Disclaimer

Overview

The following hypothetical client information brief shows the type of information that should be provided to your patent attorney in the case of a mechanical invention.

The invention may not have been the most commercially practical, nor have made it to the market. Nonetheless, the hypothetical invention brief serves to highlight some important points.

  1. The advantages and operation of the invention have been described along with details of possible variations. Should the inventor have failed to disclose a variation, the variation may not have been covered by the patent application.
  2. The inventor has done some of his own searching on Google Patents, Espacenet, WIPO and the USPTO. This has highlighted some of the important differences between the invention and the prior art.
  3. The inventor has brought inventorship and prior disclosure issues to the attention of his or her patent attorney.
  4. The inventor has provided line drawings. Detailed sketches would have been adequate for a provisional application. Line drawings and sketches could have been prepared by the inventor’s patent attorney.

Providing detailed information in written form will ensure that your patent attorney appreciates all the important features of your invention.

The brief makes use of images and text from several existing patents and patent applications. These patent and patent applications are not associated with our firm.

For another example, please see our client information brief for a software type invention. 

Hypothetical Brief

Invention Disclosure

I have drawn a sketch of my invention below.

As you can see, my invention is a collapsible golf club.

I am providing all drawings in 2D line format (SVG/DWG) to limit formal drawing costs at a later date.  Some sketches are also being provided.

(Programs: 2D – CorelDraw, Inkscape, Illustrator; 3D – Geomagic, SolidEdge, SolidWorks)

Advantages

My invention has many advantages, including:

1. Allowing a player to complete a relatively full golf swing while practising underneath an 8-foot ceiling.

2. Allowing a player to hit a training ball into the air when the training ball is positioned on or slightly above the  ground.

3. Allowing strength training between the club and a table leg without substantially damaging either the club or the table leg.

4. Allowing a person to practice a swing action that would not be possible with a normal club.

Provision of Advantages

First Advantage

1. My golf club has a flexible top portion and a relatively rigid handle portion. The flexible top portion includes a head portion, two flexible rods and a rubber mount. The rigid handle portion includes a break-away portion and a biased rotatable handle. Please let me know if you require any further drawings or information.

2. It is important to understand that the head portion has been specifically designed to cause twisting when the club contacts the ceiling on the follow through. The reverse may occur to a lesser degree on the back swing.

3. The rotatable handle must be able to rotate about 90 degrees in each direction. Rotation in one direction allows the head to fall downwardly behind a person’s shoulder after the golf club collapses. Rotation in the other direction allows the head to hang downwardly when the golf club is held at waist level. The images below show: (1) a starting position; (2) a collapsed position, after the golf club contacts the ceiling and breaks away; (3) a rotated position with the golf club hanging over the player’s shoulder; and (4) a returned position with the handle of the club at waist level. I will e-mail some photos so that you fully understand how the golf club works. The handle is biased to return to the central position.

4. The mount portion is very important because it takes a great deal of the shock and protects the flexible rods and head. I have sketched our first prototype below. We are currently working on how to reduce the size and weight of the mount.

5. The mount must be able to bend over a relatively large range. I will email details of the preferred angles shortly. No existing clubs can bend over these angles. You can get an idea of the preferred range from the images below.

Second Advantage

1.The club is intended to be used with a plastic or foam golf ball under an 8-foot ceiling. The head has been designed to encourage twisting and force the rigid portion to break away. The head has also been designed to provide an actual club face at ground level. One of our preliminary golf club designs is shown below.

Third Advantage

1. If made sufficiently strong, the club can also be used for strength training against a table leg. This is shown below.

Other Advantages

1. I use a full-length club with a flexible portion. This allows a person to practice hitting into the ground as would be the case with a sand iron.

Notes

I am working on further images of the break-away. Here is an image of a version with a different form of break-away. This break-away was intended to provide a smooth ‘break-away’ action. I don’t think that this form of break-away is really practicable.

Variations

I have thought of a few variations. I would like to cover these as possibly being individually patentable.

1. Variations that are just used for strength training with no break-away.

2. Variations where the break-away tension is adjustable by turning a base plate system. I’ll send some more detail about this shortly.

3. Variations where the break-away angle on contact with the ceiling can be adjusted by rotating the head mount about the shaft.

4. Variations where the head portion and the flexible rods are made from one piece of material.

Advantages and Operation of Variations

I would be pleased to discuss the advantages and operation of the variations by telephone. At the moment I am still working on the detail of these variations.

Cursory Searching (Optional)

I have done a bit of searching on Google Patents, Espacenet, WIPO and the USPTO. I have located the following documents.

KR20020017906

‘Machine for Practicing Golf Swing’ March 7, 2002 (LEE DONG IK)

KR20020017906 appears to use a shortened club with a light source where the light source passes over a light plate sensor. This invention is nothing like mine because there is no contact with a real ball. Also a player is provided with no information as to whether the club would hit the ground before hitting the ball.

*Image taken from KR20020017906

US 6,881,156

‘Golf Training Aid’ April 19, 2005 (PHILLIPS PHILIP S)

This practice device is supposed to be a training aid. While resistance is provided there is no contact with a table leg as there could be with my invention. I could also provide for increased resistance by replacing the two rods with a single sheet of flat flexible plastics material.

US4911450 Provides a similar system.

*Image taken from US6881156

US 5,947,830

‘Golf Practice System’ September 7, 2009 (O’NEILL WILLIAM T)

This is simply a shortened golf club. My golf club is a full-length golf club. My golf club allows a normal person to stand upright and for a full swing to be taken from underneath a ceiling.

*Image taken from US5947830

US 4,432,552

‘Golf Practice Apparatus’ February 21, 1984 (SAVERINO BENNETT J)

This system uses a shortened club together with a table. As noted my club is a full-length club. There is no need for a table using my club.

US3975024 and GB2365783 provide similar systems.  

*Image taken from US4432552

Website Searching

I did a quick web search and located a number of clubs. Each of these is basically a telescopic golf club. Here are a couple of them.

The ‘All in One Golf Club’ – http://www.allinonegolfclub.com/

The ‘Whole-In-One Adjustable Golf Club ‘ – http://divnickgolf.com/adjustable/

Further Searching

At this time I don’t want to proceed with a professional search as I would like to get a patent application in place as quickly as possible. Basically I am going to show my invention to someone on

Development

I am in the process of developing a special way of biasing the handle into position. I know I could include details of this in my patent application but really have to fully work things out before it makes any sense. Also, I have some other ideas that I am thinking of including in the specification. I would like to discuss with you whether I should include these details.

Inventors

I am the sole inventor. No one else made any kind of contribution to the invention. My friend who understood that my invention was always to be kept strictly confidential came up with the idea of having a collapsible club but didn’t come up with the break-away or the flexible portion. I would like to discuss this with you in more detail as all the ideas are really mine.

Prior Disclosure

Besides my friend, I showed my invention to some industrial designers. I did this about two months ago and we all signed a standard confidentiality agreement.

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