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Can I patent self made Arduino shields??
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Can I patent self made Arduino shields??

If it meets all the requirement of the patent office and you can afford the process required to go through, I guess you could. Better to just rely on copyright and trademark protections and don't publish the source code or design files. While that is not in the spirit of the open source Arduino world, you are free to release proprietary products it you wish and hope that the world beats a path to your door.

Lefty
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I think the real costs of patents is not applying for a patent (expensive depending on the country you live) but to chase others that violate your patent.

imho better spent your money to make batches of e.g. 1000 shields and sell them on ebay for 8.99  (or whatever) and make money iso making lawyers rich smiley-wink
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Rob Tillaart

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One argument against patenting is that you spend a year trying to keep it secret, then get the patent, and spend a year knocking on doors trying to get someone interested in buying it.

Rather go Robs route and just be ready to be the first supplier.
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Can I patent self made Arduino shields??

You can patent a unique process or circuit or idea.
You can copyright your shield design and PCB design.
You can trademark your logo and company name/art.

But you just can't patent a shield you self made (not unless it has a truly unique idea, circuit or process).

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I think the real costs of patents is not applying for a patent (expensive depending on the country you live) but to chase others that violate your patent.

100% correct. Same with copyrights.  If you own a patent, and don't DEFEND your patent against someone who copied it, it's the same as giving up possession/interest in your patent.  If a second company copies your product, and then you decide to sue that 2nd company, the 2nd company's defense can be you didn't sue the 1st company that made the same product/idea -- effectively giving up your patent claims.

... and this is the reason why big, giant companies sometimes has to sue the little guy. It's not the big companies are being mean... but they're protecting their patents.  If another big company copies/use their patent, they can't claim you gave up your patent when you didn't sue that small mom-and-pop shop. 


If you're a small shop, patenting is a waste of money. Just run like hell, quick and fast and produce/manufacture as much as you can of your product, be the first to market, and be the "authority" or known supplier for such-and-such product. 
 
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And the other advantage of the hit and run with it approach, is that as soon as you advertise or sell it, nobody else can claim a patent as its not a unique idea then.
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One defensive reason to patent it is to be free to use a specific implementation/solution for a specific problem.
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Rob Tillaart

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You guys might find this essay from Sparkfun's Nathan Seidle interesting:
https://www.sparkfun.com/news/963
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Thanks a lot for your wonderful response. May god bless all  smiley
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