Patent idea

How to Patent an Idea for Invention

You’ve designed something exceptional, an idea that could change the world for the better (or at least part of it) and you’ve come to the most important part – you want to make it officially yours and patent it. You’re full of sketches and drawings. And sure that your product could be commercially exploited, you could successfully self-employ and soon develop the right production over time. However, you also don’t want it to come into someone else’s hands and for someone else to shamelessly get rich based on your anguish and hours of work.

So, whenever we have a great idea for innovation in any field, the same questions arise: How to do it? How to patent a product? How to know if it’s already registered? In this article, we will explain the basic notions you should know to protect your ideas and make that dream come true.

Source:pinterest

What should you know about this?

A patent is a title that recognizes the right to exclusively exploit an invention, preventing others from manufacturing, selling or using it without the owner’s consent. In return, what is legally protected is made available to the public for general knowledge?

In this sense, we need to understand that they’re the only valid means to prove ownership of an idea or concept of industrial application. These are property titles and as such allow the inventor to conduct negotiations based on the total or partial session of the exploitation rights of the idea. In order to achieve this, your innovation needs to meet three requirements:

  • To be totally new in the world.
  • To be inventive (not based on any obviousness).
  • Not to be abstract: to have an industrial application and be able to be carried out.

Legally protecting an idea entails undergoing a legal procedure regulated by strict and generally immovable deadlines, as they recall from the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). That’s why it’s more than advisable to hire a lawyer or an industrial property consultant with experience in these areas. From the PTO they also recommend studying the application procedure in detail and requesting it in a strategic way, at the time and for the reasons that best suit their exploitation plans.

Source:discoverbigfish.com

Decide what and how we want to protect

The first thing we have to do is define well what we want to protect, with what image and under what brand or name. Also, to make sure that there’s really nothing like that in the world.

Then, we’ll present our application at the PTO, accompanied by other documents such as the applicant’s data, a description of the idea with their respective plans, novelty claims (according to the PTO, the most important aspect) and a summary of everything.

Clarify the ownership from the beginning

It’s our responsibility or the responsibility of the team we work with (as well as the institutions involved in the development), to define this. It needs to be known who is going to be the holders since it can be registered by several people.

When the person or institutions involved in a development don’t clarify this situation from the beginning, the confusion generated might legally complicate later, and even stop the protection process. So, always think about this.

Think about documentation

The documentation needed to apply for a patent may seem simple at first glance. A descriptive memory’s simply required where it’s all explained. Claims where the desired protection is specifically established, drawings, a request with the information of the owner and the inventors… The problem is that poor writing of the report or claims strongly affects the protection granted.

An example of bad writing: one that defines the invention too concretely so that a third party with a small modification no longer infringes it. The problem’s even greater when one reads the law and discovers that the initially submitted documentation can’t be easily corrected without losing the application date. Given the difficulty of the subject and the importance of good protection for the business, there are professionals in drafting and processing. These professionals are industrial property agents or patent agents. It’s also possible to hire a company like Invent Help whose representatives will be more than happy to shape your ideas with you and help you go through the process.

Presentation and pre-examination

When all the documentation is there, a presentation date or priority date is granted to the application. After that, a form examination will be carried out to verify that the papers are okay. From there we have a whole year to submit protection applications in other countries if we see that our idea can have commercial success outside of our state. At some point in it we’ll receive a search report of possible ideas similar to ours. The PTO, after reviewing the formal requirements required, will conduct an international search. Its aim is detecting the most similar examples of ideas that may affect the novelty, inventive activity and industrial application of the thing we want to patent. Made by an experienced examiner, this report usually includes a patentability opinion that will eventually be forwarded to the patent applicant.

Grant of the patent

Source:androidauthority.com

In the end, the PTO issues an application receipt – the document that establishes the starting point of the rights. From the date of application, the invention can already be disclosed without risk to affect the process. In practice, once the patent is filed, the person or company that has developed the invention begins to present the invention to potential customers, suppliers or investors. If the examiners decide to grant it, upon payment of all fees, the decision is published in the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property, and the legal protection will be effective from the same day of the date of publication.

And about other countries…

These, like the other industrial property registers, are territorial in nature and therefore only offer protection in those countries where they’re registered. The law establishes a period of 12 months, expandable to 30 months, from the date of application of the first patent to apply for the same thing in other countries. If the applicant doesn’t take advantage of this period, he can no longer request protection for the same invention in other countries.

We hope that this guide and steps helped you become even more motivated to show your best to the world and make something that will change it. Don’t hesitate anymore – now you have all you need to do it – make it happen!

How to protect your idea and invention

Imagine that you have thought of an amazing marketable invention idea. What is your next step? You are now faced with a lot of questions and dilemmas. To make any profit out of the invention, you must license this invention to a business that is often a distributor or manufacturer who will invest in advertising, selling, and mass-producing. But there is a risk when pitching your invention that it might get stolen or no longer be protected by any laws. In other words, the company to which you are pitching your invention could steal it without paying you a dime.
So how can you sell your idea without the risk of losing your rights? To protect your invention, people often consider these two common strategies. You can either file a provisional patent application, or you can use a nondisclosure agreement.

To learn more about these two strategies to keep your invention and idea protected from theft, then make sure you read our short guide.

File a patent application

Source:boldip.com

If your idea qualifies for a patent, then it is a smart idea to file a provisional patent application and obtain a status of “patent pending. Usually, this kind of move will discourage all infringers, because they will see that you know what you are doing when it comes to protecting your inventions’ rights.

Nondisclosure agreements

If you realize that your invention idea is probably not patentable, the best way to protect yourself is to have licensees sign an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) before you show them your invention idea. This document may also be called a confidentiality agreement, but it is usually the same thing.

This kind of agreement must be first signed before you meet with the interested licensee or buyer and before you reveal any of your secrets about your new invention. If someone signs your nondisclosure agreement and later abuses your secrets without permission, you can sue the infringer for damages. The NDA contract is not a joke, and if the company breaches this kind of agreement, you can seek contractual damages and liability.

Nondisclosure agreements, typically contain one of these important features:

• Responsibilities of the party receiving this confidential information
• A definition of which part of the information is confidential or not
• Time periods of the agreement

If you have an invention idea which you believe in and you are sure it is going to be a marketable success, then check this if you want to see your invention come to life.

Source:boldip.com

Defining the confidential information.

All nondisclosure agreements provide a definition on which of the information listed is confidential. Any information which is discovered before signing the NDA does not have to be protected by the receiving party. This means that not every single piece of information during your pitch will be protected; only parts of the information that were specified in the nondisclosure agreement.

Time periods

This is an important factor of the NDA which specifies how long the confidential information must be kept confidential by the receiving party. This is usually done with negotiation since receiving parties will want a short period of time while disclosing parties will want as much time as possible.

If you are planning to pitch your idea to potential buyers, then make sure you keep our guide in mind and keep your invention protected.