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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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I am an inventor and the past product that I invented about

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I am an inventor and the past product that I invented about twenty years ago was stolen from me by other online companies, some of which were not based in the United States. This impacted my sales so severely I could no longer enjoy the small profits that I previously enjoyed.

20 years ago I did not file for a provisional patent. And I did not take legal action against those web site owners/operators that stole my invention.

This time I applied for a provisional patent application, and I would like to protect my invention from those same anonymous web site owners/operators from stealing my patented invention or disclosing my trade secrets. I’m flirting with trademarking and copyrighting even the description of how my product is designed to deter people from disclosing my invention without my permission.

The problem with my last invention and this invention is that I only have sufficient research and development to invent a product using off the shelf products and materials, and therefore, I am very concerned someone will disassemble my design and duplicate my exact product or come close too it and either sell the product outright online using their website or provide explicit instructions on how to create a less expensive version of my product.

If my product sells very, very well I will be able to significantly reduce the costs and then I’m not as worried about a little theft but this is a very niche product to make life easier for people who are missing/inoperative limbs, so I expect sales to be very slow at first, and I can’t afford for people describing how to make the product to the general public or reverse engineering and selling it themselves.

So my question is how do I prevent, both inside and outside the US, from stealing my product design and reselling or revealing my trade secrets (e.g., the exact materials I use and configuration)? (And I cannot afford to hire an attorney or purchase patent or copyright insurance at this point.)

If thieves put me out of business this time, my morale will be too low to invests the resources and time in making inexpensive, high quality commercially available products ever again. I spent thousands of dollars developing this product and need a better return on my investment than my last invention which was stolen.

Alex Reese :

hello

Thank you for your question and thank you kindly for requesting me to assist you this afternoon.

If you invented something 20 years ago and it was never patented, what protection, if any, did you attempt to obtain for this item?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Nothing was done to secure my claim. I was a kid in college, and the revenue flow didnt strike me as worth the effort.


 


But I never forgot the theft.


 


Of course, my question is about my latest invention.

Thank you for your follow-up.

What you are describing is generally called 'reverse engineering'. That is legal and cannot be stopped. If someone wishes to purchase your product, then take it home and completely disassemble it so as to get at how the product is created, produced, or run, that is their right as a consumer. So that you cannot protect against short of stating that any unauthorized disassembly or repair will void your warranty for the product. This wouldn't be a trade secret and would be a potential risk.

What you would be able to do is if someone reverse engineers this product and then begins to sell copies, if the item is substantially similar to yours after you patent and protect it, you can sue them outright for infringement and damages. A patent grants you a limited monopoly on your item, so you would be able to utilize it as a means of protecting your idea and keeping others from selling or profiting from your own iea if their copy is too substantially similar.

It would be wise to file for a provisional patent as soon as you can, and then also file for copyright protection as well so as to strengthen your own claim.


Good luck

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I apologize I was rather long winded, so you may have missed a few points I made above.


 


But I already filed for a provisional patent application on my latest invention.


 


Are you saying that the copyright will protect me from people disclosing the reverse engineering or how my product is built step by step to others?

Thank you for your follow-up. Please allow me to respond directly.

No, a copyright will NOT protect you from disclosing reverse engineering--it will protect you if they use your logos, your marketing, or your intellectual property. But it will not protect you from dissemination of information that is legally obtained.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So are you saying if I reverse engineer coco-cola soda and determine the exact ingredients used along with precise quantities it is legal to disclose this information to the world?


 


Are you serious?!!!

I am very serious, and yes, that is correct. So long as you did not obtain that information via industrial espionage, their formula is fair game. There is nothing illegal about that process.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience: I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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