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Patent a complex method and device, how to proceed?


Patent a complex method and device, how to proceed?
« on: December 28, 2018, 01:25:57 AM »
I'm a little unsure how to proceed with my invention, let me try to explain:
My invention's method starts with a common place electronic device that sends data to a user provided electronic device(smart phone/tablet) that is running software performing a unique analysis function created with the novel use of MIT licensed software libraries.

Searches have turned up a couple patents that are in the ballpark of my invention but with major differences.
The hardware is purpose built of off the shelf components with a certain combination of sub components to maximize functionality, the software runs on the users device and is unique in its function but will be readily copied when it hits market.

From my reading I wonder if pursuing a software patent is not a waste of money and I am better to file a vague PPA on the method, enjoy the year of PP status to find investors and either pursue to Non provisional application or let the PPA lapse and continue manufacturing with a hopefully established brand. Or just forgo the patent and operate with trade secrets the best I can(since its magic is mainly software based it can and will be copied).

I realize its very vague what has been said but if you have any useful insight to share I would certainly appreciate it.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 10:08:14 AM by Brad »


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Re: Patent a complex method and device, how to proceed?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 10:11:47 AM »
That is a tough one.   In general moving to "off the shelf" components vs. custom built electronics is not enough of a move to warrant getting a new patent approved so your instinct to focus on the software/firmware sounds reasonable.

If your plan is to get outside investment I can almost guarantee they will want to see some type of patent application filed so it may make sense to at least file a PPA to "please the investors" even if we think it has a low chance of being approved.

As PPAs are not published, there is little downside risk (other than the cost) to filing the PPA and seeing how much you can get done during the 12 month window.

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