Need help: I'm planning to sell computer mouse in USA

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by mousevn, May 21, 2011.

  1. mousevn

    mousevn
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    Hi everyone!

    I'm just planning to sell computer mouse with new function in the USA market. I have never run a business before.

    1 - Do I need some kind of license to sell mouse in US? Where can I get it?
    Can I get it from some companies that already sold PC mouse like Dell, HP, etc..? How much does a license like that cost?

    2 - I think I will contract some Chinese manufacturer to make it, and contact big retailer to sell it for me. In simple words, I try to become a medium between the big retailer and producer, that what the retailer do to me, I do the same to the producer with a little difference to make benefit. The retailer will pay me and I pay the producer by that money. It will lower the money I need to invest.

    That is what I think, is it possible? What else could I do?

    And do you have any advice for me? I am just a newbie in business

    Regards
     
  2. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum mousevn, thanks for posting your business questions.

    Did you design this particular mouse yourself? If you did you might want to consider getting some form of patent protection for it, assuming that it has new inventive features.

    I'm not based in the US myself but to the best of my knowledge you will not need to get a licence to sell a product like that, you certainly wouldn't need a licence in Ireland.

    That is definitely possible and there are lots of businesses across a broad array of industries already doing business this way.

    Taking some time out to complete a quick first draft of a business plan could be very helpful to you. It's not as difficult to do as many people think and you can view links to some very helpful business plan templates in the Business Plan Templates section of our Useful Business Resources / Links thread.
     
  3. sigma

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    you just need business license, you can check with the concern when you register your company

    I used to purchase product from China but sorry to say that the manufacturer are not allow to sell you those branded mouse like dell,apple ect directly, you gotta buy from dell,apple agent. However, if you looking for similar product, or we call them as OBM product which mean the manufacturer that produce apple mouse to sell you the same mouse without the apple logo. Besides, you need to find a cheap shipping company, else your cost will be very high. Also, you need to check with your country on the import tax.
     
  4. mousevn

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    Hi Fergal,

    Thank you for your post.

    Yes, I designed it myself. It is not that original, as it involves many other patents, but it hasn't existed on the market yet. I think the point is I can find a market for it, while others couldn't.
    But in order to product it, I need two kind of patents:

    1 - The patents for the new function. I will search and buy them.

    2 - The patents for the old functions, or the basic mouse. Without those, the new function is useless. But those patents are very hard to track because they expand in many fields. So I think I will license these patents from someone already sell it. This is the meaning of the question in my first post. How to get this kind of license to sell a normal mouse?

    In the worst scenario, where buying those patents is hard, I will license them, which I think will be cheaper than purchasing. But in that case I will file a defensive patent to protect my monopoly position.

    Do you find anything wrong with my plan?
    Thank you sigma,

    The problem with Chinese manufacturers is that they always infringe intellectual properties (IP) so I don't know whether their mouse could be sold in US or not? That why I need the kind of license I asked in the first post.

    Do you have any experience in this area? Please help me!

    Must I find some manufacturers that claiming their products could be sold in US then order them to produce my new mouse?
    Or I must find OBM mouse producer? How do I know those mouses don't infringe any US patent?

    And as you said, do you know normal shipping cost and import tax from China to US. I will research into you advice later but do you have some quick rounded figures? Just for me to know where is it?

    And thank you all for reading, and if you have any advice, please help me!

    Regards
     
  5. Grumpy

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    I'm not 100% sure on most of your questions, unfortunately. However, I do know that import tax from China to the US is a lot higher than it is from Japan to the US. So that might be a further field you want to check out in order to maximize your total profit.
     
  6. Fergal

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    Yes, if your product uses elements from patents owned by others you will need to get their permission before you start selling your product. You could conduct patent searches, to find out who actually owns those patents, on the following websites http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/, http://patft.uspto.gov/ and http://worldwide.espacenet.com/advancedSearch?locale=en_EP

    Not at all, it sounds good, assuming of course that you can get those licence rights from the relevant patent holders.

    Have you considered getting in touch with a Patent Attorney? Many of them will offer you a first consultation free of charge and a good one could save you a lot of time and expense when it comes to licencing / using technology owned by others and to getting Intellectual Property protection for your own invention.

    Obviously it's very important that you do not make the details of your product / technology public at this time. To do so would make it part of the public knowledge and end your chances of being able to secure a patent.

    Good luck with it and please do keep us updated.
     
  7. firstchoicecar

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    I'm not based in USA so I don't know their restrictions,All I can suggest is just take your business in all legal.
     
  8. mousevn

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    Thank you guys!

    OK, Fergal, I will try to keep my thread updated. Now I think I will contact some lawyers and contact the companies that holding the patents. One of them is a big name, HP.

    Sometimes I find it very hard to contact to big companies, especially Chinese companies as they don't reply my email, while I can't make a call because their language is different.
    Do you have any tip? If you are the big guys, what do you want from a small business like me? How to make a successful contact?

    Regards.
     
  9. sigma

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    My experience is dont believed what they told, you gotta really check it out with concern government or lawyer to ensure what is the requirement to become legal product in US market before you take any action. Those China manufacturer dont actually know well on the US requirement.

    For the tax, it is very simple, you just need to go to the custom tax department/post office to get know the rounded figure. For the shipping cost, i normally use http://www.ems.com.cn/english-main.jsp, it is quit expensive. It will be better if you can find some shipping company that can give you best offer.
     
  10. Fergal

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    You are contacting these companies with a view to buying from them. If it is proving difficult to communicate with a particular company or they are not responding to your contacts, I'd suggest that you contact a different company. If you have money to spend it should not be difficult to find a company who is willing to discuss your requirements with you.

    Something else you could do is contact the Chinese embassy in your country, give them some details on the products you wish to source from China and ask them for suggestions and contacts of people you should speak to.
     

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