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Old 05-19-09, 02:26 PM   #1
Jon Sullivan
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New Invention

I am a mechanical designer with a passion for bicycles and airplanes. I do my own 3D modeling and own a complete machine shop for prototyping (very dangerous combination). I like to invent new things. I have invented, fabricated and tested a new accessory for a bicycle. It is a device that will appeal to the commuter and leisure bike enthusiasts. I would like to talk to someone about marketing this idea but don't have a clue as to where to start. Can anyone help me? Do you know anyone in the bicycle industry that I can talk to about marketing this product?
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Old 05-19-09, 02:39 PM   #2
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Attend a trade show. crankbrothers.com sell bike gadgets. It is rare that a bike accessory is truly original, my guess is if you posted on the mechanics board, someone would show you a patent from the 1880s for a similar device.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply,
I have done a patent search and applied for the patent rights. Surprizingly it appears to be patentable with very little prior art.
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Old 05-19-09, 03:01 PM   #4
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Attend a trade show. crankbrothers.com sell bike gadgets. It is rare that a bike accessory is truly original, my guess is if you posted on the mechanics board, someone would show you a patent from the 1880s for a similar device.
Very true. I have read that during the bicycle boom of the 1890s the US Patent office had two buildings, one for bicycle related patents and the other for everything else. No idea if actually true.

Without some description from the OP of the functional purpose of the device it is difficult to know what to recommend. Lots of accessory manufacturers out there but most concentrate on one area such as Jtek with shifting related devices. Also the largest markets for commuter and transport type bike accessories would be Europe, China, India and Japan I expect. Therefore, if possible, you would want to contact a manufacturer with international distribution. And remembe that a patent is only a license to sue for infringement and if there is another way to accomplish the same thing competition will develop if the idea has enough potential market.
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Old 05-19-09, 05:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
Attend a trade show. crankbrothers.com sell bike gadgets. It is rare that a bike accessory is truly original, my guess is if you posted on the mechanics board, someone would show you a patent from the 1880s for a similar device.
+1. I've been in and around the bicycle business for 30 years, and there's very little that hasn't been "invented" over and over again.

Email me a photo or drawing or description and I'll try to tell you if it's been done.
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Old 05-19-09, 07:17 PM   #6
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did you do the prior art search and write the application yourself? or have a patent attorney/agent do it?
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Old 05-19-09, 09:18 PM   #7
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Consider filing a provisional patent application in the US first if you go the patent route.

On patent searching - do more then the US search - a prior disclosure anywhere in any language can result in a denied application.

here are a few sites:

http://www.uspto.gov
http://www.espacenet.com/access/index.en.htm
http://www.delphion.com (very useful but not sure if you need an account).

Good luck!
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Old 05-19-09, 10:04 PM   #8
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I had a very good patent firm that did the application and the preliminary search. They are doing the full search now.
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Old 05-19-09, 10:05 PM   #9
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Thanks
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Old 05-19-09, 10:06 PM   #10
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OK it's on the way.
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Old 05-20-09, 06:30 AM   #11
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Very true. I have read that during the bicycle boom of the 1890s the US Patent office had two buildings, one for bicycle related patents and the other for everything else. No idea if actually true.
Yep, true.

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Old 05-20-09, 11:02 AM   #12
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Keep in mind that if you go for it in marketing this product, you have to focus very hard on your weaknesses. Given that you are an engineer, it is somewhere between possible to likely that you do not have the same skills in the right-brain side of marketing - the emotional.

For example, I believe that for a product to succeed with your target group, it has to be emotionally appealing as it hangs in its retail display packaging. Sure you can get word-of-mouth exposure and sell stuff on-line, but the big bucks don't happen until shop owners stock it. There are plenty of firms that specialize in that aspect of bringing a consumer product out. Two good books that illustrate the issues are "The Design of Everyday Things" and "Emotional Design"
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