Please log in.
Before you can vote, you need to register. Please log in or create an account.
Halfbakery: Goldmine
Ideas marketplace   (+3, -7)  [vote for, against]
oh no, not another ‘commercialise the halfbakery’ idea…

I know there are more ‘we’re all smart at halfbakery so let’s make money’ ideas on HB than you can poke a stick at, but bear with me.

The question is: How do you ‘match up’ the people who invent stuff with the people who make stuff? Essentially the people who invent stuff want to sell their invention to the people who make stuff i.e. a market.

Like any marketplace the buyers want as many sellers as possible (bigger range of products) and the sellers want as many buyers as possible (more buyers means more chance of selling product at higher prices). The obvious solution for this is an open marketplace.

Now Halfbakery is about as open an ideas forum as you’ll find, but there’s no market. There is no (obvious) mechanism for potential buyers to secure the rights to the inventions of the inventors.

What’s that you say? “We don’t own the rights to our inventions; we forego those rights the moment we post on Halfbakery”.

Actually, a peculiarity of US patent law says its first to *invent* not first to file; the inventor then has 1 year to file a patent application^.

So this is how the ideas marketplace works:

-We encourage the businesses to keep an eye on halfbakery.

-When they see an idea they like, they contact the halfbaker and offer them a negotiable amount (say a few hundred dollars) for the opportunity to file a patent application with the halfbaker as one of the inventors.

-The business, then goes off and spends the next year developing the seed of an idea into a full (US) patent application.


-Then business profits!

Why wouldn’t the business just take your idea and patent it without payment/permission?

Because of the potential of the invention being found not novel in light of your halfbakery idea. This might seem fanciful, but I assure you *any* published document (even websites like halfbakery) which discloses an invention can be used to reject a patent (although it can be argued that the publication is not an ‘enabling disclosure’ i.e. light on detail).

To show that we mean business, we might need to get a bit pro-active, by advising patent examiners when patent applications appears to claim over material already disclosed on halfbakery (patent examiners usually only check patent databases even though theoretically they can check all published documents). If enough patent applications get rejected on the basis of halfbakery ideas, companies will get the message.

Anyway, the good thing about this idea is halfbakery can keep on doing exactly what it’s doing now, with the (admittedly small) potential of making a bit of money. It might even encourage more quality ideas to get posted.

Ok, now you all can tell me what a crazy idealist I am.

^A variation on this idea, (for non US citizens) is to file a ‘provisional application’ at the national patent office before posting on halfbakery (usually pretty cheap; a mere $80 in Australia).
-- xaviergisz, Nov 18 2005

Idea_204_20NDA_20site kinda similar, kinda different... [xaviergisz, May 31 2006]

This concept failed three or four times over during the late lamented Internet bubble.
-- DrCurry, Nov 18 2005

Oh! [xaviergisz], what a crazy idealist you are!
-- Minimal, Nov 18 2005

Look, a patent application (even a provisional one) has to be pretty carefully written, otherwise it's entirely worthless. No way am I spending four hours writing a patent description for an office chair with balloon tyres (with diagrams), simply in order to spend twenty minutes writing it up here in the hope of getting a laugh. So boo to this entirely US-centric idea.

On the other hand, getting to market fast is arguably worth more than having a patent (which are often pretty easy to circumvent). If you strip out the patents bit of this idea, though, it just becomes 'let's encourage more businesses to keep an eye on the HB'. Businesses could then pay you to withdraw your idea from the HB, so nobody else spots it.
-- moomintroll, Nov 18 2005

Hell, even I could have sold Farmer John's clocks to the Museum of Modern Art (I even asked FJ if that would ineterest him in any way). But FJ was happy just creating the ideas, and never actually building the real thing. I'd say, if you think an idea is great, e-mail the author and tell them.
-- sleeka, Nov 19 2005

sleeka: so, ah, what was your previous account name?
-- DrCurry, Nov 19 2005

Contrary to my initial assertion, this idea actually extends beyond the US. A large number of countries (including Australia and Japan) now have a 'grace period' (also known as 'non prejudicial disclosure') which allows a patent to be filed (by the inventor) up to year after publishing the details of the invention.
-- xaviergisz, Dec 04 2006

random, halfbakery