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new use for existing product

    • 990 posts
    June 14, 2007 8:46 AM EDT
    stay away from invention houses.  might be patentable if the new use is not obvious based on what is already known in that field.

    ---
    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 14, 2007 10:00 AM EDT
    the only real protection is probably patent law - which ain`t free or cheap.  I don`t have a dollar figure.  If you have "discovered" that toothpaste removes lipstick or something like that, don`t bother.

    ---
    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 14, 2007 10:42 AM EDT

    I don`t think the phrase "existing product" implies that the product already "has a patent" or does not.  Further, products/things don`t have trademarks - packaging or labels display trademarks (sometimes).

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    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 15, 2007 4:42 AM EDT
    what we all want is a guarantee or sure thing.  there ain`t none.

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    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 16, 2007 2:08 AM EDT
    how much do you want to pay for this pig in my poke?

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    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 16, 2007 3:58 AM EDT
    I mean when people are asked to make decisions in the dark, they make unreliable decisions.

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    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 16, 2007 4:46 AM EDT
    we are attempting to talk about some unknown "cleaning product" and offer views about an unknown "new use" in an unknown "niche market."  The point is that if anybody wants specific advice, there needs to be some specific discussions.  I understand the down side of getting specific.  There is also a down side to staying vague.  It`s like asking a dentist "what can I do for this pain in my mouth" without having him look in the mouth.  He can say, "take pain medication" but that`s about it, which may not actually solve the problem.  You might need a filling or root canal.  He just can`t tell you.

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    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 16, 2007 9:28 AM EDT
    on Jun. 14, 2007 at 3:30pm I sent a private message to yankeestonk which remains unopened.

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    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 16, 2007 12:59 PM EDT
    I don`t know the answer.  I think you should ask a lawyer in your local area.  I can`t and won`t guarantee you I would not give you the news that there`s no way you can do "this" - whatever that may be.  If you perceive the answer "no" to be a waste of money, I`m not really sure what else to say.  To know what you CANT do ahead of time is valuable for some people.  It is entirely possible you will hire a lawyer and have the lawyer say "what you are proposing to do is probably illegal."

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    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 17, 2007 2:00 AM EDT

    a forumula is not a work of authorship [like a book] - ergo, no copyright.

     

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    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 19, 2007 2:04 PM EDT

    Craig:

    You are very fortunate to be able to freely offer advice on things.  I have significant potential for liability in offering opinions to unknown people selling unknown ideas about unknown products with unknown formulas and unknown patents in unknown packages branded with unknown trademarks to unknown manufactures with unknown advantages.  When things go badly as they sometimes do, I won`t put myself in the position of having offered blind legal advice in such an "unknown" situation.  Some people understand that, others don`t.

    ---
    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 20, 2007 2:43 AM EDT
    I`m not upset with anybody.  Take it how you will.  If the shoe fits, wear it - if not, don`t.  Also, if I am selling a pig in my bag, it is a pig in my poke.  The method/recipe for Coke might have been patentable at some point - it just won`t be patented because it is more valuable as a secret because the patent application would teach the whole industry how to make the drink.  With the current method of making the drink, it has probably been on sale for more than a year, so that boat has sailed.

    ---
    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 27, 2007 2:59 PM EDT
    interesting story.

    ---
    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    June 29, 2007 4:54 AM EDT

    I think you are right about the "gratis."  There`s nothing wrong in wanting something for nothing.  It`s not realistic many times, but that`s OK.  I`d like to find a lawyer to donate his/her time to create a trust for me and my family gratis.  I don`t really expect it to happen.

    ---
    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 990 posts
    July 3, 2007 10:03 AM EDT
    the LLC info should be on file with the secretary of state where the LLC was formed.

    ---
    James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
    Lindon & Lindon, LLC
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
    [this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
    Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
    "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
    http://www.LindonLaw.com

    • 1 posts
    February 22, 2008 6:39 PM EST
    Ken,
    I wish you all the luck getting your idea going.  I  too have a similar idea of taking an existing product making a few shnages and marketing as a new product.  Did you get any answeres to your questions?

    Art

    • 1 posts
    July 2, 2007 2:17 PM EDT

    I have a question along the same lines as in this discussion. I use a product that there is only one in the market and sold only through the products web site and a mail order magazine which it took many web searches to find it. This product is fantastic because to buy it which other than this one would be a  comercial version at around 10K minimum. I know a different way of marketing it and with this product my products will compliment it. What I need to know is how do I locate someone just by their LLC infomation? How do I know the address on the LLC is a valid address. How can I find out how much circulation or average dollar amount a product makes from being in a magazine or mail order? I would like this guy to alow me to use a different name on his product and pay him a percentage for letting me use his product. Any information on how I could go about doing this I would appreciate it. I tried to look this guy  by name in public records but in his state it is not available online.

    • 101 posts
    June 16, 2007 4:34 AM EDT

      ...You also say someone will likely figure out fairly quickly what you`re doing. So what`s your long-term advantage?

    How will you maintain your advantage long enough to make a successful, sustainable business out of this?

    Yankee, this is a very imporant question for consideration.

    • 101 posts
    June 16, 2007 5:32 AM EDT

    Yankee, why don`t you talk with Mr. Lindon privately, discuss with him the specific details, pay him for his time, and then you`ll know if you can at the least do it legally.

    There`s still the bigger question, long-term advantage?

    • 101 posts
    June 16, 2007 7:23 AM EDT

    Then, I would consult with a patent lawyer in your area.

    Doug

    • 3 posts
    June 14, 2007 8:47 AM EDT
    Generally, yes, you can repackage and resell someone else`s product, although you`d want to talk to an attorney to avoid stepping on certain land mines that are out there.  For example, you probably shouldn`t use the other company`s name or brand name in your own packaging or advertising, because then, depending on how you use it, you might be committing trademark infringement.  nhgnikole suggested getting the manufacturer`s permission or making your own version if it`s not patented.  Those are good suggestions.  Otherwise talk to at least a trademark attorney before proceeding, and probably a tort lawyer too, to help ensure that you`re not setting yourself up for someone getting injured by misusing the product.  BTW, you can also obtain a patent for a new use for an old product.  Good luck.
    • 21 posts
    June 14, 2007 5:49 AM EDT
     I`ve been using an existing cleaning product for a unique use for about a year. It just dawned on me that there would be a niche market for this product if it were repackaged and sold for this particular use. I`ve searched the net and while I`ve found a lot of people asking if anyone knows of a good way to do what this product can do, no one has mentioned it. It works like a charm, and I`ve tried all of the other suggestions on line and none of them work near as well. I don`t know where to start however. I`ve contacted some of these "invention houses" and have been e-mailed confidentiallity forms, but haven`t done anything. I`m afraid that I`ll either wind up with a lot of expenses for something that is illegal to do in the first place, or they`ll steal my idea. I would have to buy this product, repackage it for this specific use, and sell it under a new name. Does anyone know if this is "legal" to do, and if so who do I talk to first ? ( the manufacturer, an attorney, one of these invention houses? I know this product would sell, as I`ve been searching for something to do this myself for many years. Any help would be appreciated greatly !
    • 21 posts
    June 14, 2007 9:49 AM EDT
    Thanks for the advice. My concern with contacting the manufacturer is that they`ll either say that they already thought of that, or say they`re not intereseted and then market the idea themselves. For instance, if I wanted to use a Frisbee as a dinner plate. Could I package it as a dinner plate. ( let`s just assume for this scenario that it doesn`t say Frisbee anywhere on it ) What I really would like to look into would be to "patent" the idea, then present it to the manufacturer or to other companies in "this field" that might want to market it themselves and pay me a liscense fee or royalty . My plan initially was to package it myself, and open and Ebay store to sell it first, then maybe someone would contact me to bring it to market. Does that affect your opinion on whether or not I can repackage someone else`s product. The problem I may have is that this is a cleaning product, and my use is still in the cleaning area, but for a use I don`t think anyone has thought of.
    • 21 posts
    June 14, 2007 9:54 AM EDT

    hey Patenttrademark,

    Thanks, I don`t think it`s an obvious use, but it is still using a cleaning product to clean something. ( I`m sorry I`m so vague, don`t want to give it away ! ) Does anyone know of what I would need to do in order to protect my idea if I did want to go to the manufacturer with the idea? This would be a definate niche market, although a pretty large niche. However the manufacturer could just add this to their claims on the package and blow me away since I`d have to purchase from them, pay to repackage etc, when their product is obviously going to cost less, and is already on the shelves. 

    • 21 posts
    June 14, 2007 9:57 AM EDT

    Hey Patentguy,

    nhgnikole wrote that she doesn`t believe someone can repackage an existing item and sell it for another purpose. You wrote that you think you can. Do you think she`s incorrect or might you be, or is this area very grey? What I`m trying to do here is not spend a lot of money if there is no way I can legally do this, and/or no way I can stake a claim to this particular use for this product.