Annett Enterprises LLC

53 Hillside Avenue

Livingston, NJ 07039




To the extent that we have time available, we are committed to offering our services and expertise to independent inventors at a reasonable price because, quite frankly, too many people are simply getting ripped off!   In order to be eligible you have to have actually attended the NJ National Society of Inventors meeting.  These meetings are free and open to the public and held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month and are a great resource of honest information for new inventors.


(Again, please do not contact us unless you have at least attended one meeting.)

Things an independent inventor should know

It is more than just building a better mouse trap!

The old saying, “If you build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door,” just isn’t true!  Getting a patent is only the begining of the process and is actually less important than figuring out who is going to buy it and more importantly how you are going to reach them. 


Even if you do build a better mouse trap, some companies won’t be interested in selling your prouct because if they start selling your product it may canabilize sales of their existing product lines. 


If you are asked the question, “who is going to buy it?”  It is not an acceptable answer to say, “Everybody”.  For one thing, it cost way too much money to advertize to everybody.  The other is that  just isn’t true!


You need to identify specific groups of people and be able to quantify them.  For instance, in 2007 there were 2,204,792 farm and ranches in the united states and these would be good candiates to try and sell a better mouse trap to.  There are several farm publications that they read, as well as attending 4-H and county fairs. 


If you could get just 10% of these farmers to buy my mouse trap and each one buys 5 then you will be able to sell over a million mouse traps.  This is exactly the kind of information you need to have to approach an investor, liscense or bank with and create a business plan. 


You might be saying, isn’t that the job of a potential licensee to know this information.  You need to know it for to reasons: first, you are going to have to convince them to talk to you and second, if they are going to make you and offer you need to know if it is fair. 


Note: If you want some help getting the marketabilty of product assessed you might want to also consider Step2Evaluation.  For around $200, they provide you with a preliminary patent search, market research report on your product's marketability, consumer appeal, manufacturing, profit margin, and patentability among other things, which is a great starting point and is very affordable. 

The difference between a patent agent and a patent attorney

What makes them the same:

·         To be either a pattent agent OR a patent attorney he/she needs to first be an engineer or a scientist. 

·         To be either a pattent agent or a patent attorney he/she must also take and pass the Patent Bar Exam.  Since it is the exact same exam for both groups, as far as the USPTO is concerned, both groups are equally qualified.


What makes then different:

·         To be patent attorney they also have to pass the State Bar Exam in the state that you want to practice law, which gives them the abiltity to litigate and draw up contracts. 

·         Patent attorneys in general charge twice the hourly rate that agents charge.

What are the different types of patents and which one do I want?

If you call up one of these invention services that advertise on TV they will typically help you get a design patent, which could very well be useless. 


Design patents in my opinion are extremly poorly named.  They should really be called, “ORNAMENTAL” patents because they allow you the right to stop people from manufacturing something that LOOKS like what you have a patent for.  As far as a design patent is concerned, there are essentially no working parts in your device; it is all cosmetic. 


So, one of these TV invention services, could very well get you a design patent for something somebody else already has a utility patent for.  A utilty patent allows them to stop people from manufacturing something that essentially works the same or does the same thing.


So if you try and sell a working version of your product the folks with the utility patent can tell you to stop.  At that point, you can only sell non-working (and non repairable) versions of your product.  You can tell them that they can’t make something that looks like your but what good is that going to do.


Would you ever want a design patent?   For instance, it might make sense to get a design patent for a modernized version of a product for which you can’t get a utility patent, for instance, a chair.  Unless there is something unique aboout the way your new chair works or the proccess of making it.  You can’t get a utility patent on the way it works.   However, I can get a design patent to stop people from manufacturing chairs that have the cool new shape I created.


The utility patent is the holy grail.  It is the patent that everybody wants.  It gives you the ability to stop people from being able to manufacture/sell product that work the same as yours. 


A provisional patent is a gateway to a utility patent and can be an extemely useful tool for do it yourselfers.  It within that one year can be used to file a utility patent. The nice thing is that as soon as you file it you can say tht your invention is patent pending.

How much does a patent cost?

For a really good article on patent costs written by Gene Quinn the President and Founder of the IPWatchdog, Inc., <Click Here>.  The bottom line is that it typically costs at least $5,000 to get a utility patent.  However, this is only the start of what you will need to invest.


Most people will need design work done and prototypes built.  To get to the point where you trulely ready to be taken seriously by potential investors or to begin manufacturing it could easily be 10-20 times that amount and most companies will spend 100-250 times that amount to launch a new product.


Note: If you do the patent by yourself and file electronically then is possible to get a utility patent for just over over $500.  If you want to try then get a copy of Patent it Yourself by David Pressman.  It is a great book!

How to conduct your own search.

Patent Searching 101” is a really good article also written by Gene Quinn the President and Founder of the IPWatchdog, Inc.  But before you delve into that just do a simple Google search.  Use whatever words you would use to fill in the blank to either of the following statements:


1.       I created a ___________________ with _____________________

2.       I created a ___________________ that does _________________


Then once you have typed the words above into Google, one of the best things you can do is click on Images and you will get pictures of all the devices out there (as well as porn, since that seems to come up no matter what you search).  Spen some time looking at all the images.  You will find stuff that you didn’t know that was out there.  You will see your competition.  Maybe you will discover that the product you think you invented already exists!

There is some stuff out there BUT there is nothing like my idea!

If you hear one thing from almost every single independent inventors, it is the following statement, “There is some stuff out there BUT there is nothing like my idea!” 


One of the most common misconceptions that people have is that by adding things to an already existing product that they can then get a patent. 


If an inventor says, “My invention is like _____ but I added _____________.”

 Then they probably CAN’T get a utility patent.


However, if an inventor says, “My invention is like ________ but it does the following ____________________.”

 Then they stand a chance of getting a utility patent.


If you think about it this makes total sense.  If this weren’t the case then the inventors of eyelashes for car headlights, would be able to get a patent for a Volkswagen beetle with eyelashes and begin making and selling a car that was exactly the same as a Volkswagen Beetle except that it included eyelashes and there would be nothing Volkswagen could do to stop them. 


In order to get a utility patent it has to work differently or do something different than the other devices or an obvious combination of devices stuck together.  In the world of patents, what you ideally want to hear the inventor say is “my invention is like this except I was able to design it so that you no longer need ________”  rather than they added something.  (LESS is MORE!)