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DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney.

 

It all depends on what the you want to do. Without going into great detail, it is possible it file a “provisional patent” application which costs less than a non-provisional patent. The provisional patent costs $110 for USPTO application fee in addition to any fees associated with a patent attorney (You might be lucky enough to find a kind attorney to do the application pro-bono). The provisional patent is good for only a year and a non-provisional patent application needs to be filed within 12 months of the provisional patent filing. If you want to totally protect the intellectual property of the invention, then you would need to complete all of the steps and get a non-provisional patent, which can get pretty expensive. If you do not want to continue the protection of your intellectual property, you have no obligation to file the non-provisional patent application and you can allow the patent to expire after a year.

 

See this for more information on provisional patents: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/ProvApp.pdf

See this for the fees: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/qs/ope/fee2009september15.htm (See “small entity fee” for “provisional patent”).

 

The filing of a patent is a tremendous administrative burden which could detract from a FLL team’s work in the main FLL areas. I have seen patents from both sides of the judging table within FLL. They don’t really sway the judges any more than having a very innovative idea to begin with. With all of this being said, the teams do get a big kick out of having their names associated with a patent.

 

Best of luck!

Bill

 

From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Frank Fenneran - Team #53 Brainstorms
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 9:54 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: EXTERNAL:Re: [VADCFLL-L] Patent Help Needed

 

I and a few partners just received a patent on an invention that took about three years to go through the process. But that is better than the one we filed before this one, because it was filed a year earlier and is still in process.

 

Gail is right, the cost is going to $10,000+

 

-Frank

 

From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of The Okes Family
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 9:41 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [VADCFLL-L] Patent Help Needed

 

Does anyone know a streamlined and reliable way to Patent our team's invention?

I'd like to show them how to patent their ideas for the future too.

 

Thanks,

- Lisa


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