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Need help with ski invention

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok, I've actually come up with a new way to improve skis, I've written down plans and potential designs. At the very least my idea is fun, but I've designed the product, that is added to skis, to help someone improve their skiing.

I really want to contact a major manufacturer, but none of them are returning my emails. I've tried phoning, but don't have anymore success.

Does anyone have suggestions. Sorry, I'm not going to share the idea, but some help to get in contact with a ski manufacturer would be great.

I'm absolutely serious. It's a truly simple yet clever product. How can I get through to the big boys of ski making?

post #2 of 11

Not sure but maybe apply for a patent so you can show proof of authorship and then if you have a prototype, youtube the crap out of it.

post #3 of 11

I came up with a folding notebook computer stand about 10 years ago and toyed with the idea of selling it.  My sister is an attorney and helped me get the basic design patent application started.

 

Start by searching the US Patent office to see if anybody else has already patented a similar mousetrap.  If you don't see it then initiate the process to obtain a design patent (protects your exact specific product) or utility patent (also protects your product against similar products but is a lot more expensive).  I would get a design patent at the very least before showing your concept to anybody.  I think the design patent application cost about $300 in 2003 when I went there.

 

US Patent Office

 

What you will need is professionally drafted schematics of the product in addition to high resolution black and white photos.

 

Good luck!

post #4 of 11

Why not start with one of the smaller upstart companies like Ramp?

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Never heard of Ramp skis, but just sent them a message.

Thanks

post #6 of 11

Buy an hour's worth of time from a patent attorney.  It will be the best money you spend in terms of getting a quick education about what you need to do not only to protect your idea, but how to make inroads into developing a licensing deal with a ski company.  Don't go to one of those companies that advertises they can help inventors get their product to market (they'll just tell you what you want to hear and charge you a lot of money to do work that may ultimately be a waste).

 

Companies generally won't talk to 'wild-eyed' inventors about anything, because of possible future legal implications.  If you feel the idea is truly unique, you can take it to the next step by getting the patent attorney to search the 'prior art' and prepare a patent application.  In the mean time, take a copy of your idea and whatever information you have about it, and mail it to your lawyer so that it has a date stamp (anything you can do to help establish a legitimate date for your invention will help in the future, if timing ever becomes an issue in a future law suit).

 

If you want to ultimately take your idea to a company, it's best for an agent or even your lawyer to make the initial contact for you so that a proper chain of contact can be established between the company and legitimate entity.  Like I said, companies are generally very reluctant to talk directly with inventors about ideas that have not been properly prepared, patented, and presented.

post #7 of 11

Yep get it patented and when and if you do reveal your idea make them sign a well written non disclosure non-competition form.   That way they dont decide to take your idea modify it slightly and say it has nothing to do with what you showed them.   

 

Several years ago I designed a new method to deliver nitrous to a racing engine, ignorantly I asked one of NOS's engineers about my idea.  They ensured me that every which way to deliver nitrous has already been thought about and their ways were best...that they had been in the business since WWII.  Less than a year later they introduce a system exactly like the one I discussed.  I spoke to an attorney he felt they had absolutely stole my idea but unfortunately I did not have sufficient documentation to prove my case.   NOS didnt patent the idea either so it seems (perhaps because they know they stole it) because just about every nitrous oxide system manufacturer has subsequently come out with similar system every year since then.

 

 

My stolen idea:

 

0108mmff_nitrous20_zoom.jpg

post #8 of 11
These people might have a few ways to help...

.ma
post #9 of 11

Agree - get a patent first.

 

Is this something that is an add-on to any ski, like an aftermarket product ? Or does this need to be built into the ski during layup ?

 

If added to an already completed ski, than best bet  - after you get a patent - have a local fabrication shop build prototypes to your design so you can demo the product to potential customers, be it ski manufacturers, stores or the general public.

 

If it is something that needs to be built into the ski, during layup, than best bet is to start talking to local, small independent ski manufacturers - after you get a patent - and see if they will custom build a ski with your contraption built in.  Be sure that you don't sign any type of exclusive agreement with them that limits the product only to their skis.  If that doesn't work, or if there aren't any independents in your area, you can always ask around for  a local 'hobby' ski maker that would be willing to make skis to your design - yes, 'hobby' ski makers do exist, but probably hard to find.  Last option would be to go to a custom ski manufacturer and have them build up skis with your design - although that would be an expensive route. 

 

You need to have a patented prototype to demo to get exposure and to  get anyone's attention.  Than, there's the whole marketing aspect - but we can save that for another thread....

 

Best of luck - hope you invention makes you the next billionaire skiing mogul - or at least the best mogul skier !

 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

Yep get it patented and when and if you do reveal your idea make them sign a well written non disclosure non-competition form.   That way they dont decide to take your idea modify it slightly and say it has nothing to do with what you showed them.   

 

Several years ago I designed a new method to deliver nitrous to a racing engine, ignorantly I asked one of NOS's engineers about my idea.  They ensured me that every which way to deliver nitrous has already been thought about and their ways were best...that they had been in the business since WWII.  Less than a year later they introduce a system exactly like the one I discussed.  I spoke to an attorney he felt they had absolutely stole my idea but unfortunately I did not have sufficient documentation to prove my case.   NOS didnt patent the idea either so it seems (perhaps because they know they stole it) because just about every nitrous oxide system manufacturer has subsequently come out with similar system every year since then.

 

 

My stolen idea:

 

0108mmff_nitrous20_zoom.jpg


That's truly unfortunate.  Had you bundled up all your design ideas and mailed them to your lawyer (as I described above) prior to having a discussion with the guy from NOS, you might have had grounds to go after them for compensation for your idea.

 

post #11 of 11


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingaround View Post

Never heard of Ramp skis, but just sent them a message.

Thanks



Mike from RAMP is a good guy and was previously was involved with both Rossignol and Roxy and has plenty of industry knowledge. After the patent search, attorney, etc. is completed, you want to find a company like yourself - hungry and enthusiastic. Remember, (if all goes well) YOU have the patent, so make that work for your best interests.

 

Best of luck.

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