#1
My post keeps disappearing, and they said I posted twice, but I only hit the button once?

Anyway, I love my Tele type guitars, but in my opinion, they are not ergonomically correct.

I'm not trying to offend anyone, knowing how many millions of Tele lovers there are out in the world. When you play a guitar, the motion is up and down, most of the time, not sideways.

If you if you are picking up and down and then have to to go sideways, you will slow down a little bit. It's just the laws of physics. If a car is going in a straight line and has to make a 90 degree turn, it must slow down. I was tinkering around with an old cheap Tele copy and made a mod to the control plate. It is much better and faster now.

I took some photos of it and drawings and sent them off to the US patent and copyright office last week, just in case I might be on to something. Who knows, maybe nothing?

If the volume is moved forward and a 3 way micro switch or regular switch is placed in the middle at a 45 degree angle, it is so much easier to play. If you don't think so, you should try it!

Volume swells are really easy and faster switching of pickups is possible. I think that the standard Tele would be more appealing to future players if it is easier to operate.

What do you think?

Here is a photo!

http://www.atlanticplumbing.net/telecontrol.jpg
#3
Quote by Matt-92


You mean like this?



Exactly! Sometimes when I switch from Strat to Tele, I almost break the switch off trying to pull up on it, because I wasn't thinking it was my Tele. You can't just flip the switch really fast like a Strat.
#4
I have only started a provisional patent, just to get my foot in the door. It is good for a year. I will research the patent website and talk to my patent attorney to find out if anyone else has the exact thing or not. If not, I will mass produce and start selling them as an upgrade mod.
#5
Quote by Telewanger
I have only started a provisional patent, just to get my foot in the door. It is good for a year. I will research the patent website and talk to my patent attorney to find out if anyone else has the exact thing or not. If not, I will mass produce and start selling them as an upgrade mod.


i don't own a tele but lets pretend i do

What's to stop me from seeing your mod and going "oh, thats cool i'll mod my guitar like that" ?
#6
Quote by Bigsteve92
i don't own a tele but lets pretend i do

What's to stop me from seeing your mod and going "oh, thats cool i'll mod my guitar like that" ?


If you design something, it is to prevent major companies from mass producing it and leaving you with nothing. If Bill Gates would have never got a patent on Microsoft products, he might be out of work, laid off, or working at McDonald's right now flipping burgers. I have some friends who wish that they would have got a patent or copyright on some of their tools and products, but didn't.

Now, I am told on another forum, that I can't get a patent on it, since it is an obvious change mod.

What about the "Snuggie" on TV selling by the millions. It's a blanket, that has been around for millions of years, with two arm holes cut into it?

How did they get a patent on that thing?
#7
honestly, you're just changing the location of controls, its nothing huge or patent-worthy IMO. Thats something a lot of people do, and idt any major brands are gonna take it because they really aren't concerned with "ergonomics" anyway, people buy their stuff whether its comfortable or not.
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#8
Quote by Telewanger
I have only started a provisional patent, just to get my foot in the door. It is good for a year. I will research the patent website and talk to my patent attorney to find out if anyone else has the exact thing or not. If not, I will mass produce and start selling them as an upgrade mod.


Patents are expensive. You're looking at $5,000 and up. A large portion of that is fees so you'll still have to pay even if you find a cheap patent agent/attorney.

The three requirements (in theory) are that it be novel, have utility, and be non-obvious. It is not non-obvious if it's not obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the subject matter pertains. So in this case, probably not.

If you want to make this an aftermarket mod then go ahead without a patent. Otherwise, you'd need to make at least $5,000 just to cover the cost. Also, a patent in the US only covers the United States so it could still be made in any of the other countries in the world (since you disclosed the idea before filing an application it's already too late to obtain a patent in many european countries). Then, let's say some chinese company steals your idea and starts selling the mod, will you sue them? How much it that going to cost? Probably $100,000+. Will they stop? Maybe. What will you recover? Nothing (even if you win the case they will likely just dissolve and you won't see a penny).

In summary, my (non-legal) opinion is to make the mod if you want, but forget about the patent. It's not worth the money and won't protect this idea enough to be worth it.
#9
Quote by Telewanger
What about the "Snuggie" on TV selling by the millions. It's a blanket, that has been around for millions of years, with two arm holes cut into it?

How did they get a patent on that thing?

They probably only have a trademark on name "Snuggie", not a patent on a blanket with sleeves. If you take a look around, there are other companies that make the same thing and it's not infringement. Snuggie isn't even the original, I recall a product called the "Slanket" from several years ago.

tuesdayup nailed it: a patent in the US requires novelty, usefulness, and non-obvious design. You aren't even the first to post this idea on this forum. Check out this design previously submitted to a design contest. My guess is that you won't get a patent. But by all means, do try . . . the legal job market is hurting right now and can use all the extra work it can get!
#10
Quote by cedricsmods
They probably only have a trademark on name "Snuggie", not a patent on a blanket with sleeves. If you take a look around, there are other companies that make the same thing and it's not infringement. Snuggie isn't even the original, I recall a product called the "Slanket" from several years ago.


not to mention its just a bath robe you wear backwards.
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#11
Thanks for your input!

It's too bad that I can't get a patent on it. So far today, on about 10 guitar forums, I have a lot of people interested in it now and want one. What a bummer? The good news is, I have a a lot more guitar mod ideas. I think I will just build a website and start a guitar mod company within the next few months and also sell my stuff on ebay.
#12
Thanks for your input!

Can I make mods to guitars, straps, capos, switch boxes, etc., and sell them on a website or ebay without getting in trouble with a big company? If I make something a little different than Fender, how could they tell me to stop production on it if mine is somewhat different?

If I design a new pair of socks. They will not be too much different than the others that are already on the shelves. This is where the patent area turns into a gray area for me.

The more I read about patents the more confused I get. Nothing is crystal clear.
#13
Quote by Telewanger
Thanks for your input!

Can I make mods to guitars, straps, capos, switch boxes, etc., and sell them on a website or ebay without getting in trouble with a big company? If I make something a little different than Fender, how could they tell me to stop production on it if mine is somewhat different?

If I design a new pair of socks. They will not be too much different than the others that are already on the shelves. This is where the patent area turns into a gray area for me.

The more I read about patents the more confused I get. Nothing is crystal clear.


Are you trying to sell a different product? You're good. Just taking their product, and making a tiny change? Not the best business model to start with, but it's not likely anyone'd waste money suing you.
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#14
Sounds like a completely pointless thing to patent.
Just seems like a easy way for you to make money by doing very little, something that anyone can do.
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#16
Quote by Telewanger
Thanks for your input!

Can I make mods to guitars, straps, capos, switch boxes, etc., and sell them on a website or ebay without getting in trouble with a big company? If I make something a little different than Fender, how could they tell me to stop production on it if mine is somewhat different?

If I design a new pair of socks. They will not be too much different than the others that are already on the shelves. This is where the patent area turns into a gray area for me.

The more I read about patents the more confused I get. Nothing is crystal clear.


Yes. Just as long as you don't put the Fender(R) or Gibson(R) name on them or insinuate/expressly say that they are approved by/official/etc parts. The reason there are so many guitars just "a little different" is that this is allowed. Fender recently (5 years ago) tried to trademark their body shapes (strat, tele, p-bass), but this was denied, mostly because they waited too long:

http://www.socaltrademarkattorney.com/2009/06/fender-denied-trade-dress-protection.html

Trademarks are valid for as long as they are in use. You will likely never be able to use the name Coca-Cola(R) since it is a registered trademark.

Patents, however, are only valid for a period of twenty years from the date of filing (it generally takes 3-5 years, more or less depending on backlog, to go from filing a patent to acceptance). If someone infringes during this time you can sue them once the patent is issued. After 20 years has passed anyone can create the patented item. In fact, one of the main reasons for patents is to let society use these ideas (a description is given in the patent) in return for a period of protection. Socks (likely never patented, but if there were, it was more than twenty years ago) can now be produced by anyone. So, if someone got a patent on a humbucker (hypothetical, not looking it up right now) then they would have twenty years of protection and then anyone could produce humbuckers. Someone could still patent a unique type of humbucker (sustainer, for example) and they would have twenty years of protection.

Design patents are similar to patents, but they cannot have any utility. If you created a unique looking coverplate for a humbucker you could (conceivably) get a design patent and then no one could copy that design for 14 years from the date of issue (unlike regular patents which are 20 years from the date of filing). After 14 years everyone could use that design. However, if the hypothetical humbucker coverplate had utility (let's say it blocked out certain frequencies to get a distinct sound) then you could only protect the frequency-blocking capabilities with a regular patent. Design patents are often paired with regular patents to protect both the look of an invention and how it works.

In summary, regular patents protect ideas (20 years from filing), design patents protect looks (14 years from issue), and trademarks protect distinctive names/symbols/logos/etc (conceivably forever).
#17
If I were you, I would just do the mod-shop idea, have people bring in their guitars, change them around and charge them for the modifications, from what I read, it's pretty pointless and possibly illegal to make more guitars like that and sell them as "telecasters".


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#19
I think I actually like this control setup less D:
on strats, I always end up turning the volume down when I do like..big strums.
tele controls are out of the way enough that I can strum comfortably, but still switch positions and volume/tone when I need it :/

but yeah, like people have said, you're probably better off starting a small buisness offering modding services, than trying to patent this idea..
#21
Some of you think that I am nuts:

All during the 1990's and up to a few years ago, I went online and found dozens of uncopyrighted guitar wiring diagrams. I put them on a CD and sold them for $15.00 each on ebay. I made thousands of dollars, selling them as a collection. My ebay feedback was great! Everyone really liked the product. I had a regular CD factory going on in my bedroom.

Now, there are so many guitar websites with diagrams that the sales dropped of to almost nothing, but it was a good run at making extra money for a while.

You can sell dog poop if you put it on ebay or other online stores. The reason for this post is because, I am just trying to figure out some guitar mods that I can start selling. If I don't need a patent, that's great!
#22
Why did you feel the need to bump this with a random post? If you have something to add, edit it into your last thread.

Second, you claim this is a "innovation"
I say this is you just trying to make as much money as you can off a simple and pointless mod.
Just my opinion of course.
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Quote by mikeyElite
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