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Drone visibility idea

Droniac

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If your idea is a string with flares tied to it every 5 feet, I already thought of that. Apparently, the nanny-state FAA thinks it is too “dangerous” and “ill conceived” and “very likely to cause widespread property damage and probably death.”

In all seriousness, develop the idea into a prototype, find an IP lawyer in the nearest large city, and then get a patent. I’m friends with many IP lawyers and the common comment is that maybe 1 in 100 folks ever make any money on an idea because few people ever follow through on making the idea an actual product or service.
… so yes or no to the flares? ? Godspeed Droniac
 

Droniac

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No offense intended, but as a lawyer who does some IP work, PLEASE stay away from these companies. Lawyers may take too much money (fair criticism) but these companies are almost universally scams.

If the OP has a good idea, he’d be far better off talking with a good patent attorney. He may pay $500/hr or more to do it, but still better than the patent company scams
Great input. That’s what makes Mavic Pilots very cool. All walks of life and the straight up scoop on what info they can offer so we can enjoy what we do. Just a thanks for your candor. Fly safe snd Godspeed Droniac
 
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blubyyou

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I have what I think is a great idea for being able to see our drones from a distance.
The idea is to stretch the vlos without breaking any FAA regulations.
Problem is I have no money to patent this idea or knowledge of how to go about it..
Actually it is just an idea I have but one worthy of exploring..
Obviously If I were to write about it someone could “steal” my idea and That would be that..
Any ideas how to promote or move forward with this without giving up my idea?
Of course I want compensation of it was to become popular that is why I feel like I need to keep my lips sealed for now..
Ty,
JohnnyD913
File a Patent for the idea, along with detailed drawings and then you can talk all you want. You may still have to fight a Patent infringement suit but that will always be a possibility.
 

Rich QR

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Before you get too excited about a patent, read here:


Those documents are old, and admittedly one-sided, telling why a small inventor will lose money by getting involved in the patent system. But most of it rings true, as far as I can tell. I say that as one who has been granted a patent (my employer paid for the legal fees and owns the rights. I don't think they've made any money from it, but I could be wrong).

A patent is a right to sue infringers. You'll have to find infringers before you can sue them. Finding them, serving them, and taking them to court will, at best, be expensive. If the infringers have a lot of capital to invest in their legal fees, they may be motivated to draw the case out as long as possible, in order to cause you to run out of money and give up the fight. They will probably argue that your patent shouldn't have been issued, or that their device doesn't actually infringe upon it. The arguments will be long and costly. If you win, perhaps you'll gain enough money to fund the next lawsuit against the next infringer. Or not.
 

JohnnyD913

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Thank you all for your time and wealth of knowledge..
With any luck, maybe before long, I can
Post about my idea and have a working prototype for all to see.
This is why I love our forum so much…
 

Steel63

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Just be careful of pat cop my brother got scammed big time by one just saying . maybe ask an attorney good luck can't wait to see what your idea is ??
 
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LA 2020

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I have what I think is a great idea for being able to see our drones from a distance.
The idea is to stretch the vlos without breaking any FAA regulations.
Problem is I have no money to patent this idea or knowledge of how to go about it..
Actually it is just an idea I have but one worthy of exploring..
Obviously If I were to write about it someone could “steal” my idea and That would be that..
Any ideas how to promote or move forward with this without giving up my idea?
Of course I want compensation of it was to become popular that is why I feel like I need to keep my lips sealed for now..
Ty,
JohnnyD913
It only costs about $130 to file a provisional patent and it's easy which protects you for 1 year during which you need to start the Non provisional. This provisional patent allows you to discuss your idea with some degree of safety but it is still advisable to get non disclosures signed. Also do searches to be sure your idea isn't already on the market or patented
 
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Drone Tracker

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It only costs about $130 to file a provisional patent and it's easy which protects you for 1 year during which you need to start the Non provisional. This provisional patent allows you to discuss your idea with some degree of safety but it is still advisable to get non disclosures signed. Also do searches to be sure your idea isn't already on the market or patented
This is the best advice in this thread. The patent system is now "first to file" so all the prior signed documents and illustrations that we used to execute are irrelevant now. I patent medical devices and always lead with a provisional patent as described which is only $130 and can be done by you if you choose. However a patent lawyer will help you get a broader description of your concept and claims protected for under a $1000. Then as others have said, it is all about focus and execution. I have more patents that I have not used then ones that I have developed but you need to demonstrate filed patent protection to attract outside investors who are understandably particularly concerned about mitigating the risk of competition. I hope you proceed with your idea because we need better VLOS for our drones.
 

JohnnyD913

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This is the best advice in this thread. The patent system is now "first to file" so all the prior signed documents and illustrations that we used to execute are irrelevant now. I patent medical devices and always lead with a provisional patent as described which is only $130 and can be done by you if you choose. However a patent lawyer will help you get a broader description of your concept and claims protected for under a $1000. Then as others have said, it is all about focus and execution. I have more patents that I have not used then ones that I have developed but you need to demonstrate filed patent protection to attract outside investors who are understandably particularly concerned about mitigating the risk of competition. I hope you proceed with your idea because we need better VLOS for our drones.
Drone tracker,
I want to thank you as well as the others whom have given me such valuable information..
A few days ago I had no idea how to go about the patent process but now thanks to you and the others I can proceed correctly..
Many many thanks for your help and time.
JohnnyD913
 

Tim40

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This was common practice for many years. And not a bad idea in general. But US law was changed under Trump and the law is now that first to register gets the patent, not first to develop/think of it.
What a shame ... retired now, and did not know that - I have two patents. Lucky I got em in, before Trump messed up the patent law to favor big pockets over the actual inventors.
 
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tanner707

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Agree with the above.
But, also, BEFORE you meet with a Patent Atty. etc,, you should send yourself a copy of your idea/proposal, with full details, documentation etc. to yourself, registered mail, with a signature a couple of weeks, or a month prior to meeting. That way you have a legally dated document BEFORE anybody else sees it.
The "poor mans copyright" We use it in the music industry all the time. Good advice.
 
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AZDave

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In documenting your idea, I was told years ago by patent attorneys at General Electric to have two people review your material and witness it, with signature, date, and the note "Witnessed and understood."

Perhaps Maviac can comment?

That was the practice as well when I worked at Motorola.
 
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Tim40

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Really though - if you want your drone to have better LOS - put wings and a tail on it. LOL Or - a stick with a lit bulb sticking out the back. There are a million ways - the best way though - to fly a drone safely when it's just an LOS dot in the sky and you don't know which way it's gonna go using your naked eyes - fly it FPV - that way you never have to guess which way the drone will go. But - the FAA thinks FPV is evil - so ...
 

AZDave

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I think you're up against some practical physical barriers here, and I'm not talking about the intellectual property issues. Anything other than a bright strobe light (which has already been done, of course) presents problems. If it's big enough to materially improve your ability to see it, it's either going to be rigid and affect the aerodynamics of the drone (think cross winds) or it's going to be light and flexible and risk getting caught in the props. Short of mounting some lasers on the drone that project a large holographic image around the drone, I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around anything that would address those other issues.
 

retiredNH

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Only recently joined this site, so I'm a bit late to the party, but spent a good part of my career managing biomedical research and intellectual property, so here goes.

Few patents ever make any money, even if the idea(s) behind them are any good. This is for several reasons. First, getting a patent is expensive. Think 10s of thousands of USD. Second, even an issued patent must be defended. This is also expensive. Then you have the problem that a patent gives you the right to block another person from practicing the patented subject matter, but does not give you the right to practice your invention. That's a separate issue, called (in my pre-retirement days) freedom to operate. IOW, your patented invention might still infringe someone else's. Finally, patents are country specific. You can spend a fortune getting patent coverage around the world.

Unfortunately, there are no money saving shortcuts in this system. Provisional patents? Only as good as the quality of the filing - if it's not in the provisional, you won't get the early priority date.

Yes, there are "patent management" companies, but their business model is almost always to make money via fees paid by the inventor "clients", not via the success of the invention. Buyer beware...
 

Ty Pilot

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This was common practice for many years. And not a bad idea in general. But US law was changed under Trump and the law is now that first to register gets the patent, not first to develop/think of it.

What a shame ... retired now, and did not know that - I have two patents. Lucky I got em in, before Trump messed up the patent law to favor big pockets over the actual inventors.

This is incorrect. The FITF provision became effective March 6th, 2013 - during the Obama administration.
The only reason I know is because I was looking to get a patent around that time. In the end, I have to agree with those that suggest: Unless you've got deep pockets, a patent might not be a rabbit hole you wish to go down.

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FITF.jpg
 
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