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Author: Subject: Private forum for discussing patentable ideas?
Melgar
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Private forum for discussing patentable ideas?

With the amount of experimentation in this forum, some members here have made some quite impressive discoveries, that don't appear to have been documented before. Some of these discoveries and inventions could even be patented, however if you post the details of a discovery publicly, you forfeit the rights to any future patents. A forum that wasn't publicly viewable, and that admins would have to grant access to, wouldn't have this issue though. So if a member discovers something patentable, they could have somewhere to discuss that possibility without forfeiting patent rights.

It could be called "Patents Pending" or something. No need to give away all of the ideas we come up with here for free.

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j_sum1

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Interesting idea. I am wondering how much use it would get. I know it is the first place I would read if it came up in the daily posts..
AvBaeyer
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First, what is being proposed would likely run afoul of prior disclosure rules relating to patentability of an invention. Any disclosure of a potential invention to any outside party not subject to non disclosure or confidentiality agreements becomes prior art and can be cited against you by the patent examiners. Even if your disclosure was on a "protected" forum, such communication must be disclosed when you file as it falls into the realm of prior art. Second, if an idea or proposal were to be discussed in such a forum, there would also arise issues of inventorship and possible litigation due to input from all participants. Finally, without non-disclosure agreements, anyone on the forum could steal an idea, reduce it to practice (which is the actual basis of an invention, not just the seminal idea) and have a potential patent all to themselves.

If you really think you have a patentable invention (idea AND reduction to practice), consult a patent lawyer or patent agent. It is the only way to protect yourself.

AvB
Melgar
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Why not just have an NDA that's legally binding for North America, Europe, and Australia at least, then? There are definitely ways of entering into agreements over the internet that are legally binding, usually by providing your real name, country, etc. to some sort of third party service. Then an admin would just have to check to make sure that the third party's requirements were completed before approving anyone. A lot of times, these services are free for the basics, then only charge money if their users need something more complicated.

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Vosoryx
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I am quite new to this forum, but I dislike the idea of private threads.
If that is what is needed to protect your idea, so be it, but if you are asking other people for suggestions, wouldn't that mean that they had a hand in the creation of the finished product? (The product here could be a chemical, a method of producing a chemical, etc.) If a user's suggestions are going to get incorporated into the completion of the final product, then denying them at least partial credit would violate (certainly Candian, probably other countries') patent laws. If you have them sign away their rights to credibility on an invention, why would anyone bother offering their time and knowledge so that someone else could make money on it?
I much prefer the idea of, if you have an idea that requires other people's input to make it work, post it in the forum to which it corresponds and forget about patenting it. If you have an idea that you want to patent, don't post it publicly, and consult a patent lawyer. If you really need more input on your idea, don't ask random strangers on the internet to sign NDA's and instead talk to people who you know actually know what they're talking about in the field of science you need them to.
Just my opinion on the matter.
Melgar
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The main reason I spend as much time here as I do, is because that's where pretty much everyone I know that knows anything about chemistry is. I'm no longer a student at a university, and am too far away to effectively use the resources of the university I attended.

I asked for advice from professors at my university, who gave it free of charge. The benefit would be helping a fellow community member achieve greatness, I guess. And if they did, then we could even start a sciencemadness chemistry scholarship program or something. You don't think that'd be pretty cool?

A lot of the work of getting a patent is just figuring out if something is actually patentable. Also, knowing things like that if you post details about it in public, you forfeit rights to ever patent it. So the assistance would often just be help navigating the system, or making sure an idea is actually innovative enough to qualify for a patent. Then of course, there's the question of, even if you can get a patent, is this idea actually worth anything? These are all questions that I believe the community here could have a lot of valuable insight on, more so than anywhere else I might think to ask.

[Edited on 9/17/17 by Melgar]

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Vosoryx
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 Quote: Originally posted by Melgar The benefit would be helping a fellow community member achieve greatness, I guess. And if they did, then we could even start a sciencemadness chemistry scholarship program or something. You don't think that'd be pretty cool?

No, I really do think that would be cool. I'm just wondering how many people would actually do that? I would, if I knew anything worth sharing at this point in my life, I was just doubtful that others would have done the same. Perhaps many people would, and I was wrong on that.
violet sin
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I'd always offer a helping hand if possible. Don't need $or credit to the occasion or what's the point of "helping"... It would just be a job otherwise. But it would be cool to give SM a one time payoff or small % so the site could continue to provide a positive force in the amateur chemistry field. Just my 2¢ Fleaker International Hazard Posts: 1238 Registered: 19-6-2005 Member Is Offline Mood: nucleophilic Never talk about something you plan to patent--it's first to file not first to invent!!! I have 2 issued, 1 pending US patents. Neither flask nor beaker. "Kid, you don't even know just what you don't know. " --The Dark Lord Sauron Melgar Anti-Spam Agent Posts: 2004 Registered: 23-2-2010 Location: Connecticut Member Is Offline Mood: Estrified  Quote: Originally posted by Fleaker Never talk about something you plan to patent--it's first to file not first to invent!!! I have 2 issued, 1 pending US patents. It costs about$2000 to file a patent, last I checked, and people here who have stumbled onto something might have no idea where to begin. If we set up a third-party NDA system such that everyone in the forum had agreed to a legally-binding NDA, then a lawsuit would be possible if someone stole an idea.

People like you, who have gone through the process several times now, could be an invaluable asset to members who don't have the sort of connections that would be able to help you get a patent.

The first step in the process of learning something is admitting that you don't know it already.

I'm givin' the spam shields max power at full warp, but they just dinna have the power! We're gonna have to evacuate to new forum software!
Fleaker
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I think the most helpful thing would be someone who is an actual patent attorney discussing how to apply as an individual and discussing strategic considerations. We employed a Tier 1/Top 10 firm out of DC--truly a great experience working with them. My attorney was formerly a patent examiner and had his MS in ChemE.

"Kid, you don't even know just what you don't know. "
--The Dark Lord Sauron
CRUSTY
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I feel that even if a patent-specific subforum were not implemented, it would still be incredibly useful if we had a "discoveries"-themed subforum. Prepublication has always seemed a bit prohibitive, especially to new users, due to the fact that either a user's report has not been drafted, or publishing a report isn't the path a given user wants to take. For lab equipment, the "Homemade and Repurposed Lab Gear" thread that is stickied under the Reagents and Apparatus board (by the way, does anyone else like to shorten it to "Re-Ap"?) sort of serves this purpose, but topics tend to get buried as the thread ages. A place for users to discuss their discoveries, if any, would be a pretty nice tool for this site.

Texium (zts16)

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 Quote: Originally posted by CRUSTY I feel that even if a patent-specific subforum were not implemented, it would still be incredibly useful if we had a "discoveries"-themed subforum. Prepublication has always seemed a bit prohibitive, especially to new users, due to the fact that either a user's report has not been drafted, or publishing a report isn't the path a given user wants to take. For lab equipment, the "Homemade and Repurposed Lab Gear" thread that is stickied under the Reagents and Apparatus board (by the way, does anyone else like to shorten it to "Re-Ap"?) sort of serves this purpose, but topics tend to get buried as the thread ages. A place for users to discuss their discoveries, if any, would be a pretty nice tool for this site.
Prepublication will do fine for worthwhile discoveries. The Homemade and Repurposed Lab Gear thread is really just intended for posting pictures of simple and clever hacks. If someone wanted to write a more detailed post on how to build a particular apparatus, then that would be deserving of its own thread in R&A (that's how I shorten it), or potentially even Prepublication.

Prepublication seems prohibitive for good reason. It is. It isn't meant to be a place where everyone just dumps ideas and observations that they think are cool and unique. It's for posting well researched, carefully planned experiments that have either not been done before, or are an improvement on an existing method. I have never started a thread in Prepublication before, despite being here for over three years and being a moderator. In fact, I just checked, and I have only posted twice in that subforum to date!

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Vosoryx
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My problem with private forums is simple: I cant read them.
People who have only been on the forum for a short while and are newcomers, such as myself, might have really good points to make, (I dont, but others might) but cant see the forum for the discussion of potentially patentable ideas... maybe they'll make a really good point, and add to the idea. No-one would know, because no mod. In their right mind would give someone with my user rank and post history access to any private forums, and rightly so i might add.
Making the forum private would limate you to only select members. You can do it, im just not sure it doesnt completely defeat the point of an international science minded public chat room.
Just my opinion.
Melgar
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 Quote: Originally posted by Vosoryx My problem with private forums is simple: I cant read them. People who have only been on the forum for a short while and are newcomers, such as myself, might have really good points to make, (I dont, but others might) but cant see the forum for the discussion of potentially patentable ideas... maybe they'll make a really good point, and add to the idea. No-one would know, because no mod. In their right mind would give someone with my user rank and post history access to any private forums, and rightly so i might add. Making the forum private would limate you to only select members. You can do it, im just not sure it doesnt completely defeat the point of an international science minded public chat room. Just my opinion.

It would be like the "Whimsy" forum, where the description would say who to U2U if you wanted access, or there could be a sticky thread in that forum that anyone can read, but every other post, you'd need to be granted access to read. It would just describe the process you'd have to go through to get access, which would probably involve accepting the conditions of a legally-binding non-disclosure agreement. I don't see why a new user couldn't be given access, since you'd have to disclose your real name, country, and probably a few other things to a third party in order for the agreement to be binding. If you're okay doing that, then there would be no reason not to give you access.

The first step in the process of learning something is admitting that you don't know it already.

I'm givin' the spam shields max power at full warp, but they just dinna have the power! We're gonna have to evacuate to new forum software!

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Non-chemistry » Forum Matters » Private forum for discussing patentable ideas? Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Detritus   » Test Forum