I’ve been coming up with more ideas to patent than I can fund, even in just the U.S.. Without being entirely delusional, I believe these ideas can change, even disrupt, the manufacture of stringed instruments, giving artists who adopt such instruments an unprecedented ability to shape their look and sound to the personal expression of the artist.
At the moment the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows Tulsa Sound Guitars (TSG) the status of a “micro-entity”. That means filing two more patents in the next three years at the lowest rate, leaving out patents in other countries, which are simply beyond reach at the current time.
So what do I do?
First thing, get all the patent ideas documented in undisclosed technical papers and submitted to the USPTO as Provisional Patent Applications (PPA). This I can do at the rate of one every month or two.
Second, publicly disclose as much as possible about those ideas without violating U.S. and foreign patent regulations which would make them unpatentable.
Third, share partial patent rights to strategic partners in the industry who will provide the money to file and prosecute patents here and abroad. Those shared rights to be revoked to such partners, and considered abandoned, all such rights reverting to TSG, upon their failure to actually manufacture and market products using those patents within, say, 30 days of the issuance of such patents. Since it generally takes about 2 years to process a patent application to issuance, that leaves plenty of time to gear up for production. Which should already have started in the first 6 months after application. Any foot-dragging might be addressed by accelerated prosecutions of U.S. patents.
In this case, “partial rights” shall mean an assignment of less than 50% of rights, and then only to those who actually contributed to the issuance of such patents, in proportion to their contribution. The rights retained by TSG will never be sold, only licensed, and licenses will rarely be exclusive.
Fourth, when the patent rights are secured, publish the original technical papers, with any other tutorials developed since, to ensure indisputable public and legal knowledge of their origin.
Fifth, take a lesson from Fender. Hire a psycho lawyer to deal with patent infringements by 2nd or 3rd parties.
At this point some self-righteous twit, who never contributed anything to these efforts, might raise the outraged cry of “Patent Troll!” Let anyone who doubts the origins of this intellectual property view the breadth and depth of this patent application:
Real patent trolls don’t produce intellectual property, they just hoard it and use it to beat others about the head. Or, as larger companies, steal it from smaller inventors and profit from it without even acknowledging the source.
Perhaps these principles will change with experience.