When you first starting out how did you patent your tool ideas?

I have had quite a few ideas I’d like to make and market but I have never figured out the patent process… any advice would be appreciated! I’m not a big shop, more of a hobbyist, so paying a patent lawyer has always been unreachable for me. Thanks

T.Sparks - I had the same thought a few years ago, and then I watched a video John Saunders from nyccnc did about patents. Super short story of the video that I got out of it was if in the end you get your patent, and produce what you have. And then someone from lets say overseas makes a cheaper copy, if you dont have the fundage to write checks in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend your patent in court against huge companies with deep pockets… its kind of a why get a patent, just produce your higher quality version and people will always buy what they buy. https://youtu.be/oDrt8n1mOJM?si=FaiO4g5TdhNyz2Gw link to video


There’s a lot of nuances to patents. One is how strong of a patent you can get, then how much you’re willing to defend it.

Talk to a patent attorney, an attorney who actually specializes in patents, not just a generalist or a trademark person. I’ve spoken to lots of people with patents they want to license, but it’s really hard to do so in a way that makes everybody happy, and companies that offer to find you a buyer are mostly scams.

Licensing is hard because most patents aren’t really that great and require a lot of work. Manufacturing, marketing, sales, and distribution is 90% of the work. We can design and prototype an idea in a week, but getting the first sale takes over a year. Most licensing is the equivalent of offering to sell someone a project car that needs lot of work, and that you want to charge them every time they want to drive it, when they already have a bunch of other project cars in the yard.

If you really want to pursue your idea, your main focus should be to get it made and get some sales, and everything is downstream from there.


Sadly the world doesn’t work for the individual any more. Tribes became Kingdoms; Kingdoms became Countries; Countries became (i think we can say this in passed tense now) Corporations. In the same way that one man could have gone up against a Kingdom, you could go up against corporations or companies these days if you want. On the battlefield of intellectual property. But we all know how that will end.
So there are two options. You could rally enough locals, tribesmen, together to try to act toward one goal. Or you could go to a king and try to convince him that your idea to invade the market is a good one, and that he should help you with it. The first case might look like you just putting it out there and convincing other technical people that it’s worth buying (from you IF it gets 'copied). And the second might look like paying a tool producer (brand / manufacturer / company) a lot of money to do everything for you. The sad truth is that if we wish to market something, a BIG initial investment is necessary. Whether that’s paying a ‘tribute’ to the King, or something else. I don’t know about you, but i don’t have enough gold in my treasure chest to play on that scale. And buying a parchment that declares “hear ye - thou shalt not copy this man’s concept” doesn’t sound like a defensable position or way around how the world works.

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