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Autodesk 123D contest acceptance requirements Answered

I have a project I want to post in the autodesk contest, but I'm really scared of posting to much information about it because it's an invention I'm working on for some time and still don't have an invention patent for it. In addition, the hole thing isn't fully printable due to some metal parts. I was wondering if the lack of information presented; and non-fully printable projects are accepted in the contest.

by the way, I saw some licensed projects. Is it for all the contesters.


thank you kiteman for your keen the farsighted advise; and SPECIALLY you biskies for the effort you put in writing all that awesome advise, I read every word and that cleared the big picture.

Well, you would benefit from a little patent knowledge. The US operates on a first to invent system, rather than a "first to file" (which is how most countries operate). This is good news for your Instructable, as you would have 18 months from the date of the first public disclosure of your invention to seek intellectual property protection in the form of a patent (or even just a provisional application, which is merely a placeholder, but will buy you another year).

That said, if you have no plans to pursue protection (bear in mind, patent prosecution is extraordinarily expensive) in the next 18 months, but plan to either do so further down the line or you plan to sell your intellectual property, you shouldn't post an Instructable. The contests should provide you insight as to what is required, but generally, the requirement is that you provide enough knowledge to complete the entire project (so an incomplete project usually won't fly).

Bear in mind, that my knowledge does not imply legal advice or counsel. Further, I am NOT a patent attorney, merely an intellectual property law paralegal, having worked with patents in particular for over seven years in an AM100 law firm, as well as the number 4 patent firm in the US based on allowed patents issued annually.

Furthermore, if you are in a country other than the US, patent law is often "first to file". Therefore, the general rule is that, after filing for patent protection in the US, you have one year from the US filing date to file in another country or in the EU. However, if you post your instructable and someone in another country files for patent protection in their home country, you could be out of luck in that country, based on the date that you filed for patent protection. You COULD, however, have legal recourse to have their application for patent protection denied based on prior art (this instructable) rendering the proposed invention non-novel and obvious. Still doesn't help you though.

I can't give legal advice as I am not an attorney, but I can say this pretty definitively. Regardless of what the prize is for the contest, if it is your dream to eventually patent your invention and become rich from it or even sell your invention to a larger company and assign your rights as an inventor to the highest bidder, the prize probably isn't worth it.

One last thing. If you decide to move forward with your Instructable and you leave out various pieces of information, but, based on an understanding of the field from which your invention derives, as well as the study of any pictures accompanying your disclosure, if someone is able to figure out the missing pieces, please note that you then have ZERO recourse. You may be able to argue that it would be obvious in light of several "knowns", but you would be causing a significant expense to yourself, as well as limiting what can be done with your invention and any possible utility patent down the road. Here's why:

1. No company who is in the market to purchase an IP portfolio that may include your future utility patent application wants to buy a legal problem. Not even large global companies with lots of wealth want to spend money to litigate patent issues, especially if the invention was disclosed publicly prior to the utility application being filed.

2. When you submit a patent application, you want the subject matter to be as broad as possible. If someone sees your invention and changes it slightly to make it for Y and Z instead of just X and you've only disclosed it as doing X, you will have to say good bye to Y and Z because those weren't what you disclosed that it did. Meanwhile, any company that purchases your invention will do due diligence researching what potential your invention has prior to writing up a specification that they'll be filing with their application and will ensure that every possible base is covered. :)

It doesn't matter that parts of your device cannot be printed.

Before you post it, though, I would take advice from a specialist patent lawyer about how safe your intellectual property would be. It may be expensive in the short term, but better in the long term.

Great advice. :) I should have just agreed with this before I typed up HOLY MACKEREL WALL OF TEXT!