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Thread: Can you patent a location for advertising?

  1. #1

    Default Can you patent a location for advertising?

    The guy that came up with putting ads on the side of a bus, could he have patented that idea and collected royalties or something?

    Sounds way easier than actually putting ideas into motion, just patent it, put it out there, and sit back.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Mr. Tax Man
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    I doubt you could patent such a thing. Patents are generally for processes of how to create a certain something.
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    I'm pretty sure Evan is right. Patents are reserved for processes or formulas, but not ideas in the strict sense. I believe you could patent a cookie recipe, but you couldn't patent cookies if you had invented them. It has to be very specific.
    Steve Chittenden

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    I don't think you can patent an idea. It's the implementation of that idea that you patent. For example if I came up with a way tomorrow to turn ordinary metal into gold (making proud all alchemists through history in the process) I could patent my process. If someone else discovered a different process to do the same thing they could patent their process as well.

    Neither of us could patent the idea of turning metal into gold to prevent the other from doing the same. We could only keep the other from using our process until such time as the patent runs out an anyone could use the process.
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  5. #5

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    There is an area of "business process" patents that allowed things like Amazon's patent on one-click ordering. Many people have felt that the US Patent Office went too far in granting patents in that area and in fact a recent opinion in the Federal Circuit court indicates that it will be tougher to get process patents. However, even at its most broad application, it would not cover mere business ideas like putting ads on the side of a bus.

  6. #6

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    Damn

    Because I had this great idea to put ads on the side of a bus!

    lol. Thanks guys. I guess I have to come up with a way to mount advertisements to the side of the bus and then patent the contraption I made that holds the banners in place?

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    Funny, but yeah you could probably patent the contraption to hold the ads on the side of the bus.
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  8. #8

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    I will update you guys when/if I get this worked out. Sorry to be vague but I'm sure there are no hard feelings. It's probably one of those ideas that sounds great right now but in two weeks I will wonder what I was thinking.

  9. #9

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    this brings to mind a curiosity question re patents. Someone I know had a product which was a cover for tv satellite dishes which had logos of college sporting teams. Idea was to sell it to sports fans to cover their dish. I thought it was a stupid idea, but that's not the question.

    He applied for a patent on the cover. The only way I can see it being patentable is if there was some very unique attachment method. Similar to what happened with Jet Ski's. They patented a part in the steering mechanism. It kept the competition out for a long time.

    How could you even try to patent something like a tv dish cover? I just did a search for it "tv dish rag" they called it the dish rag. It looks like its selling. I found a write up on it in the Miami Herald business section.

    I just don't see how you can patent a tv dish cover?

  10. #10
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    Bill, I don't think the cover itself could be patented either. Your illustration of the Jet Ski matches the principle very well.
    Steve Chittenden

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