On an idea I had, what can I do or should I do if I thought the county was using something I thought of? 6 Answers as of July 31, 2013

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Microtechnology Law & Analysis | Daniel Flamm
Regret that it is too late to protect your invention.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/30/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
It is possible that two people can think of the same idea at the same time. The idea itself is not protected by law. However, the expression of the idea, be it an invention, a story or song, or any thing else suitably original, will be protected in many but not all cases. To take action against the county, you will need to show that you created the original expression of the idea, that your expresion was protected by law from infringement, that the county had the opportunity to learn about your expression, that the county copied or used some or all of your expression without your permission, and that you suffered a loss as a result of the county's action.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 7/31/2013
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Unfortunately if you don't have any rights to the invention then you are out of luck. Keep in mind you don't have rights nor can you gain rights to an idea. You must have an invention or what we call an embodiment to be able to patent it. For example it is an idea to have a touch screen computer, but it is patentable when you can write a specification that tells someone who knows computers how to build and use such a device, Now if your idea was fully developed and you showed your plans to the county employee who is using your "idea" you could possibly keep him from getting a patent on it as it is not his idea, but you cant go back in time and file a patent to gain any rights in your "idea" now. That ship has sailed.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/30/2013
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
Unfortunately nothing unless you filed a patent application before the first person in the country started making, using or selling the idea. The Patent office currently operates on a "first to file" basis, and all prior use or sales can be used as prior art to reject a new application that you file.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/30/2013
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
Unless you can prove that the county took your idea - there is little that you can do. Often two people will develop similar ideas at the same time - especially if directed to a well-known problem or issue. Sometimes the solution is obvious - and multiple parties come up with the same solution.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 7/30/2013
    Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
    You should get patent application as soon as you can to prevent others from copying you. This is important as we move into the First to File era. I would recommend the use of software from PowerPatent.com called ProvisionalBuilder. Software costs $99 so it i very inexpensive yet guides you to prepare a high quality patent application that one year later you can turn to a lawyer to convert into a utility application for you. A feature summary is at http://www.powerpatent.com/prwelcome THe software helps you organize information, and through your summary description, brings back sample patents in the same field for you to use as examples.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2013
Click to View More Answers: