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  1. #1
    Drive-train Inventor
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    Hot Breakthrough ~ Need Advice

    I have invented a new bike drive-train... no Patent, and no manufacturers contacted yet. A the midpoint of the downstroke the new drive-train generates 25% more leverage, with an average of 12.5% gain for each downstroke.

    Where do I go with this?
    Is a Provisional Patent sufficient?
    Which components manufacturers might work with me?
    How do I make a press release?
    How do I adequately protect my breakthrough?
    If I manufacture this myself, how do I find sponsors? investors?

    Open to all suggestions.
    Thanks,
    WildeDesigns@comcast.net

  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Stop posting that stuff here, get a patent attourney immediately!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Stop posting that stuff here, get a patent attourney immediately!
    unless you can fork over quite a few thousand dollars most people can't afford them. and now days all it does is give you a licence to fight in court. that takes more money.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, patents are one thing, but being able to defend them is a completely different matter...

  5. #5
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    If you see anyone advertising on television (or any other media) on patents and how you can make big money, with investors waiting for your call, avoid them like the plague. These are scams and you're wasting your time.

    I hate to tell you this but the market place is not too kind regarding new products. Each month, dozens of new products are introduced and most fail or disappear off the shelves in a matter of months or weeks. Unfortunately, it costs money to bring a device like yours into production that no one has ever seen. Most venture capatalist will only invest in your business if you have a proven management team of professionals on your staff that have years of experience in business. It's also quite possible someone already invented a product similar to yours but never went to production. Please find this out because it happens all the time. Always remember, it takes people to sell the product not the other way around and it's especially true when no one has ever heard of your drive-train in the first place.

    Someone once said if other companies try to copy your product, you've done REALLY well and should be proud of yourself! I wouldn't worry too much about other people copying the product because if you're successful, they will come and do it anyway! Furthermore, you don't have the money (thousands of dollars) or time to send these copiers to court so stop worrying about patents. An inexpensive filing is all you need at this point. There are far more important issues facing a startup than how your going to handle all the success once you get there. Bottom line. You have to generate interest for anyone to even think about replacing their Dura Ace cranks for yours. Production and Marketing my friend, cost a lot of money.

    Actually. You might make a lot more money selling a product that many more people already want and is recognizable. How about a hamburger business? I know a guy a little older than me and is getting ready to retire in a couple of years and only owns a hamburger shop.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    On the other hand, congrats on your accomplishment! File for the patent. You will have options as to what to do then. Try to produce it yourself or get Shimano to buy your design. Good Luck.
    2011 Raleigh International
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  7. #7
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    Your options are tough. You could patent and try to sell the idea to manufacturers. Or you could try to manufacture yourself. If you try to sell to manufacturers and it's actually a good idea, they are going to steal it and squash you in the dirt probably. Shimano has WAY deeper pockets than you. I personally like self manufacture idea. Get a patent, write a business plan, get a loan. Venture Caps are vultures. They will more than likely want majority control of your business, kick you out if the item gets hot and leave you with nothing.

    Like mentioned before, don't mess with the "Invention" people you see on TV or hear on the radio. They just charge you $800 to do something you could of done yourself for like $10 and are of real no help.

  8. #8
    jur
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    Contact Team Discovery. If your invention will make them win easier, you're made.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  9. #9
    jur
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    Just curious, how is your drivetrain better than what already exists? Here's why it puzzles me:

    1. More leverage = lower gear.

    2. Regardless of the drivetrain detail, if you are working against wind resistance or climbing a hill, you need to expend a certain power. The only thing that will really work in your favour, is to increase efficiency, and modern bicycles are just about at the max already.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  10. #10
    Drive-train Inventor
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    Thanks Steve,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.
    I appreciate your imput.

    Richard

  11. #11
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    [cough]biopace[/cough]

  12. #12
    Drive-train Inventor
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    Thanks Steve,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate your imput. Sounds like we need new legislation to protect the inventor.

    I did create a test model. I used weights and scales and a means of testing leverage in 15 degree increments... The concept works. I consider it a scientific breakthrough with a huge potential impact, but am frustrated with my options.

    A Netherlands human powered flight team has expressed an interest in my drive-train. They claimed that if they liked my idea, they would produce and perfect a working prototype for their craft. They claimed having the funds, the engineers, the manufacturers, and the physicists necessary. I just feel vulnerable moving forward with little or no protection.

    Richard

  13. #13
    Drive-train Inventor
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    This breakthrough has taken over 5 years to achieve. Thinking inside the box, I was never able to get anything more than the conventional bike. But I was still convinced that a breakthrough could be made.

    By thinking outside the box, I have found two ways of generating more leverage without a corresponding loss. One way requires 11 extra parts and more weight. However, my latest idea is incredibly simple, and its advantage will become obvious to anyone who sees it... much like putting a long pipe over the end of a wrench to give the wrench more leverage and output with the same input.

    I created a test model, using weights and scales, etc., and succeeded in proving the breakthrough to be viable. I would like the world to benefit from my idea, and therefore me. But admit I am frustrated with how to move forward with it.

    Richard

  14. #14
    jur
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    Again, leverage may or may not be as important as you think.

    *** Will your invention increase efficiency without increasing weight? ***
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  15. #15
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Why am I envisioning telescopic crank arms?

  16. #16
    Drive-train Inventor
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    Why am I envisioning telescopic crank arms?
    A telescopic crank arm, or two
    telescopic crank arms attached to the same pedal,
    or an elliptical pedal pattern, are all means of
    thinking outside the box (circle); and all are a
    means of increasing leverage without a corresponding
    sacrifice elsewhere.

    Having proven my theory with a test model, I am now
    moving forward with a Provisional Patent.

    I just wish I knew how to succeed with this breakthrough.
    I welcome any suggestions.

  17. #17
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wilde
    I just wish I knew how to succeed with this breakthrough.
    I welcome any suggestions.
    If it was easy, everybody would be successful. I would suggest starting the the Small Business Associciation/Administration in your area. This group can give you insighful information. They can refer you to another group,whose name I have forgotten, of retired successful business people. Learn as much from these people as you can.
    Another area to try would be to search online for successful patenteers. Be a little cautious with this.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Personally I don't think much of patents. I've been a barbed wire collector for 30 years, and have seen the proliferation of barbed wire patents.....all it takes is for someone to take a patented wire, and make a minor change such as bending the barb a different way, and they can then patent that wire as their own design.... so good luck!
    "Oh Yeah?"

  19. #19
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    First thing you do is a search of the patent literature. Just about evey possible (and impossible) variation of crank and chainring geometry and linkage has been patented at some time in the past. Don't be surprised if you "new" idea is anything but new.

  20. #20
    Fritz M richardmasoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wilde
    ...or an elliptical pedal pattern...
    Like Biopace?

  21. #21
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    It's an unfortunate thing for small-businesses and individual inventors that they get trampled on all the time by big-business. I worked in the industry for over 10-years and came up with some innovative ideas and designs for improving the bike. Being a small-frye, I did all my homework and filed provisional patents, hired attourneys, etc. In the end, those guys STILL stole my ideas and developed them into mainstream products. It really comes down to how deep your pockets are to defend your designs, because it's a David vs. Goliath battle. Having gone through this, I would've done things a little different with hindsight. To bring a new design to market, I would do the following:

    1. patent the design, at least hire attourney to look over your paperwork and filings with the patent office.

    2. set up your own production, any of the major manufacturers would simply just steal your idea for their own products in a blink of an eye if you approached them. Perhaps have it manufactered off-shore as individual components made by separate factories so they'll have no idea what the part is being used for. Then assemble the final product yourself inhouse.

    3. do your own marketing or hire firm. At first, it'll be more profitable to sell retail yourself directly to consumers; profit margin's higher. As you make more sales and product-recognition grows, you can entertain selling in volume to shops and manufacturers. You'll cut your margins, but make more total profit. You really have to watch your production costs to make sure you're making money on volume.

    Once you get the patent, you may feel a little safer about showing it off. Get magazine reviews, competitive comparisons done with rival products, etc. That will good exposure worth its weight in marketing dollars.

  22. #22
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Richard,

    I would contact a patent attorney now. Don't discuss more details
    here on BF.
    Sometimes the most simple solutions to complex problems are
    found by thinking outside the box.
    As for the shimano has deep pockets stuff. My father is taking on
    Micros**t, and looks like he will succeed. Funny how competitors are
    very willing to help (*B*), all it took was the original idea and
    the willingness to fight for your idea.
    Marty
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  23. #23
    Senior Member phinney's Avatar
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    Before spending big $$$ on the patent take your idea to a professional engineer for review. Have him sign a confidentiality agreement before you show it to him. He will tell you if it is worth pursuing further.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Bontrager's Avatar
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    Someone told me you could send a certified mail to yourself that has your ideas/drawings/whatever in it. This way if someone steals your idea, you can prove that it was yours. He called it the "poor man's patent".

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  25. #25
    無くなった HereNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bontrager
    Someone told me you could send a certified mail to yourself that has your ideas/drawings/whatever in it. This way if someone steals your idea, you can prove that it was yours. He called it the "poor man's patent".
    Yeah, my mom told me that trick for protecting artworks/manuscripts/etc, but if I remember right I read somewhere that it almost never holds up in a court of law. You can't really prove that the other company didn't come up with the idea independently. If you have the real patent, then it's infrigement...

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