Palm Springs, Irvine and Vista California Patent Lawyers - Making Sense of Patents and Encouraging Inventors

by R. Sebastian Gibson - Date: 2008-10-20 - Word Count: 967 Share This!

As the senior partner of a law firm that applies for patents on behalf of our clients in Southern California, from San Diego to Orange County, from Irvine, Anaheim, La Jolla, Fullerton, Temecula, Mission Viejo, Westminster, Newport Beach, Del Mar and Ventura to Indian Wells and Palm Springs, we have had clients come in who have developed amazing devices that one would have either never believed possible to invent.

Then there are people who have only thought of an idea, who have no idea if the idea would work and who can't understand why they can't patent that idea. 

To demonstrate that situation, take this fictional call from an anonymous person seeking to patent something. Like many others, he is frustrated to learn that an idea is not enough.

"I'd like to patent something," the caller said.

"Great," I responded."But I can't tell you how it works," the caller added.

"Our conversations are totally confidential," I said.

"You don't understand," the caller said. "I don't know how it works."

"If you have a prototype, we can describe it for the patent application and have drawings made of it," I said.

"No, there's no prototype," the caller said. "But I'm sure it will work. I saw it uh a movie."

"Sir, just because it was in a movie doesn't mean it will work in real life."

"It worked in the movie," the caller said.

"They can make things look like they work that really don't though," I said.

"Well I still want to patent the idea before anyone else does," the caller said.

"I'm afraid you're going to have to hire someone to see if they can actually build a working prototype," I said.

"How much will that cost?" the caller asked.

"There's no way to tell if it's even possible for someone to build a device that works like you saw in the movie," I said.

"Well I don't think it would have been in a movie unless it could work," the caller said. "If I have someone build one, will that be the extent of my costs?"

"Not at all," I said. "Depending on the complexity of the device, you will still have to pay a patent attorney his or her fees as well as the patent office their fees to have the device patented."

"But the device will be a benefit to all mankind," the caller said.

"Even if you build one, there's also no guarantee that the patent office will grant your application for a patent," I added.

"Why not?" the caller asked.

"Because someone may already have a patent on a similar device," I said. "If you saw it in a movie, many other people probably saw it also. One of those people may have already obtained a patent."

"Nobody else has seen the movie yet. Besides, I thought you didn't believe that it could be built," the caller said.

I decided not to go down that path. "In fact, if what you believe is true, that it does work, the movie producers may have obtained the device from someone who has already built them and patented the devices."

"Well I don't think that's the case," the caller said. "I made the movie myself."

This was where I began to have a suspicion something wasn't quite right. Still, I pressed on. "If you can describe the device and how you think it works, we can do a patent search to see what has already been patented in that field," I said.

"Now we're getting somewhere," the caller said.

"Perhaps we could even watch the movie you saw to help us describe the device for the patent search," I suggested.

"Well, it wasn't exactly a movie," the caller said.

"What was it?" I asked."More like a dream I had," the caller said.

"Okee dokey," I replied as a nurse took over the caller's phone.

I'll never know if the caller really had a device that could help mankind, but wouldn't it be just our luck that we may never find out. Remember, most good ideas start as dreams. Try to see if it's possible to build your idea, and to make it work. The impossible could just be possible and the next great invention.

Not long ago, an actual client came in with an idea for a device he had seen in a movie. Unfortunately he did not have the knowledge to try to build it, much less did he know if it could be built.

Recently and most amazingly, a new and much more extensive device than the client had envisioned was on the news that not only accomplished what the client had dreamed, but went much further and may now be the hope for catastrophically injured persons in the future, something the client had not even thought of.

If you would like to know more about how the actual patent process works, visit our website or call our offices.  You can also have your nurse make the call.If you want to obtain a patent or have a business matter in Orange County, San Diego, in the Inland Empire, Palm Springs or anywhere in Southern California, we have the knowledge and resources to be your Irvine Business Lawyers, and Westminster Patent Attorneys. For this reason, be sure to hire a California law firm with business and patent lawyers who are ready to serve you in areas such as Irvine, La Jolla and Palm Desert so you are properly represented.

If you have a business law matter or have questions about how to apply for a patent, call the Law Offices of R. Sebastian Gibson, or visit our website at  and learn about your rights and options.. You can also call us to speak directly to Sebastian Gibson on the phone about your legal matter.

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The Sebastian Gibson Law Firm serves all of San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs and Palm Desert, the Coastal Cities from La Jolla, Carlsbad and Del Mar to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana and up to Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. We also serve the Inland Empire cities of Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, Riverside and San Bernardino and all the cities in the Coachella Valley and high desert, from La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella to Yucca Valley and Victorville.

Visit our website at if you have an intellectual property matter of any kind or wish to apply for a patent. We have the knowledge and resources to represent you as your Irvine Patent Lawyer and La Jolla Patent Attorney or your attorney in and around the cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, San Diego, Orange County, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Laguna Beach, Anaheim, Riverside, Chula Vista, Irvine, San Bernardino, Huntington Beach, Fontana, Moreno Valley, Oceanside, La Jolla, Del Mar, San Marcos, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Garden Grove, Palmdale, Long Beach, Corona, Yorba Linda, Escondido, Orange, Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Victorville, Carlsbad, Temecula, Murrieta, Mission Viejo, El Cajon, Vista, Westminster, Santa Monica, Malibu, Westwood, Hesperia, Buena Park, Indio, Coachella, Del Mar, Oxnard, Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

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