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sports prediction patents

sports prediction patents
« on: April 30, 2017, 01:18:15 PM »
I am a published data scientist and have created successful methods for predicting sports outcomes for multiple sports. One current project is to incorporate these methods into a patent for a new app that will include sports predictions combined with other capabilities. (Those capabilities not described here, but are really the novel part of the product.)

However, I am struggling with the practicality of patenting the sports prediction algorithm portion of the product. There seem to be multiple potential problems, but perhaps the greatest appears to be ensuring you actually are the only one using your algorithm once the patent is released. Why?

A) There are numerous patents for sports predictions of various types, and some describe the algorithm in pretty fine detail.

B) Anyone with access to statistical software, the experience and training in statistics to use it, and the time to scrape data from the internet can reproduce a well-described algorithm.

C) No one knows what a given team working on these methods is doing behind closed doors.

D) So anyone, including vendors currently selling sports picks, could simply begin using an attempted version of the algorithm to power their own work in secret.

So the question becomes, how specific does a sports prediction patent need to be vs. how broad can it be? It seems advantageous to make it as broad as possible because of the problem described.


Brad

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Re: sports prediction patents
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 07:08:50 AM »
In general I would think these types of inventions are better kept as a "trade secret" because once you put the algo into a patent app and the patent app gets published on the internet everyone can read it, exploit it (without you even knowing) and then it becomes worthless.

Patents are usually best if you can easily determine if someone else is copying you and then you use your patent to stop them.  How would you know if some sports better in the UK was using your algo?  You  couldn't so you could not possibly enforce this type of patent.   There are some other reasons to file for a patent such as raising money from investors but I don't know if that is what you are looking to do and any good/sophisticated investor should have the same concerns about enforceability.

Sorry this does not really answer your question but I would strongly re-consider a patent for this type of work.

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Re: sports prediction patents
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2017, 09:48:19 AM »
It sounds like you share my concerns - there is no way to know what is being done behind closed doors. The best approach might be to focus the content of the patent on the web and mobile application that will display information to the user, not the underlying algorithms that produce the information. There is much novelty in the envisioned application and its basic functionality. Sound logical?

In general I would think these types of inventions are better kept as a "trade secret" because once you put the algo into a patent app and the patent app gets published on the internet everyone can read it, exploit it (without you even knowing) and then it becomes worthless.

Patents are usually best if you can easily determine if someone else is copying you and then you use your patent to stop them.  How would you know if some sports better in the UK was using your algo?  You  couldn't so you could not possibly enforce this type of patent.   There are some other reasons to file for a patent such as raising money from investors but I don't know if that is what you are looking to do and any good/sophisticated investor should have the same concerns about enforceability.

Sorry this does not really answer your question but I would strongly re-consider a patent for this type of work.

*THIS IS BUSINESS ADVICE - NOT LEGAL ADVICE

Brad

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Re: sports prediction patents
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2017, 11:15:27 AM »
Patents (by law) have to teach the details of how the invention works (i.e. the secret sauce).   If they key part about your idea is the algorithm, there is a high probability the patent office may say you did not teach all of the details on how your invention work sand therefore reject your patent.

My free patent template: http://patentfile.org/free-provisional-patent-template/

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Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.