Previous in Forum: How Do I Unscrew Nylock Nuts?   Next in Forum: Winter Storm In The Windy City
Close
Close
Close
34 comments
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204

Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 3:10 PM

I'm not sure how to exactly ask this question, without giving away the idea, but it involves mortgages and real estate transactions. I am wondering, if I came up with a special type of real estate sales transaction, that no one else is doing, if it is possible to patent (or otherwise make exclusive) that process? (or is it worthwhile?)

your thoughts, meanderings, and experience are welcome.

for my background search, I came up with the following that i thought was pertinent.

"From the United States Patent and Trademark Office

What Can Be Patented:

"In the language of the statute, any person who "invents or discovers
any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter,
or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent," subject to
the conditions and requirements of the law. The word "process" is defined by
law as a process, act or method, and primarily includes industrial or
technical processes."

This information is all easily obtained from the USPTO's website."

Register to Reply
Pathfinder Tags: patent real estate sales transaction
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Engineering Fields - Optical Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Engineering Physics - Member Engineering Fields - Systems Engineering - Member

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Trantor
Posts: 5363
Good Answers: 646
#1

Re: Is it possible to patent a special type of sales process?

02/01/2011 3:26 PM

The Paypal process is patented, as are other interactions using the internet. I imagine some sales processes are patentable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PayPal#Litigation

__________________
Whiskey, women -- and astrophysics. Because sometimes a problem can't be solved with just whiskey and women.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#3
In reply to #1

Re: Is it possible to patent a special type of sales process?

02/01/2011 5:46 PM

thank you!

Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Optical Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Engineering Physics - Member Engineering Fields - Systems Engineering - Member

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Trantor
Posts: 5363
Good Answers: 646
#6
In reply to #3

Re: Is it possible to patent a special type of sales process?

02/01/2011 8:02 PM

You're very welcome.

You might want to consider filing a provisional patent:

http://www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/types/provapp.jsp

One of the advantages of a provisional patent is (from the website linked above):

"Enables immediate commercial promotion of the invention with greater security against having the invention stolen;"

You can get help filing a provisional patent from LegalZoom and other on-line lawyering websites. Provisional patents aren't that expensive, from what I've heard.

__________________
Whiskey, women -- and astrophysics. Because sometimes a problem can't be solved with just whiskey and women.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#9
In reply to #6

Re: Is it possible to patent a special type of sales process?

02/01/2011 9:19 PM

thank you...

dang if that didn't make my eyes roll back in my head....

I had to listen to this to get back to reality..

chris

Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Electrical Construction

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mid Western USA - The Corn Belt
Posts: 1439
Good Answers: 58
#2

Re: Is it possible to patent a special type of sales process?

02/01/2011 4:00 PM

Hey Chris,

I remember reading somewhere that the idea/procedure/device has to be proprietary and unique and cannot be something common like breathing, walking, signing a document, putting your socks on, ect.

You may want to consider consulting with a patent attorney. For a small fee (or perhaps even free) you should be able to get a qualified answer.

Best of luck to you on your endeavour!

__________________
The first 5 days after a weekend are always the hardest................................
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#4
In reply to #2

Re: Is it possible to patent a special type of sales process?

02/01/2011 5:47 PM

I agree. I'm just wondering where exactly the line gets drawn, as it a novel idea, but results in just basically a legal agreement. It the process to get to the agreement that i think is unique, the structuring of the plan. sorry I can't be more forthcoming at the moment.

Register to Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1558
Good Answers: 138
#5

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 7:37 PM

A patent seems to have very little value unless you are willing to defend it. Patent attorneys cost big bucks and that is just to get them to answer the phone. Legal action is extra. Thus, getting the patent is only part of what you are considering.

__________________
Few things limit our potential as much as knowing answers and setting aside questions.
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 42296
Good Answers: 1663
#7
In reply to #5

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 8:07 PM

I agree with BruceFlorida. Having a patent only means something if you are willing to litigate if you feel infringed upon.

It's like playing poker and paying a lawyer to deal the cards.

Sorry.

Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 9:03 PM

rofl

Register to Reply
Guru
Australia - Member - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 2133
Good Answers: 251
#10

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 9:50 PM

If the idea is novel and there is real merit in protecting it, then there might be better protection in copyright law.

The other idea is that you create a "franchise" process where (for a fee) you liscence others to follow your model.

A patent on the combined actions of "conveyancing" might not be possible. Also, as patent owner, you might also personally cary the risk for any failures caused (or felt to be casued) by your invention. [For instance loss of income caused by your system might be directly targeted to you.]

I have three worldwide patents listing me as the "inventor", lodged by my former employer.

Good luck.

__________________
Just an Engineer from the land down under.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#11
In reply to #10

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 10:25 PM

thank you. warning noted.

chris

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wolfe Island, ON
Posts: 1358
Good Answers: 109
#12

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 10:45 PM

You can copyright the process if all it involves is a written contract. I have done it for SCADA software developed by our company and it is relatively cheap. No one actually has to review your process but you do have to be able to demonstrate authorship at a specified time. You can do all Canada, and USA for about $300.00. That was about four years ago. We had a lawyer write our plan but all he did was file it. I always said I would do it on my own as there really is no one reading the stuff. Just registering it legally.

What I don't know is whether someone could infringe on your idea even if it is copyright. You will have to back up any challenges if they are made. Good Luck sounds like something I could use soon.

__________________
If they want holy water, tell them to boil the hell out of it.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#13
In reply to #12

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 10:50 PM

"Good Luck sounds like something I could use soon."

thought you were happily retired and living the good life on wolfe island?

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wolfe Island, ON
Posts: 1358
Good Answers: 109
#18
In reply to #13

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 8:53 AM

I am but still have a second house to sell. I think it will turn over quick once I put it on the market. I would be willing to be a guinea pig for a new system if I like the idea. No mortgage involved.

__________________
If they want holy water, tell them to boil the hell out of it.
Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#22
In reply to #18

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 11:57 AM

lol... wouldn't we all like to not have mortgages!

cheers,

Chris

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 104
Good Answers: 5
#14

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 11:13 PM

To whom would this be marketed? and who does it benefit?

Can it be written as a software pgm?

Does it's implementation require any special credentials/knowledge/expertise?

__________________
I cannot look at the leaf of a tree without being crushed by the universe. --Jules Renard
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#15
In reply to #14

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/01/2011 11:28 PM

while software could eventually be used to simplify it, it is a marketing strategy that is not currently in use, based on what I can tell. software is probably not the main focus of the system, but it will involve calcs. the market is large.

once the system is proven, it would not require expertise or special credentials, other than what is already in common usage.

thanks

Chris

Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#16
In reply to #15

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 1:21 AM

once the system is proven, it would not require expertise or special credentials, other than what is already in common usage.

Chris, there is your answer. You may or may not have a patentable idea, but if it can be implemented with no special expertise, your patent defense costs will kill any profitability except for the litigation team of attorneys. Go ahead with the patent, if you wish, to keep someone else from patenting it and trying to block your use, but face the fact that defense will be a nightmare.

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 104
Good Answers: 5
#27
In reply to #15

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 3:09 PM

You might want to think in terms of forget the patent. Instead think how to promote and sell your system in such a way as to overwhelm the market - get all your ducks lined up for a fast ramp up to grab a solid portion of the market before the competition begins to intrude. You won't get every last bit of business but you could amass a lot of wealth without *officially* owning the process.

Think Mail order catalogues, computer operating systems, Pet Rock, Frisbee,... all original ideas which got copied but still made fortunes for their originators. After all, how much money do you need?

__________________
I cannot look at the leaf of a tree without being crushed by the universe. --Jules Renard
Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Aerospace Engineering - Member United States - Member - Army Vet in the aviation industry

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Bridgewater, Va.
Posts: 2033
Good Answers: 112
#17

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 8:35 AM

Good advice from everyone here, but I had an additional thought.

I can't imagine that there is a "sales process" that hasn't been previously thought of and used somewhere. If it has been used somewhere previously in your market area it may now reside in the public domain.

I think I would probably do a ton of research before investing any money in the patent process.

Just a thought,

Hooker

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Commentator

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 89
Good Answers: 2
#19
In reply to #17

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 10:22 AM

Thats also good advice from Hooker. The patents databases are not an exclusive source of information concerning previously used sales processes but maybe you can at least do a quick U.S. search on www.freepatentsonline.com. As for Paypal, eBay's patents could also be a source of inspiration.

While it is true that the exploitation of your future patent may involve your defending it at great costs, you could also find it advantageous to sell it to an organisation that would see it as a real competitive advantage in this market. That could represent a better strategy if you are not willing to involve yourself real deep in the actual implementation of your idea.

Beware that patent agents, and like, may be biased toward patenting (sometime strongly biased). Hence the need for you to really do as much prior research as you possibly can.

Last, should you go for the patent, while drafting it up, be sure to also set your feet in the shoes of someone who would really like to circumvent it.

Have fun !

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#21
In reply to #19

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 11:55 AM

all good advice. thank you

Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#20
In reply to #17

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 11:54 AM

quite probably true.

thank you

Chris

Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Traverse City, MI USA
Posts: 68
#23

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 1:10 PM

The Amazon One-Click Purchase Patent

Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#26
In reply to #23

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 2:50 PM

does that come with an Insta-Lawyer? in case you want to put your future on layaway

Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#24

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 2:29 PM

some times you can copyright a idea, when in doubt write a description of the process into a letter to yourself and mail it to yourself in a sealed unopened envelope "registered mail," and clearly dated and signed with a witness to the process, that way you may be able to prove your first to conceive of the idea, when in doubt concern a lawyer,

Mitch
retired peugeot mechanic

Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#25
In reply to #24

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 2:49 PM

great idea. thank you.

Chris

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 344
Good Answers: 17
#28

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/02/2011 5:01 PM

Assume that, when you have a good idea, it will take about 2 or 3 years, and your idea will be used by so many people that you can't defend it. So go make the deals and the money to retire NOW. Then start thinking of a new idea, for the next 3 year cycle.

Running with a new idea, the big boys can mostly out-compete you, because they can run on smaller margins for longer than you, with more money behind them. This assumes a big market. If a new idea pertains to a limited market, you may be safe from predation.

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#29

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/03/2011 3:29 PM

Hey chris,

I haven't seen this mentioned. In the US it is first to invent, not first to patent, that gets credit for an invention........I don't know about Canada.

You can mail yourself a certified letter, also you should document your idea in a bound book, (like those black and white composition books), don't skip any pages or leave blank spaces in the description of your idea, within the book, and include everything. Once this step is finished, you want to get it dated, witnessed by a friend you trust, (not a family member), and notarized. Keep it in a safe place.

The next step is to draw up a rock solid NDA, (nondisclosure agreement). This would preclude anyone from using your idea, or sharing it with others, and maybe have an attorney review it.

At this point, you would be able to shop it around to potentially interested parties, (after having them sign the NDA....this is a legally binding document).

If someone is interested, work out some sort of financial compensation for yourself, sign an agreement detailing your payment(s)..........and let them worry about patents and copyrights. You just assign your idea over to them and go to the bank to deposit your money.

PS- If you decide to go this route, you don't want to take the shotgun approach. Do some research on the people you might want to talk to, make a list, from most likely to be interested, to least, and approach them one at a time, starting at the top of the list.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Glen Mills, PA.
Posts: 2385
Good Answers: 114
#30
In reply to #29

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/08/2011 7:41 AM

GA although I'm not sure the Chris wants to let go of the reins.

__________________
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#31
In reply to #30

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/08/2011 7:54 AM

Thanks,

Yeah, chris didn't say if this is something he wants to implement, or just sell.`

If he is just looking to make some money from his idea, this would be something to consider, as patents are are expensive to obtain, and very expensive to protect, should someone try to steal it.

With this approach, he would be spending almost no money, and if someone he spoke to tried to implement it, he would be suing for breach of contract.............much less expensive and easier to prove, and would also garner him compensation.

If he feels strongly about the merit of his idea, a chat with an attorney is almost required to insure he moves forward in the proper manner.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Register to Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ohio. USA
Posts: 574
Good Answers: 30
#32

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/08/2011 10:30 AM

Without studying the details the short answer is yes. This type of process may be patentable if it is approached correctly. Examples are computer programs and types of business processes that are patented.

In general "functional descriptive matter" is patentable whereas "nonfunctional descriptive matter" is not patentable. Computer programs that cause something to happen are patentable as are process descriptions when they cause a function that has a practical application. This is a contentious area of patent law but many good patents do exist for such things. This means your process must cause something to happen that is of a practical application.

The MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure) is the Federal Government document that defines US patent law and patent procedures. Searchable copies are easily found on line. The section that generally covers this type of question is chapter 2100 on Patentability. Specifically the sections 2105 thru 2107.02 are of interest. This portion is only a few pages long so you may read it. Specifically take note of 2107.01 II which is "Wholly Inoperative Inventions; Incredible Utility".

Also 2106 says "Claims should not be categorized as methods of doing business. Instead, such claims should be treated like any other process claims, pursuant to those guidelines when relevant." What this means is "business method" patenting is something people refer to but the USPTO views it as any other "process" claim.

When done properly it is probably patentable. As you can see I have tried to answer your question with information based on the USPTO guidelines.

__________________
Whatever you are, be a good one. Abraham Lincoln
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#33
In reply to #32

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/08/2011 4:45 PM

thank you so much DaveB. great answer.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ohio. USA
Posts: 574
Good Answers: 30
#34
In reply to #33

Re: Is it Possible to Patent a Special Type of Sales Process?

02/08/2011 8:56 PM

You're welcome.

DaveB

__________________
Whatever you are, be a good one. Abraham Lincoln
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 34 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (2); Aviator (1); BruceFlorida (1); chrisg288 (13); corelite (2); DaveB (2); Hooker (1); Just an Engineer (1); kevinm (2); KJK/USA (1); kramarat (2); lyn (1); passingtongreen (1); Phaddy (1); Usbport (2); velisj (1)

Previous in Forum: How Do I Unscrew Nylock Nuts?   Next in Forum: Winter Storm In The Windy City

Advertisement