Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 45 total)
  • I have a dream – new cycle product
  • jaminb
    Free Member

    I have a cycle product idea that I need a lot of help (someone to do it) bringing to the market.

    It doesn’t currently exist, definitely fills a need and would appeal to a certain section of the retail market (more halfords, decathalon than top end bike shops in my opinion)

    I have tried contacting Chris Boardman’s through his website but no response. Anyone know how I can contact him or someone in his development team.

    Anyone else I should try contacting? Happy to share my idea with anyone on here who can demonstrate a track of delivery.

    I have some cash to invest but this product will need to pass safety standards and will require mass production so probably out of my league.

    Is an idea worth patenting these days when it can be easily copied with limited redress to pursue the copy manufacture?

    I am not going on Dragons Den.

    thanks

    1
    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Mike Ashley – he may be interested if you manage to get in touch…

    2
    benpinnick
    Full Member

    Assuming its a great idea and novel, patent it. Without a patent its going to get copied by China before you can say ‘Hey thats my thing’ if its any good. Once the patent application is in then talk with companies about licensing it.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    And in the process you’ll find out if there’s already a patent/s that predates yours.

    1
    dartdude
    Free Member

    Wireless brakes… ?

    jaminb
    Free Member

    Thanks guys nice positive start.

    You can buy a copy Range Rover hence why I question the need / worth of a patent?

    1
    leffeboy
    Full Member

    I have tried contacting Chris Boardman’s through his website but no response. Anyone know how I can contact him or someone in his development team.

    There is almost no chance they would respond as if they did they it is likely you could sue them later if they had already developed or were thinking of developing something similar.  They most likely have a process to bin those mails pdq.  You are only likely to get through to them if you have at least a working prototype.  This is not a criticism, just explaining why they are unlikely to respond

    4
    J-R
    Full Member

    More fundamentally, tell us all about it here so we can give you some helpful encouraging comments, tell you why it won’t work, have a debate  about the pros and cons, then descend into personal abuse before someone gets close to a ban.

    Without a patent its going to get copied by China

    the Chinese are unlikely to allow a patent to get in the way. And you’d need to patent it individually in each country where you hope to get it protected not just once in the UK. This is quite expensive without help from a big company’s patent lawyers.

    1
    joshvegas
    Free Member

    I don’t know how these things work.

    But have you made a prototype, tested it? Checked existing patents etc. i am not saying your idea isn’t amazeballs and unique and so vital that everyone will buy one… But… Loads of people think that… And generally hold their ideas alot higher than everyone else.

    Just saying to companies “i have an idea” probably files you under “crackpot”

    3
    reeksy
    Full Member

    Wireless brakes… ?

    Mine already are. Hydraulic 👌

    2
    prawny
    Full Member

    Brake by wire is the most disappointing BBW.

    ajantom
    Full Member

    @jaminb – without giving away details, how easy is it to prototype?

    Could it be modelled in 3d and 3d printed, or does it involve more processes like welding or textiles manufacturing?

    This us with my A level Product Design teacher hat on (so not an expert, but know some basics 🙂 )

    You will really only get anywhere with a functional prototype. Doesn’t need to be aesthetically lovely, but a proof of concept is needed.

    Patenting is expensive – never done it but I know a patent lawyer, she’s VERY well paid!

    2
    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Maybe take your idea to a certain trouser company in the north? They are used to bringing new things to market… including trousers.

    TBH if your idea is any good, I wouldn’t be sharing with anyone as they are likely to taken that idea and pass it off as their own before you get chance to shout thief !

    2
    dovebiker
    Full Member

    I spent a number of years as a product designer and product manager taking things to market (in a different sector) – 99% of ideas never reach the market. Speak to a patent specialist to conduct a search and see if your idea is patentable – without a patent, the idea is pretty dead in the water because there’s nothing to stop anyone from copying it and selling it. Don’t show it to anyone prior to a patent application because if someone ‘borrows’  your idea and registers it before you, you’re screwed.  Licensing your idea may be better than trying to get someone to make it for you, but don’t do anything without a patent.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    +1 on I would speak to @brant or @cy or @jameso and get feedback from someone who knows their shizzles and how tough business is before spending any money or significant time on it.

    1
    jaminb
    Free Member

    The last genius idea I shared on here was was a database of bad driving footage caught on bike dash/bike cams.  It linked incidents by Number Plate Recognition before notifying the Police.

    I was suitably ridiculed by the forum but note from DR P’s Snitchy thread my idea has been refined and is now in use!

    This time next year my new product will be Halfords biggest seller  – if you can just help me get started!

    1
    dab
    Full Member

    If memory serves me , Scottish Cycling \ DMBINS have an “innovation hub” at Glentress for this sort of thing

    Graeme MacLean used to be the man to speak with

    hth

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I have tried contacting Chris Boardman’s through his website but no response. Anyone know how I can contact him or someone in his development team.

    +1 for what @leffeboy says further up but also, these companies get approached all the time with various ideas (ranging from the bonkers to the “we’ll all be mill-yon-airs!” © Delboy) and they don’t have the time to start getting into back-and-forth.

    1
    brant
    Free Member

    Drop me a line. brant@hebtro.co

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    A US patent filing fee is about $800 and you probably need to pay someone to do drawings to go with it. You could figure the filing process out yourself if you were smart/patient, but a budget option for getting someone else to file for a simple device is likely around $5000 to get a US patent.

    Unless you’re just keen to improve the world with the product’s presence and don’t care if others build/copy your product you probably need to patent it – patents provide a degree of protection from copies being imported into countries where you hold the patent. And in the process of applying for it you might find someone already has a patent on it but just hasn’t brought it to market – you don’t want to infringe on an existing patent.

    At the very least, you should have an NDA before you talk to someone about your idea.

    7
    jkomo
    Full Member

    I had a fab idea a while back- why does no one put more cogs on the crank- maybe even three then no need for loads on the cassette, reduce to eight or nine. Think of the range! Nice chunky chain and cogs would last forever as well!

    4
    leffeboy
    Full Member

    Drop me a line. brant@hebtro.co

    That is an offer that should definitely be taken up (even if you aren’t in bother)

    diggery
    Free Member

    If you plan to patent then you need advice before you share the idea anywhere or with anyone.

    If the idea is in the public domain then you could jeopardise your protection. If you discuss with anyone in the development stage then you’ll need an NDA in place. This protects you and them. Most companies will require that you sign theirs before discussing the details.

    The patent may well be of limited use for an individual. It’s very expensive to file in the areas you want to protect, and even more expensive to defend. If you don’t commercialise your product and defend your patent then it’s wasted money and effort.

    Is there a specific innovation, or ‘inventive step ‘ that would warrant a patent? Have a think about what you are protecting and how wide you can cast that net. Is there an alternative market for it?

    Once you know how novel the idea is you’d need to engage some market research to show how accepted it would be.

    The idea is quite often the ‘easy’ bit and getting it to market takes a load of work so even if you protected it you’d need refining, testing, qualification, manufacturing, sales and distribution to realise it so selling to a company might not yield much return. It sounds like going it alone in not an option though?

    nicko74
    Full Member

    jkomo
    Full Member
    I had a fab idea a while back- why does no one put more cogs on the crank- maybe even three then no need for loads on the cassette, reduce to eight or nine. Think of the range! Nice chunky chain and cogs would last forever as well!

    Slightly bitter chuckle… my bike’s 3×9 XT and I realise when the drivetrain wears out I may need to switch it all over to 1x something

    IA
    Full Member

    Diggery’s advice is good.

    Also patents take a long time, just to get to filing. Think maybe a year+ depending, and ~£7k/patent as you will need legal help to make it a worthwhile patent if it’s your first rodeo.

    Part of it and the copying risk is making sure your claims are wide enough, and defensible, to stop copies with only small changes.

    Patents are useful for some things but if your idea is easy to copy, well as you surmise there’s not a lot you can do. But OTOH if it’s easy to copy it’s surely easy for you to make and get going? Think about other defensive moats you can build up, is there innovation in the manufacture/tuning/marketing etc.

    As others allude to, the hard bit is rarely the idea, it’s the execution where the value is created (and the cost incurred). For most ideas, it would be a significant investment for them to try and execute an idea (and why would you invest in an idea that has no moat, and isn’t legally defensible? etc).

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Is an idea worth patenting these days when it can be easily copied with limited redress to pursue the copy manufacture?

    Yes, of course it’s worth protecting your idea with a patent. I used to have a lecturer who described them best as giving the owner of any good idea a head start, without a patent copying of your idea is simple, with it competitors need to either find a way around it or pay to reproduce your idea.

    This time next year my new product will be Halfords biggest seller  – if you can just help me get started!

    What you refer to as “help” is a service, people have day jobs and normally get paid for applying their knowledge and time.

    People often seem to jump straight to productionising their wonderful idea and face the problems you have identified, a lack of resources and connections in the relevant industry.  Worry about establishing ownership of the concept and your IP before you start jumping to production.

    The ideal is to be able to sell or licence your idea and let others worry about the mundane details of manufacturing and sales.

    Do Not go hunting for “partners” or helpful souls on an internet forum, as soon as you show them the idea they’re under no obligation to protect it or you.

    infovore
    Full Member

    The designer in me says: ideas are free. You need to make it and see if it’s as good as you think, and then, if anyone else thinks it’s as good as you think.

    That doesn’t mean production, but prototyping is important. And: prototypes are where you will learn more things and shape the idea. You don’t just hit print on what’s in your brain, you see what materials – whether plastic, metal, or electronics – will do. Maybe the idea will get better as you make it. Maybe it will change. But making is where you will learn a lot, fast, and stop living in ideasland.

    If you have an idea you can’t make, then you need to find people to prototype with, and yes, that probably means paying them, either in cash or in equity. Free help is a bad place to start, and risky.

    If you are concerned about idea theft, NDAs for collaborators now, patents for when you know what it is. Patents are highly specific, and it’s the work of patent lawyers and the like to help you identify the novelty in what you’re making, if it even is patentable, and if it is, what aspect of it is. You should also remember that enforcing patents is also effort. (Eg: yep, you can get those imports prevented, but you still have to know they exist and are being imported, etc.) Patents are also valuable if you sell or license the product/idea later.

    But: you are a ways off patents right now. Start prototyping, start evaluating. Proof of market/desire is as important as a neat idea.

    1
    DrP
    Full Member

    If it’s a dildo saddle/oscilating seatpost, it’s already been done.

    Soz

    DrP

    richmars
    Full Member

    A patent may not protect your idea, but it will show a potential investor that you’re serious.

    Spend a day on Google patents looking for something similar before you commit much more time/money.

    1
    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    When it comes to patents it’ll be difficult because you have to be specific.

    e.g. both Shimano and SRAM have multiple patents covering battery powered derailleurs.  But Shimano is the only one with a trim function on it’s front mech and SRAM is the only one with yaw on the front mech.  And Garmin, Bryton, Wahoo etc all have patents for near identical 1/4 or 1/8th turn bayonet mounts.

    So if for example you were MRP and invented the chain device.  You can’t patent the whole thing, only some details that you think make it work and will make it difficult to copy well (e.g. the exact size of a roller or something). You can patent the whole thing, but it becomes harder to defend.  Like SRAM and narrow wide chainrings, in the end they seemed to concede that the generic idea wasn’t patentable but they could refine it and make theirs even better than the original generic design.

    How that applies to you…. rather than get bogged down with patents.

    Just order a few hundred or thousands of them depending on your market research, and get a 12month head start on any competition making their own.  RRP didn’t invent mudguards, they just came up with a novel (but easily copied) design, sold one to every mountainbiker before the copycats got into production and grew the company into other products/markets from there.

    As soon as you file the patent, people will start copying it either tweaking it slightly to get round the patent  or just selling into other markets you’ve not covered.  So if you’ve not got a container load of products to get into shops immediately, someone else will have and improved V2.0 in those shops before you’ve even brought 1.0 to market.

    jaminb
    Free Member

    Thanks TINAS that is what I was thinking and in my mind reflects modern day reality. A Patent harks back to days gone by when Britain used to invent and make stuff.  I may be wrong, but now as soon as production is sent abroad the product is copied and often roles off the same production line in similar numbers (or more) to the original and nobody can control it.  Just look at Ali Express, ebay, amazon at all the fakes out there.

    1
    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    It’s always been the way.  The whole concept of a patent is that in return for the protection it gives, you have to tell everyone how it works, that’s why the libraries are publicly available.

    A lot of companies opt not to patent their ideas for that reason.   It’s better for them to sell a product that can’t be copied because it relies on decades of R&D and experience in the market, than it is for them to have to effectively publish all that information which lets their competitors develop their own version and enter the market.

    e.g. Coke have kept their recipe secret for decades. If they had patented the recipe then by now everyone would be making decent Cola as the patent would have expired, but they can’t because somehow it’s still a secret.

    coconut
    Free Member

    Sorry to piss on your bonfire…. but rubber tyres on bikes already exist.

    1
    avdave2
    Full Member

    This time next year my new product will be Halfords biggest seller

    This time next year Rodney 😂

    Nothing useful to add but looking forward to finding out what it is.

    scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    Before you get worried about legals, does the widget make commercial sense.  If it’s a medium size thing or even a small widget that needs injection moulding, maybe it has moving parts, maybe it needs some other tooling to assemble it, maybe there’s a fine tolerance involved to make it work nicely, then do the sums on the ROI, if you’re going to sell 1000 a year to Halfords but the tooling is going to be 100k then it’ll take a while.

    *IAAManufacturingEngineer and specialise in high tech startups bringing new products to market, PM with some more (generic) details if you like.

    2
    Kramer
    Free Member

    NDAs are useless unless you’ve got the resources to enforce it.

    If it’s a good idea, then I’d concentrate on getting it to market as quickly and cheaply as possible to see if it’s a viable idea.

    1
    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    I had a fab idea a while back- why does no one put more cogs on the crank- maybe even three then no need for loads on the cassette, reduce to eight or nine. Think of the range! Nice chunky chain and cogs would last forever as well!

    could even enclose them within the bottom bracket area using a planetary gear type arrangement. 3 well spaced ratios would be good but you could have 9 or even 12 for a little more cost and weight. chain and cogs will last even longer and takes >1kg off the rear axle too.

    thepodge
    Free Member

    If all you have is an idea then you’re probably out of luck, we all have ideas and they cant be protected or sold.

    BEFORE you speak to ANYONE get an NDA, ANYONE that says you don’t need one should be avoided like the plague. A “reputation to keep” is in no way an acceptable substitute. You could explain the product to me, I could tweak it, get it manufactured in China, distributed through my contacts and in shops without you even knowing let alone proving it… Its hardly like I’m going to shout about it directly is it?

    Professional advice comes from professional people.

    3
    On-oneplus26
    Full Member

    Patents cost money to file in the first place and more importantly they will cost lots to defend if you decide to try and enforce it. Guess it depends on your business case and how much you think the market is worth if you need to do it.

    When I had a ‘good idea’, my mate liked it enough to set up a company to manufacture and market my design. We then developed a few other bits and bobs over a couple of years with mixed results but it kept ticking over as a side line with me getting some royalties for a while. He then moved away and we lost touch but Muckynutz is still going and seemingly doing well. It was a fun time and I still get a great buzz when I see one of my designs (or one of the millions of copies) out on the hill. If you can find a way of making it work, do so. Its an interesting and rewarding process – more so if you can come out of it with a bit of £££.

    1
    jaminb
    Free Member

    To remedy a breach of an NDA or Patent would require me to sue an unknown manufacturer, probably, in the far east.  How realistic is that?  TINAS and Kramer have it.

    Unless Chris Boardman bites my hand off (or Mr Decathalon) I am going to knock up my prototype and ask  Scruffythefirst and Brant to help me.

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