1)Meaning of 'Star' tag on the project?

1) What is meaning of 'Star ' symbol on project, who gives this, what is the criteria, Is there Reward ?
2) What do you mean by 'Editors pick', 'Popular', 'Rating', 'Views', Zeitgeist',
     Who selects it, what is the criteria
3) If some one copies idea and take patent on that idea, Does the Author gets something?
     What is the cross check if some one manufactures and sell as a product in the market?
4) I am a Retired person, Is there any way to get Pro Membership freely ?
5) Is there any booklet or Guidelines of Instructables, and is there any flow chart how the system works once the Project is published by the Author

1. The star symbol means that the project has been featured or is an editor's pick. You can find the criteria for that here.
2.  Editors pick means it meets those guidelines and has been featured by the author and the most recent featured ones are listed first.  Popular means it has drawn in a lot of traffic and the most recent popular ones are listed first. Rating is organizing by the 5 - star rating that Instructable has and the most stars are listed first.  Views is how many times the Instructables have been viewed and most viewed is listed first.

That's what I can help with.
DrRhodes3 years ago
I am not a patent lawyer but I do submit patents regularly when I develop intellectual property (IP) for my job. Here are some of the things that I can tell you based on my experience and knowledge.

Patent law has recently changed to what is called "first to file". This means that regardless of when an idea was actually generated, the one who gets the patent award is the first person to file the patent. Therefore, even if you had a lab notebook that was dated and signed by a witness showing that you had developed an idea before the person who filed it, they would still get the patent because the filed the invention first. This is in contrast to the previous laws in the US.

Another point is that you can not patent something that is either "obvious to someone skilled in the art" which, frankly, covers most of the things that are on here. Exactly what falls under this heading is determined by the patent judges ruling. Slight tweaks, extensions of, or combinations of ideas often fall into this area. The burden is on the inventor to prove that the invention is not obvious.

Another very important aspect is that you can not patents something that is already published. I'm not sure about the current laws but there used to be a grace period where the author had a few months or something to submit their patent after publishing their own work. However, if you publish and unpatented idea it can no longer be patented by anyone. It becomes public domain and everyone has the right to use it however they see fit, including companies who wish to use it in a product. They can freely use and adapt the concept. I don't know about the specific with certain publishing licenses, but these are pretty flimsy compared to a patent and in reality it would cost you a lot in legal fees to defend any rights you may have had.

Many times a company will develop IP which is original but not worth the large expense (~10k a pop) needed to patent it since it will likely never make money off of it. In these cases they often do what is called a defensive publication. A short description of the invention is published in a special journal which puts the concept into the public domain where no one can patent the idea in the future. This keep the company from being put into a bad situation in the future where they end up needing to use it for whatever reason but someone else has since patented it.

Bear in mind that there are a ton of patents already out there. I would say about half the time I invent something, a patent search shows that someone else has covered the technology in another patent. When patents are written they are made very broad so that they cover as wide an area of technology as possible.

If you truly have an idea that you think is original and worth patenting you should do it. Keep in mind, however, that it is somewhat costly to file a good patent because you will need legal help. Also, even if your patent is awarded there are some countries which do not acknowledge US patents and they will take your idea and make a product for sale without any licensing from you. They can legally do this because their country allows it.

My advice would be that you should not publish anything on here that you expect to keep. This is a great place for the free share of knowledge which is a beautiful thing. If you want a patent, you do not say anything about the work to anyone except you co-inventors and your lawyer until the patent is filed.
nachiketa (author)  DrRhodes3 years ago
Thanks Dr. Rhodes
Very useful information and recommendations