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View Full Version : I have a design for a new pool case (Question)


1344fry
05-31-2011, 01:27 AM
I have a design for a new pool case. I was wondering who here could help me develop and build it.

Please understand that I am very reluctant to give a description about the design in an open forum as well as in private as I would hate to have the idea stolen from me.

With that in mind, can anyone here recommend someone that can help me build it that can be trusted to not take any of the ideas incorporated into this case for there own use? AND could anyone give me info on how I could approach a builder/designer and protect my invention rights at the same time?

Thanks for any advice you can provide.

Blue Hog ridr
05-31-2011, 04:55 AM
With that in mind, can anyone here recommend someone that can help me build it that can be trusted to not take any of the ideas incorporated into this case for there own use?

OMG, Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Ummm, NO.

Thanks, 6am and my first laugh of the day. Things are looking up.

Russell Cues
05-31-2011, 05:04 AM
*peeks under a few rocks* Your not serious ? , right ? Not going to happen.

1344fry
05-31-2011, 05:06 AM
Am I missing something? I am serious.

Blue Hog ridr
05-31-2011, 05:19 AM
Nah, just teasin ya'll. Quite possibly Knoxville Russ and I had similar thoughts on this one.

Tramp Steamer
05-31-2011, 06:50 AM
I'll tell you what, 1344. Send me some dimensional drawings, color preferences, material choices, stuff like that, and I'll see what I can come up with. I'll keep all the information private. It'll be our little secret.
Just between you, me, and the lamp post, I don't think we can trust anybody else here any further than you could swing a dead cat that I found in a drainage ditch, so we'll just keep this on the hush, hush. What do you say? :)

P.S. The legal department at Steamer Cue Sports Ltd., will be contacting you shortly, so remember. Mums the word.

cyrex
05-31-2011, 07:12 AM
Is your idea something structural or is it an art design on the case itself?

You're eventually going to have to talk to a case maker anyway if you want it built right? I'd say just talk to someone you feel you can trust and go with their integrity. Or, you can post it all in the public forum and at least you can prove that you came up with the idea first. :D

jason
05-31-2011, 07:13 AM
Although this is not the best source, if you watch a few episodes of Shark Tank ( http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank ) this will give you some ideas of how to approach someone with your idea.

If you are going to contract out your idea to a case maker, contact a lawyer and get it in writing. Have an escape clause if he doesn't make them to your standard, speed, timing etc. You can have them sign a non-disclosure or confidentiallity agreement before talking to them about your idea. I'm not a lawyer, so you would again need to contact them to find out how to protect your idea.

If your idea is patentable or copyrightable then do that, but that can be expensive. The pool case market is not that large, but if your idea is unique enough to transfer to the luggage market, you may have something worth patenting.

Here is the US patent office web site: http://www.uspto.gov/ If you dig deep enough in the website, I think they have a list of patent lawyers as well.

Good Luck.

P.S. Be patient and persistent. It takes a lot of time, money and hard work to develop a new product.

RackOnTour
05-31-2011, 08:17 AM
Although this is not the best source, if you watch a few episodes of Shark Tank ( http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank ) this will give you some ideas of how to approach someone with your idea.

If you are going to contract out your idea to a case maker, contact a lawyer and get it in writing. Have an escape clause if he doesn't make them to your standard, speed, timing etc. You can have them sign a non-disclosure or confidentiallity agreement before talking to them about your idea. I'm not a lawyer, so you would again need to contact them to find out how to protect your idea.

If your idea is patentable or copyrightable then do that, but that can be expensive. The pool case market is not that large, but if your idea is unique enough to transfer to the luggage market, you may have something worth patenting.

Here is the US patent office web site: http://www.uspto.gov/ If you dig deep enough in the website, I think they have a list of patent lawyers as well.

Good Luck.

P.S. Be patient and persistent. It takes a lot of time, money and hard work to develop a new product.

This is great advice. It is a long and arduous process that will have you pulling your hair out before it pulls a profit.

I have sent you a PM with production path info.

1344fry
05-31-2011, 10:02 AM
Is your idea something structural or is it an art design on the case itself?

You're eventually going to have to talk to a case maker anyway if you want it built right? I'd say just talk to someone you feel you can trust and go with their integrity. Or, you can post it all in the public forum and at least you can prove that you came up with the idea first. :D


It is a new structural design not art.

Also proving you came up with the idea 1st is nice when it comes to saving face. SOMETIMES but definitely not here on AZ all the time. I think we have all seen that here B4.

Also, giving China's rep for counter fitting patents dont really seem to matter much anymore. I think the only time that really comes into play these days and could benefit the actual patent holder is on multi-million dollar sales and we all know that barely if ever applies to the billiard industry.

1344fry
05-31-2011, 10:04 AM
Although this is not the best source, if you watch a few episodes of Shark Tank ( http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank ) this will give you some ideas of how to approach someone with your idea.

If you are going to contract out your idea to a case maker, contact a lawyer and get it in writing. Have an escape clause if he doesn't make them to your standard, speed, timing etc. You can have them sign a non-disclosure or confidentiallity agreement before talking to them about your idea. I'm not a lawyer, so you would again need to contact them to find out how to protect your idea.

If your idea is patentable or copyrightable then do that, but that can be expensive. The pool case market is not that large, but if your idea is unique enough to transfer to the luggage market, you may have something worth patenting.

Here is the US patent office web site: http://www.uspto.gov/ If you dig deep enough in the website, I think they have a list of patent lawyers as well.

Good Luck.

P.S. Be patient and persistent. It takes a lot of time, money and hard work to develop a new product.

Best advice so far. Thanks that is pretty much what I was looking for.

CocoboloCowboy
05-31-2011, 10:08 AM
What ever you build be it with Patent, Copy Right, or Trade Mark, this protection is only worth the dollars you have to invest in protecting them.

Disney Corproration is a good eample of a company tht has the Dollars to stop the Knock Off Artists.

macguy
05-31-2011, 10:13 AM
I have a design for a new pool case. I was wondering who here could help me develop and build it.

Please understand that I am very reluctant to give a description about the design in an open forum as well as in private as I would hate to have the idea stolen from me.

With that in mind, can anyone here recommend someone that can help me build it that can be trusted to not take any of the ideas incorporated into this case for there own use? AND could anyone give me info on how I could approach a builder/designer and protect my invention rights at the same time?

Thanks for any advice you can provide.

The problem is, as they say "There is nothing new under the sun". What you think is new may not be and if you show it to a case maker and he is not interested you may later see what you think is your case being made; only to find he designed the same case 10 years ago. Here is my advice. If you have confidence in your idea just produce it and offer it up for sale. Being first to the market and establishing a name brand is what counts and you do it with the reality if the idea is good you will be knocked off. Hopefully you will make some money. That is the real world. Just look around at what you see; case after case that are essentially copies of each other most going back to being a copy of the original Flowers case. Produce your product and make some money that is my advice.

BRKNRUN
05-31-2011, 03:00 PM
Put your idea down on paper....then seal it in a fed ex envelope and mail it to yourself...When you get the envelope don't open it.

Now your idea is dated "post marked" and if someone steals it you have proof....(in the unopened envelope)


This of course won't stop the copy cats...but it does give you some additional ammo for a law suit...:wink:

Fast Lenny
05-31-2011, 03:05 PM
Put your idea down on paper....then seal it in a fed ex envelope and mail it to yourself...When you get the envelope don't open it.

Now your idea is dated "post marked" and if someone steals it you have proof....(in the unopened envelope)


This of course won't stop the copy cats...but it does give you some additional ammo for a law suit...:wink:

He who registers there idea first wins, this idea of post marked poor mans copyright wont work in this instance I do not think, maybe in music writing if your performing it live among the masses.

CocoboloCowboy
05-31-2011, 03:16 PM
This of course won't stop the copy cats...but it does give you some additional ammo for a law suit...:wink:

Than put aside 10K for a Retainer for your Legal Eagle.

JB Cases
05-31-2011, 03:52 PM
#1. This is the billiard industry and if any single person can earn millions off a case idea then I will eat the underwear that Spidey is trying to weasel out of eating after Strickland won.

#2. Ideas are not protectable by simply mailing a letter to yourself. People all over the world are having ideas at the same time and simply because you mail a letter to yourself only means you had AN idea at a certain point in time. It doesn't mean that someone else didn't have a similar one before, at the same time, or after that time.

#3. The only way to "protect" an idea is to patent it. However once you FILE your patent then it becomes public information and the idea part is out there. So if someone wanted to copy an idea from that point they could and the person who filed the patent would need to take them to court. This happens every day.

Also you CANNOT copyright the LOOK of your cue case. Utilitarian items cannot be copyrighted. You can only get a design patent to cover the look which is pretty worthless to defend.

#4. The only real protection that exists is innovating ahead of the thieves. Especially in the billiard industry. All you can go is keep moving forward with good products and build good strong distributor relationships. In the billiard industry most of the stronger distributors aren't looking to copy anyone else just because they can. They just want to keep up with Jones' and not give up any ground to their competitors. So by being a good supplier you can thwart many attempts to copy you by cutting off distribution.

Of course this doesn't always work either if the price disparity is too great between the knockoffs and the originals. My Instroke cases were knocked off and distributed by every major distributor.

Basically the billiard industry cycle works like this. No one wants to copy something that is unproven. Almost no one who knows the billiard industry wants to invest in something that is unproven. Only newbies to the billiard industry like to pump money into creating new products because they are awed by that mythical 30,000,000 players per year number that the SGMA put out one year as an indicator of how many pool players there are in America. (the number only reflected an ESTIMATE of how many people played the game at least once in a year, as in went to a bar played a game of pool).

When you put new product on the market you have about a year before anyone is seriously looking at it to knock it off. The knockoff artists don't care about your idea and whether it's the most wonderful thing ever invented. They only care whether people are buying it or not and whether they can make it and sell it for a profit. They want you to do the R&D and establish the market for it.

Welcome to reality. Patents and Copyrights are only good for lawyers. If you can afford the lawyers to defend your patents and copyrights then by all means get them. I went down that road and was able to get a settlement to stop another company from using my trademark. I didn't get any money in damages for all that they sold when they were using my trademark. NO money for the lost revenue and confusion caused. And a month later they changed the mark to one that was similar, violating the agreement. My attorney advised me that it would cost another 10 grand to bring my complaint about their violation before the judge.

At that point, 50 grand into it I let it go.

Now I spend most of my efforts building better products and my money goes to marketing and relationships. Someone can copy my product but they will have a very hard time stealing my customers. And if they don't do a good job on the copies then they will get ripped to shreds in the public space by me and my customers.

And that's the sum total of my 20 years as a cue case maker who has been copied more than any other.

jason
05-31-2011, 08:05 PM
I had a friend of mine who was an inventor, author, mathematician, teacher and great human being. He once gave me advice saying...if you have an idea, tell everyone.

His point is multifold. Most people won't understand your vision, but they may tell you if it would solve a particular problem for them. Most people will not have the ambition to follow through. Most people are to concerned with their daily life. The bottom line is you will gain more information then you will lose in the long run. Yes, there is a slight chance someone will beat you to the punch, but you should already be ahead of them in almost every aspect.

If you have an idea and you think you can make money at it....go for it. Not tomorrow, not next week, now now now!!!

mmwtdh
05-31-2011, 08:37 PM
Lots of good advise here, mostly that no idea, short of a car that runs on water, is worth the cost of protecting.

In the same time that Shamwow, Foreman grill and Ginsu Knifes could have spend "protecting their invention", they made hundreds of millions of dollars.

JB pretty much summed it up, if you have a great idea, the best you can hope for is to outrun the other guy. You can not afford to fight the professionals that have giant R&C (research and copy) departments.....

Good luck.