terminal tackle? just give us some idea and what would you expect to pay for it retail or what would you pay for it?

Not asking you to say exactly what it is.
 

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Patents protect designs and processes, copyright protects published material so it would be patents that would protect your design.... but

As pointed out above patent protection is expensive and worthless unless you defend it so it can be a costly old business and doesn't stop someone knocking off your idea in china or a region you don't have patent protection.

Starting point is to do some maths, what will it cost to make, what will it sell for wholesale, what will it retail for, how many will you sell a year, how much is it going to cost to administer, how will you market it etc.

There's plenty of legal firms that specialise in intelectual property. The simplest thing as said above is you approach an existing tackle manufacturer, but unless you know and trust them you want to protect your idea- a confidentiality agreement and a bit of legal representation is a good starting point.
 

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It really depends on the value of your project as if it's not going to be expensive to buy is it going to be worth all the expense of patents, why not just advertise it and sell it, if it turns out to be popular then a company might contact you,
 

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Go and see a patent lawyer and ask them about the ways you can protect your invention. Try to find one who you trust. Before you do this however, have detailed technical drawings of the product design and its application done by a competent draftsman which clearly illustrates the particular innovation and patentable design innovation that you have created. Take this to a trusted solicitor and get them to date it, and recognise that it has been received by them on a particular date.

Like others have said, an idea itself is not patentable or copyrightable, if all you can claim is that it was your idea in the first place. Establish that in a point of time, it was your idea and that you intend to take the product to market.

Do you have a trusted family solicitor who can introduce you to a trusted patents lawyer or attorney.

At least this way, the introduction is documented.
 

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In your position I wouldn't want to release any truly new idea onto the market, patented or otherwise. Chinese companies will have it copied and and on the market within 4 weeks. They really don't give a f*ck and you'll lose your house trying to protect your rights and still end up nowhere. If you really think you're on to something approach one of the big boys and cut a deal with them and let the chinese problem be their problem.
 

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In your position I wouldn't want to release any truly new idea onto the market, patented or otherwise. Chinese companies will have it copied and and on the market within 4 weeks. They really don't give a f*ck and you'll lose your house trying to protect your rights and still end up nowhere. If you really think you're on to something approach one of the big boys and cut a deal with them and let the chinese problem be their problem.
Kind of echoing what I said some posts ago, and sadly true.
But, as I pointed out, the problem is not just with the chinese. Western companies are quite capable of dragging a court case out for an eternity, and even if a decision goes for you, they would appeal. Few people can take on those costs.
Also, as I discovered, only a small change needs making in most cases. That change might negate a patent, but still allow a functioning product.
 

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Have a word with Norman Bickers at Breakaway Tackle, Ipswich. The firm has specialised in the little things that have made life easier for sea anglers for many years, and having gone through the patent mill themselves know most of what there is to know, and have themselves been ripped-off by Mitchell and Shimano with the late Nig Forrests fixed-spool design.

PTR
 

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Their bait clips have been copied but not the casting cannons yet, best thing they ever did as so much better than stinkie finger stalls
 
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