Two great tools for inventors that won’t break your bank account: provisional patent applications and trademarks.
Successfully licensing an invention or getting a product to promote requires research and the cabability to speak to people about your invention. It can be impossible for the manufacturer or retail buyer to agree to something without seeing it.
Permanently reason, many inventors are hesitant to share their invention with individuals they don’t know. Further, once an invention is shared publicly, international patent rights might be lost, and the one-year timeline within that your Usa patent application should be filed generally has begun to tick. Because of this, many inventors rush out and file a whole-blown, how do you get a patent. That addresses the uncertainties and in addition enables inventors to alert individuals who their invention is “patent pending.”
However, this approach has several downsides. First, utility patents as well as patent applications may cost many thousands of dollars. In the long run, an inventor might discover that this expense outweighs the advantage. Second, in early stages, most invention designs continue to be evolving. Filing a patent too soon could suggest that it doesn’t actually reflect the most evolved designs and drawings. Third–and the majority of important, in my view–this investment has been made before an inventor has conducted real market research to validate marketability from the product.
Two solutions that lots of inventors–myself included–use are going to file provisional patent applications and trademark applications to the invention and product name or logo.
These applications provide the best of both worlds. At a fraction of the price of a utility patent application, a provisional patent application is not actually a patent. It never will convert to your patent or become public, unless further action is taken. A provisional patent application is actually a such as a place holder. Essentially, you might be laying state they the filing date from the provisional patent application when and if you elect to apply for a full utility patent up to one year from the moment you file your provisional patent application. So if you choose to file a provisional patent application on March 1, 2010, and also you then elect to file a utility patent application eleven months down the road February 1, 2011, the priority date to your utility patent application will be considered to be March 1, 2010, for those material substantively disclosed and enabled inside your provisional application.
Through the date you file your provisional patent application, there is the right to create “patent pending” on your prototype and show it to whomever you desire. At the same time, you will not lose your international patent rights and can still opt to file your utility patent application. Nevertheless it offers you 12 months to build up your product and gain market information before you decide to actually must have the final choice on if you should file utility and international patent applications.
While technically you may write and file this application yourself, I suggest you do it with a few guidance and, at the very least, an overview from a how to get a patent.
Every product features a name, or it will. Once you start using the name with prospective licensees and customers, the invention actually becomes synonymous with the name. We have seen this happen repeatedly. Where there are just numerous names a specific thing might take that fulfill the criteria of being both catchy and able to be registered.
So give just as much thought to names to your product as is possible, and can include questions about the name within your market research. Once you settle on your selected name, trademark the name. Then when you talk to prospective licensees, utilize the name. (Note: I did so not say you ought to inform them you happen to be hooked on the name). However if they become accustomed to your product’s name, they will likely view your trademark as another valuable asset you will be bringing on the table. Additionally it may further limit potential encroachment from likely competitors or knockoff products.
The underpinnings of trademark law are founded around the principle of first being used, first in right. Filing of the trademark application typically constitutes use, but so does simply making use of the trademark. In reality, in a few states you have to use the trademark publicly before filing a trademark application, and in the federal trademark system, a trademark must be used in interstate commerce before it may register. Therefore, make use of your trademark.
Once you’ve settled on and adopted your trademark you need to identify it as a a trademark through the use of either ™ or ® as appropriate. Look at your local state laws regarding the use of.
In many states, trademark rights can be asserted regionally totally free, by simply utilizing the T to a product (done by typing the letters “t” and “m” between two parentheses. The writing program automatically shrinks and raises it to achieve the T appearance.)
Second, a trademark may be registered with all the United states Patent and Trademark office and overseas. It is a faster process, taking only 10 to 14 months. Once it really is registered like a Usa federally registered trademark, take advantage of the ® (also typed by inserting the “r” between parentheses).
We have always claimed that intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyrights are simply tools in your inventing tool box. While using right tool can be quite valuable. The nicest thing about how to patent a product idea is that it can buy you time to understand which other tools might be necessary. Likewise, trademarks certainly are a valuable tool inventors overlook.