Can you patent an idea?

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10/7/2020 5:08 PM

I have an idea that’s Moto related but it’s completely out of my realm. It would involve manufacturing, designing, technology that is not in my wheelhouse.

But I know it’s do-able and I know it has serious potential to be a game changer.

Something I could see 50+% of Mx riders picking up on and buying.

What would you guys do? Pitch it to related companies? I really don’t know.

Learn more and try to do it myself? Would be a huge undertaking considering I really don’t know that world.


10/7/2020 5:18 PM

The internet is your friend. It's all out there but it's gonna take some time and maybe a patent lawyer to figure out. Good luck. I pitched an idea to Polaroid years ago that probably would have added 10 years to their camera business. They said, "Thanks but we have our own R&D department". Belly up less than a year later.


If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

10/7/2020 5:34 PM

Paging Luxon Engineering


10/7/2020 6:31 PM

Make a working prototype and document it ,i believe its good for like a year if it should ever go to court if someone should steal the idea . Most people just send stuff over seas to some shit hole slave labor shop , you'll never get a dime from them . I've seen alot of good ideas get ripped off by China and other shit holes in my years of building plastic injection molds .Patents are only worth the money you have to defend them in court.


10/7/2020 7:53 PM

If you can find a CAD guy, have him create a 3D model, and get a prototype 3D printed.

No one has to know what it is.


Go for it! Don't let a little thing like fear, or common sense hold you back.

10/7/2020 8:31 PM

You can patent just the idea, lots of patented stuff isn't physically possible or even logical. You need to contact a patent attorney if you're serious about getting it approved though.
If you want CAD help I have solidworks certification and have *some* design/engineering experience. Im not an engineer though and only dapple in engineering.

From my experience, most companies won't even entertain just an idea. You have to put some time/money in before someone is going to buy your idea. Lookit shark tank, they arent interested in the just got started, aint got sales "company." They want companies that are somewhat established.


10/8/2020 7:13 AM

If you’re serious about it but have no engineering/manufacturing background, I would say the first step would be drafting a non-disclosure agreement and seeking someone who can help with the design work and possibly some prototype parts (insert shameless plug for myself and 3DP Moto whistling ). As far as a patent goes, remember that the patent doesn’t give you exclusive rights to your idea, it gives you the right to bring someone to court over infringement, there’s a big difference there. Depending on the idea it may be worth it, however for most moto related things it just doesn’t seem feasible to go through the process considering it can easily be a few thousand dollars in legal fees before you even get your patent reviewed (that’s where you often see the “patent pending” logo on products, since the process can take years and is on a first to file basis).

I’ve looked into it for other ideas before, so if you need any additional info feel free to shoot me a PM. I’d also be very interested in looking at your idea (with a proper NDA in place to protect both of us) if you’re serious about getting it off the ground.


Make Hillclimb Great Again

Ratbeach Racing

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10/8/2020 8:55 AM

JM485 wrote:

If you’re serious about it but have no engineering/manufacturing background, I would say the first step would be drafting a ...more

I worked for a small shop when I started my apprenticeship, I left after a few years . I had heard he was dealing with a guy who wanted to bring a product to the masses , the guy stopped in with some prints for a quote. The owner of the shop sent the prints to china to get a quote on building a mold. The place who reviewed the prints stole the idea and ran with it . I'm not sure whatever happened in the courts but the shop doesnt exhist anymore.


10/8/2020 9:09 AM

Definitely speak to a patent attorney first - in ‘99 I put a business plan together and naively pitched it to a friend of a friend who was in the industry solely for advice and told her so -didn’t take long and my dreams of that business coming to fruition vanished. The bigger players one by one jumped in and the opportunity was gone. I should have called an attorney or a venture capitalist or at least had a non-disclosure agreement. Ahh to be young and dumb again.


10/8/2020 9:46 AM

I deal with inventors and their ideas on a regular basis from the manufacturing side, and in regards to patents, your patent is only as good as the money you have to protect it. IMO, you'd be better served by researching, working and developing your idea into a tangible product. From my experience, and if you stick with it, your product will go through numerous revisions until you hit the desired results. What's been said previously is correct, no manufacturing company is going to listen to your "idea". Get it on paper, and become an expert on it. If and when you get to a production scale, you can always submit a non-disclosure agreement to be signed.


[Moto Creed-O: Take the High-Road.....Kick His Ass and Fuck His Chick

10/11/2020 1:35 PM

A non-disclosure agreement is free and will at least allow you some protection when discussing the project, so definitely do that.

As others have said, a patent only gives you the ability to sue to protect your concept. If you can't afford a lawsuit, then it's not worth all that much. Unless you're selling the idea or licensing it to another company who does have the money to sue.

But a patent is expensive. You can get a provisional patent for a relatively low cost ($1k-2k), which gives you protection and a year to sort out whether or not your idea is worthy of a real patent. You can convert the provisional to a utility patent within a year, but if you don't convert it within the year, then your idea is free to the public. A well written utility patent costs on the order of $15k-$20k, so that's quite a bit to spend, particularly for a moto component.

You an always discuss it with me, as this is exactly what we do. My main company is Luxon Engineering ( and obviously I have the moto company, so you'd be talking to someone well versed in the industry too.


Billy Wight
Luxon MX
Motocross Components Engineered for Performance