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Inventing New Products/Inventions/to patent or not to patent

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Question
I greatly appreciate your time here!  I do not have access to my patent related books at the moment and am seeking to understand whether a patent would be helpful and/or necessary with a certain design I am working on.  The design simply consists of placing a floral display inside a unique container.  I have conducted a few searches in this area of interest and cannot seem to discover any prior art.  Would you please tell me if it would be possible / suggested to obtain a patent for this type of application?  Please feel free to ask me any follow up questions.

Thank you, Craig

Answer
Morning Craig,

Well, you've certainly asked a virtually impossible to fully answer question in light of the fact I have not seen what you have yet alone understand the container itself. Naturaly we know the flower arrangement is not patentable but your "unique" container mau be. I've no idea just how "unique" it is compared to other containers patented or not. The fact you've found no prior art in search is no guarantee what you have is patentable. Per chance did you perform a numeric Classification and sub-classification search or merely a keyword one?

If you found absolutely no containers in the world like what you have then I'd do a regular Google search looking for any that are so similar they are basically the same as what you have. Keyword searches seldom produce prior art either in the same Class or like it. Hence why a professional prior art search should be ordered (not from an attorney but from a patent search "only" company who also offers with it a free "written" patentability opinion from a licensed patent attorney. Therefore, I would suggest you get a professional prior art patent seach performed.  

Now, if it's worth eventually applying for a formal patent on (you've have to run the numbers and test the market), for a very modest sum way under $200 you can write/file a Provisional on it at the patent office ---valid for one year. During that year one claims the item is "patent pending".......although a formal NonProvisional was not written/filed only a Provisional which means, the contents of what you write guarantee nothing. Also, no one at the patent office will read - no care - what's on the paper(s) as long as the Filing fee is enclosed as the document expires one year from it Filing date. it can be filed via Express Mail at the post office. In other words, before you exit a post office your invention would be in "patent pending" since the Post Office is an official agent of the patent office and/or when the patent office directly receives it from you via mail ----whichever comes first.

Regards,
Penny Ballou  

Inventing New Products/Inventions

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Penny Ballou

Expertise

The Invention Process; Royalties; Licensing Inventions/Products; Pricing; Direct to Market; Marketing/Promotions; Patent Searching; DIY patent writing; Types of patents/costs/how to's; Funding (grants and Angel investors); Prototyping; Off-Shore sourcing.

Experience

I am founder of an inventors group; Advisory Board President of www.inventored.org; former Licensing Executive Society member; researcher for www.piausa.org and a consultant; plus moderate and contribute to several online inventor discussion groups.

Publications
Enter my email address into any search engine to find them.

Education/Credentials
Invention development: well-studied and applied in all aspects of the process and an inventor myself with one invention in patent pending and others ramping up. Lived and attended schools in Mainland China and the UK.

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