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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Let there be magic! » » I invented a trick... Now what? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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KidMagic
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Bradford
183 Posts

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Hello everybody,

A few days ago I invented a absolutely wonderful effect and spent lots of time planning out every single detail so that it works amazingly! The chances of anything going wrong are about a million to one. Anyway the reason I am writing this post is because I am not planning on releasing the effect yet, because before I do I want to make sure everything is the best it can be and there are no better methods of performing it. So next weekend I will be testing it out for the first time in front of a live audience (not including my family members). And I am writing for some advice, I have read many posts on the Café about stuff like this and have received lots of wonderful help but one question of mine that was not answered was how would I go about releasing the effect? Do I need to put copyrights on it first? Should I team up with a local magic store?

I do not plan to even attempt to release this trick to the public for another two years or so of me performing it for audiences, I want to have it fully tested in a real environment. But when the time does come I want to be prepared.

To answer some of your questions, the trick I invented is rather close to a trick that is already created but extremely easier to perform and would cost a lot less! For example buying the trick in stores now could cost anywhere from $60.00 - $250.00! But with the method I am using it cost me about $2.00 and 2 minutes of my time to make the effect. The trick is almost self working but does take some requiration from the performer, simply remembering one word and a few numbers and you will be ready to perform this trick in minutes!

Magically yours,
Zachary Gauthier
http://www.kidmagic.ca (website is currently under construction for the day)
Magically yours,
KidMagic/Zachary Gauthier
www.kidmagic.ca
R Gould
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193 Posts

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Just a few words of advice.

You can not copyright a magic trick. Copyright only applies to concrete forms of verbal or visual expression such as a poem, book, film, painting, and so on.

You *can* *patent* a magic trick. But that is a very expensive process that requires the assistance of a lawyer to research existing patents, file the necessary paperwork, etc. It is a long process. That is why you see products released all the time with the words "patent pending" on the package. The patent has not yet been granted but the manufacturer has decided to go to market anyway with the conviction that the patent will stand up.

And that's the other major thing. Very few inventions are actually patentable. It has to be proven to be sufficiently unique and different from inventions to come before it. Judging by your description, "The trick is almost self working but does take some requiration from the performer, simply remembering one word and a few numbers and you will be ready to perform this trick in minutes", it does not sound like something that can be patented.

Patents are granted mainly to innovations of a mechanical or electrical nature. The device has to be shown, through diagrams, etc. to be sufficiently unique. I am no expert on this so if you are genuinely curious whether any of your ideas are patentable, my advice again is to consult an attorney or an expert in the field.

It seems to me that if you have a very good trick, and it does not require a device, to write it up in a manuscript and sell it as a manuscript or an eBook. Your ms/ebook would be an automatically copyrighted item. Nobody could redistribute it without your permission. Of course, that only applies to your specific words. Someone else *could* re-word the description of the trick and sell their own manuscript.

If you really want to sell it, my advice is to write a very good manuscript, and get it to market before someone else does!

R Gould
KidMagic
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Bradford
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Thanks a lot for the post! I wasn't planning on selling it as a sure thing, it was just an idea that I wanted to look into. For now I think I'll stick to performing it in my shows but maybe eventually if I ever want to release the trick to the public then I will take the time to write a manuscript. Thanks for the adivce!

Zach
Magically yours,
KidMagic/Zachary Gauthier
www.kidmagic.ca
squando
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While this idea is certainly your "creation" it is possible that others have already invented it. You may want to share this with a trusted group of people steeped in the richness of ideas...

Or check, Tarbell...
Frank
KidMagic
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Bradford
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Thanks I'll look into Tarbell and see if I can find anything. The trick is basically a new method for a prediction. I was also recommended to look into a few mentalism books so I'll check them out thanks!

Zach
Magically yours,
KidMagic/Zachary Gauthier
www.kidmagic.ca
R Gould
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Quote:
On 2008-07-11 21:41, squando wrote:
While this idea is certainly your "creation" it is possible that others have already invented it. You may want to share this with a trusted group of people steeped in the richness of ideas...

Or check, Tarbell...

Also very good advice! You would be surprised how many times someone comes up with a trick they believe is new, only to find out it was published in Hilliard's "Great Magic" or another old book!
KidMagic
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Bradford
183 Posts

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Thanks!
Magically yours,
KidMagic/Zachary Gauthier
www.kidmagic.ca
Stephen Young
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Thought Illusions
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I'm also at the stage of "Let's get this to market" But how to find out if it's been done before. Do I have to read every manual of magic that's ever been published? What if I miss it by accident.
It seems it would be the same if I said I've come up with a new design for an image on a t-shirt. How on earth would I find out if it already exists?

Also, I need to make a video, find packaging, write the instructions Oh! yes and make the "Thing"

How does one find "TRUSTED" people to run ones' idea by?
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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The Magic Nook publishes e-Books and also provides editing and research help to verify that your work is original. Authors get paid 100% of sales, so there's no need to worry about "trust," since we don't make money from your work... you do.

For references, you can ask Magicbob whose e-mail address is on our site listed with the e-books and products he sells under the above arrangement.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
pepka
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Inner circle
Uh, I'm the one on the right.
5041 Posts

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You're asking advice on how to release a trick to the market that you haven't even real world tested? What makes you think that anyone would WANT to purchase it? Perform it for real world audiences a few 1000 times, then for magician friends. THEN you can worry about such things. And like Squando said, if you think it's a new method, check Tarbell, Greater Magic, Corinda's, Apocalypse, old Magic and Genii magazines, Pheonix, Jinx etc......
ITMagic
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21 Posts

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Quote:
On 2009-07-25 08:51, steveline wrote:
How does one find "TRUSTED" people to run ones' idea by?


A very good question.
I think you'll find the Magic Castle librarian an invaluable source of knowledge, never met him personally so just assuming that. There are also a number of well known magicians who's ethics are high and well respected that could be relied on to give you honest and confidential feedback. I know a couple of people have used Tim Ellis for this in the past here in Australia (one currently using him now). Personally I think Paul Romhany might be worth talking to as well. As this is a mentalist effect, have you considered writing to Max Maven?

Here in Melbourne we are lucky to have the Australian Institute of Magic, an entire group of people who can be trusted not to steal or reveal developemental ideas.

Brendan
vinsmagic
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Eternal Order
sleeping with the fishes...
10764 Posts

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Send it to harry i,m sure he already created it
Come check out my magic.

http://www.vinnymarini.com
stijnhommes
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R Gould was right. Copyright only applies to a tangible form of a work. So you can get copyright on a written description and explanation of the effect, but you don't need to register the copyright. In pretty much any country you're likely to be in, copyright is automatically granted the moment the work is created. Have the magic publisher register it when they decide to publish. Like book publishers, the real ones are NOT out to steal your work.
Failed Magician
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Still working on the DL even after made
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Ok, how about tricks that use only cards and coins? Can we patent them? As far as I understand, we cannot patent a magic trick unless it involves some unique mechanism or machinery such as Tarantula. Now, if someone, somewhere, release a trick called "The Invisible Web" but uses pretty much the same mechanism as Tarantula, it can be sued, right? Even "The Invisible Web" will require you to attach the gimmick up to your nose for example.

But how about a card trick? I have a good card trick, and the production cost is less than $15, for the refills it will only take about $5 to make. What should I do then?

I can put credit to some famous magicians here such as Devin Knight, Peter Nardi, etc, etc for being the inspiration for my trick.

Can I publish/sell them by myself? Or I have to seek assistance from famous online shops for marketing?

Please, someone help me. I've been trying to find answer but I don't want to reveal too much to some stranger here.

Thanks.
Magic comes through perception. -HS
TheGreatRaymondo
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Manchester, England
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KidMagic,
Please be VERY careful with patents - On many occasions the amount of information
required to register and file a patent actually makes it easier for others to copy!
There are many examples of this is in many fields. A lot of people have become very rich simply by being the imitator and not the innovator...
No investment, no real cost, no new ideas, just taking someone else's idea and getting to market...
TGR
We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have not yet deceived us...
Bill Hallahan
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New Hampshire
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Quote:
On 2008-07-11 21:45, KidMagic wrote:
Thanks I'll look into Tarbell and see if I can find anything. The trick is basically a new method for a prediction. I was also recommended to look into a few mentalism books so I'll check them out thanks!

Zach

Zach, there are roughly 100,000 magic books that have been written. Checking a few books is not sufficient. You can write the idea up and ask Max Maven, Jon Racherbaumer, Bill Palmer, Greg Arce, and other knowledgeable magicians if it is really a new method. (Of course, you have to ask them politely if they would be willing to look at your idea; they don't work for either me or for you). If it's already published, these well-read magicians might know.

If your library has fewer than 3000 magic books, you don't have enough books to do serious research. I'm sure you wouldn't want someone else claiming that they created your idea the day after you published it. If the method is old and you've modified the method in some significant way, at the very least you should credit the original creator of the base idea. If the idea is owned, then you should not release it without getting permission from the owner.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
stijnhommes
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Oops, I forgot I posted here before. I've scratched some duplicate comments in this post.

Even if you don't plan on releasing it soon, it's a good idea to start writing it down now, so you have your early thoughts on paper to build on. If you wait too long, you forget the details of the creation process and what exactly inspired you to do certain things.

Finding trusted people is easy. Who are the big shots in predictions and mentalism?
You want to contact the big names. Make a list and see which of those you can contact. Just make sure it's not in Corinda's thirteen steps or some other mentalism bible or you'll look bad.
sideshowsam
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I see you staring at my
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Quote:
On 2009-11-02 04:03, MacGyverMagic wrote:
R Gould was right. Copyright only applies to a tangible form of a work. So you can get copyright on a written description and explanation of the effect, but you don't need to register the copyright. In pretty much any country you're likely to be in, copyright is automatically granted the moment the work is created. Have the magic publisher register it when they decide to publish. Like book publishers, the real ones are NOT out to steal your work.


A way you can establish the creation date of your manuscript is to snail mail a sealed copy of it to yourself with a hand stamped postmark - ask the postoffice to also put the stamp across the envelope seal so there will be no mistaking the postmark.

./sam
Tom Jorgenson
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LOOSE ANGLES, CALIFORNIA
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Umm..the envelope thing is probably not legal, as it proves nothing. Any magician could dance circles around that one; you're a magician.

Write it up and get it notarized, that'll help establish dates.

Ask Those Who Know, if that passes muster it's good enough for most everyone. Historians and bookists will tell you every instance of publication and the trail of intellectual provenance, it it exists.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
don Mago
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On the subject of Copyrights I suggest you consider a little research on the subject before actually relying on any of the posts, even this one, here. I have recently Copyrighted both Unpublished Manuscripts and Published books. The process itself is simple, low cost (currently, June 26, 2011, at $35, is your work worth this risk?), and convenient. With all due respects to other posters, the myth that one can actually mail a copy to ones self and it be legally copyrighted is just that, a myth. A manuscript is automatically "copyrighted" at the time it is created but you will not be legally protected nor will it be accepted in the USA by any court with jurisdiction unless the copyright has been registered with the US Copyright Office.

You can register, by yourself online, an original document as an unpublished manuscript and subsequently, after published, you can copyright the published document. You can do this for $35 per registration. You don't have to pay anyone to do this for you if you are even mildly capable of typing, following instructions and using a computer online. To get the true, up-to-date facts on Copyrights I suggest you go to http://www.copyright.gov/ . You should know that any photos and sketches (these may best be converted to photo files before starting the process) may also be claimed within the simple online registration process if you are the originator and you wish to have them protected. Again, start with http://www.copyright.gov/ Hope this is helpful.
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