Posts Tagged "patent"

IP Protection: The Rise of Design Patents

October 14, 2015
3D Innovations

Design patent applications are on the rise. In the past, inventors have focused more on utility patents alone to protect the functionality of their invention, and securing rights to prevent others from duplicating their product. While utility patents make up 90% of patents issued, design patents have been steadily on the rise because inventors are realizing that the exterior design and overall aesthetics of the invention can easily be replicated as well. Protecting both the design and functionality of an invention is necessary for long-term success.

ip-3d-printing-innovations-100According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture”. In short, this means that design patents extend to what is exactly shown in the drawings, nothing more. For this reason, it is extremely important to have professional line drawings completed for your application. These patent illustrations mean everything to your design patent application and subsequent patent.

Similar to a utility patent, a design patent also lets you use the phrases patent pending and patent issued on all business related material. Once you have been granted a design patent, you are then able to secure rights for the next fourteen years. Another important thing to keep in mind is that design patents are relatively cheap to file and maintain, as compared to a utility patent.

A design patent, coupled with a utility patent, offers a range of IP protection on both the inner workings and exterior design of your product. We highly recommend that you consult with a licensed patent attorney to review your patent options and decide what will be the most-beneficial for your specific invention.

Have questions about professional line drawings for your design patent? Please send them our way  info@3d-innovations.com

________

3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

The Correlation Between Patents & Innovation

June 24, 2015
3D Innovations

With increasing litigation sparked by patent trolls, patents and the entire patent system have come under scrutiny. Many are calling for patent system reform while others are saying that the entire system should be abolished. Getting rid of the entire patent system would “strip away much of the incentive to create, impeding investment in new technologies, slowing the production of new creative content and harming economic growth”. In short, it would be a disaster.

“Just because today’s technologies can sometimes make it easier to invent more quickly and at less cost doesn’t mean the resulting inventions are less valuable to society or less worthy of protection.” Without the protection of the patent system many entrepreneurs would be at risk of having their innovations simply stolen by larger competitors. The Patent Act of 1790 was the first federal patent statute in the United States and it was created because there was a need to safeguard inventors. While patent laws have transformed over the years, the principle that entrepreneurs and inventions need safeguards remains true.

The current patent system in place does have its flaws and standards should be tighter to ensure that only inventions truly worthy of protection receive intellectual property rights. Reforming the patent system should be the next step, not abolishing it. “The fast pace of innovation and the increasingly international flow of goods and content can create challenges for traditional patent and copyright systems. But those systems, despite their flaws, remain vital to economic prosperity. The correct approach is to update them, not dismantle them.”

Have further questions about patents, the patent process or prototyping for a patent application? Please contact us at info@3d-innovations.com

Works cited: The Scientific American – Why Patents and Copyright Protections Are More Important Than Ever

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook today

Protecting Your Company’s Intellectual Property

February 11, 2015
3D Innovations

The intellectual property of your business is a serious matter and must be protected. Product Design & Development (PD&D) recently shared an article, 5 Ways to Protect Intellectual Property, that provides helpful insight into the main topics that need to be covered in a strategic alliance agreement.

There are five topics that should be covered in any agreement where intellectual property is involved:

  1. ip-3d-printing-innovations-100Ownership of Intellectual Property: Frequently, one or more of the parties is bringing pre-existing intellectual property to the partnership. It is important to specifically identify and reserve its ownership within the contract.
  2. Licenses to Intellectual Property: Commercializing the new development will also require some cross-licensing of intellectual property rights and should cover both pre-existing and new intellectual property. These licenses need to be carefully tailored to the particular rights that the licensee needs.
  3. Responsibility for Obtaining and Maintaining Patents: Patents are an important part of intellectual property protection. Joint development agreements should include detailed provisions about which party will take the lead in obtaining and maintaining them.
  4. Responsibility for Prosecuting Infringers: It is often easier to agree to the allocation of responsibility and cooperation prior to an infringement, rather than after the infringement has occurred.
  5. Term and Termination: It is tricky to unwind a product collaboration if intellectual property is jointly owned. So careful thought during negotiations and drafting can prevent problems if the agreement terminates.

All strategic alliance agreements are unique in their own way but, when intellectual property is involved these five points are critical and should be included in the final agreement.

We invite you to read the full article on the PD&D website.

Below are a few additional articles that provide helpful intellectual property and patent information…

If you have additional intellectual property or patent questions please feel free to contact us at info@3d-innovations.com

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook today

A Manufacturing Success Story

November 26, 2014
3D Innovations

NIST MEPWe are extremely excited and honored to be considered a “success story” in Hawaii by the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). There are over 940 state success stories shared on the MEP website and 12 of those are from Hawaii.

What is the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)? “MEP is a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. Department of Commerce agency. MEP been committed to strengthening U.S. manufacturing, continually evolving to meet the changing needs of manufacturers since 1988. Through its services and partnerships it has had a profound impact on the growth of well-paying jobs, the development of dynamic manufacturing communities, and the enhancement of American innovation and global competitiveness.” (Learn more about MEP on the official website.)

The small business community in Hawaii is continuously growing and thriving; we feel extremely fortunate to be surrounded by such dedicated entrepreneurs. We would also like to thank our local MEP center, INNOVATE Hawaii, for the continued guidance, assistance and access to both local and national resources that have helped 3D Innovations succeed.

Please click here to read the 3D Innovations MEP Success Story.

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook today

Prototypes: Do I really need one?

November 13, 2014
3D Innovations

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca

If you have recently been hit with an idea that you feel has commercial value and you want to take this idea one step further and build a business around it you might be asking yourself this crucial question…”Do I need a prototype?” Although you are not required to have a prototype to file a patent application, having a prototype simplifies this process and makes the process of going from an idea to a tangible business much easier.

3d designWhat is a prototype? A prototype is a depiction, example or even a finished and functioning product. You need one if you intend to test your idea, to improve your product and its component parts and ultimately to show or demonstrate it to investors, manufacturers or buyers for example.

Why should I prototype my idea? Prototyping gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your idea to potential buyers, get feedback from test groups and refine your product design. A prototype is almost seen as a necessity these days when you are trying to obtain funding from investors. A tangible object that investors can see function provides a better understanding of the product and its value.

It is also important to note that prototyping lets you finalize the best design possible before sending your product off to be manufactured. You will undoubtedly find flaws in your initial design and having a prototype lets you work out all of these kinks beforehand.

How much does a prototype cost? The answer to this question depends on a number of different factors, such as: size, components and complexity. To get a better idea of what your specific idea would cost to prototype we suggest that you find a firm that you are comfortable with, potentially has experience in the industry you would be going into and really understands your vision for the product to get a quote.

*If you would like to chat with us further about prototyping, the product development process or obtain a prototyping quote from us please contact us at info@3d-innovations.com

Additional information about prototyping can be found in the links below:

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook today

Protect Your Invention

October 15, 2014
3d-innovations.com

Patenting your product is an important step towards success but not necessarily one of your first orders of business. “Only 2 to 3 percent of all patented products ever make it to market,” which means you are going to want to make sure your idea is a sound invention or viable business before the patent process begins.

Patents, Defined
What exactly is a patent? “A patent is a right granted by a government to an inventor. It gives the inventor the exclusive right, for a limited period, to stop others from making, using or selling the inventor’s product without the permission of the inventor. When a patent is granted, the invention becomes the property of the inventor. A patent–like any other form of property or business asset–can be bought, sold and licensed.”

In the Entrepreneur article, To Patent or Not to Patent, there is a helpful list of factors to consider before you delve into the patent application process:

  • Patent research. Make sure your idea isn’t infringing on someone else’s patent. To do that, you should conduct a “preliminary patent search.” This step will help ensure that your idea hasn’t already been patented. You can either hire an expert to help you or perform this step yourself.
  • Prototype. You should develop a basic prototype to determine your product’s functionality. This ensures you have a close-to-final design when you do file for a patent. (Changing materials or mechanics is difficult once your patent’s been filed.)
  • Market research. Define your market and determine how large it is. If it’s too small, your product may not be commercially viable.
  • Cost to manufacture. Determine how much it will cost to manufacture your product. If it costs more to make than the market is willing to pay, your invention is just a money pit.

Once you’ve determined there are no roadblocks to commercial success, it’s time to consider whether or not you need a patent. Just as many inventors patent their ideas and never take them to market, thousands of products in the market today aren’t patented–or even patentable–at all. In addition, your attorney may recommend filing for a copyright or trademark instead–an easier and less expensive process–if it makes legal sense.

Learn more about patents and the patent process in To Patent or Not to Patent.

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook today

Product of the Week: Notion

October 10, 2014
3d-innovations.com

“Notion is a home intelligence system that uses a small, smart, multi-function sensor to detect unbelievable things.”

We decided to feature Notion as our “Product of the Week” because this product is working hard to make home intelligence accessible and affordable for everyone. The design of this home intelligence system is unparalleled; and the manner in which the company has kept the outward appearance of the entire system discrete and unobtrusive really helps it stand out from the crowd. The Notion system covers all of the basics of home security but the ability to monitor other aspects of your home as well really differentiates this system. With Notion you are able to monitor doors, windows but also the propane tank for your grill, the temperature of your refrigerator, different sound frequencies and so much more.

notion

“With Notion, you can know things like when your child returns from school, the second there is a water leak, if a gun safe has been accessed and much more. In fact, this is exactly why we built Notion; to allow you to monitor what you want in a way that makes sense for you and your family.”

Learn more about Notion on Kickstarter or the official website. You can also follow the company and its progress on Facebook and Twitter.

*If you would like to submit a product to be considered for our ‘Product of the Week’ post please e-mail us at info@3d-innovations.com with an image and/or website link and a product description. Thank you!

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook today

Product of the Week: AquaSprouts Garden

October 3, 2014
3d-innovations.com

Many of us today are urban dwellers, and though we love to be surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city, it does not allow us to have flourishing gardens and the chance to fully embrace an organic lifestyle that you would find outside of the city. The AquaSprouts Garden is a project we came across on Kickstarter that brings a garden indoors in an educational and stylish way. Whether you want to embrace gardening for the health benefits, family bonding or just a way to learn something new this gardening system is great for any home.

“The AquaSprouts Garden stylishly combines your aquarium and garden into a sustainable, desktop ecosystem.”

garden

How it Works: “Both practical and appealing, the AquaSprouts Garden is a unique product that uses aquaponic technology in a simple, compact design. Aquaponics is a closed-loop system in which fish and plants work together to create a sustainable ecosystem. When the fish are fed, they create waste that is pumped into the AquaSprouts grow-bed. Naturally occurring bacteria then break down the waste and saturate the grow-bed with nutrients— producing strong, healthy plants all while cleaning the water for the fish.”

Learn more about the AquaSprouts Garden on Kickstarter and the official website. You can also follow them and their Kickstarter progress on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

*If you would like to submit a product to be considered for our ‘Product of the Week’ post please e-mail us at info@3d-innovations.com with an image and/or website link and a product description. Thank you!

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

3D Academy, A Division of 3D Innovations, LLC provides training services specializing in 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D Printing Technology.

3D Innovations – Developing Ideas from Concept to Product

October 1, 2014
3d-innovations.com

We have just released a new company video and are excited to share it with all of our followers. Please take a moment to view it and feel free to share any feedback you may have with us!

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook today

Product of the Week: CYSPO OmniStation

September 19, 2014
3d-innovations.com

The CYSPO OmniStation solves an issue that many of us experience daily, charging all of our devices. This product aims to eliminate those crowded power strips and make charging your devices seamless. What really makes this charging stations stand out from the crowd is the fact that it can charge both wired and wireless devices at one time.

“Manage all of your chargeable devices with a single easy to use charging station. Charge cell phones, cameras, Bluetooth speakers, eBook readers, tablets and more. The OmniStation can charge all of your devices without tangled wires, without creating messy outlets, and without having to unplug one charger to use another.”

omni

“The OmniStation provides 6 customizable USB ports with interchangeable adapters, you can switch to your own cables with varying lengths for more charging flexibility. We have updated the Charging port so each one will be able to output 2.4A max for faster charging.”

You can learn more about the design process of the OmniStation on Kickstarter. You can also follow the company on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

*If you would like to submit a product to be considered for our ‘Product of the Week’ post please e-mail us at info@3d-innovations.com with an image and/or website link and a product description. Thank you!

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook today