Two great tools for inventors that won’t break your banking account: provisional patent applications and trademarks.
Successfully licensing an invention or taking a product to promote requires research and the opportunity to talk with people concerning your invention. It can be impossible for any manufacturer or retail buyer to commit to a product or service without seeing it.
For good reason, many inventors are hesitant to share their invention with folks they don’t know. Further, once an invention is shared publicly, international patent rights may be lost, and also the one-year timeline within that your United states patent application should be filed generally has started to tick. For this reason, many inventors rush out and file a full-blown, product ideas. That addresses the uncertainties and in addition enables inventors to alert people who their invention is “patent pending.”
However, this method has several downsides. First, utility patents and even patent applications could cost many thousands. Eventually, an inventor may find that this expense outweighs the main benefit. Second, during the early stages, most invention designs remain evolving. Filing a patent too early could mean that it doesn’t actually reflect probably the most evolved designs and drawings. Third–and a lot important, i think–this investment is made before an inventor has conducted real researching the market to validate marketability from the product.
Two solutions that many inventors–myself included–use are going to file provisional patent applications and trademark applications for the invention and product name or logo.
These applications provide the very best of both worlds. At a fraction of the cost of a utility patent application, a provisional patent application will not be actually a patent. It never will convert to your patent or become public, unless further action is taken. A provisional patent application can be a such as a place holder. Basically, you might be laying claim to the filing date of the provisional patent application if and when you elect to apply for a complete utility patent up to 1 year from the time you file your provisional patent application. So if you want to file a provisional patent application on March 1, 2010, and you then decide to file a utility patent application eleven months at a later time February 1, 2011, the priority date for your personal utility patent application can be regarded as being March 1, 2010, for those material substantively disclosed and enabled with your provisional application.
From the date you file your provisional patent application, there is the legal right to write “patent pending” on the prototype and show it to whomever you want. In the process, you simply will not lose your international patent rights and can still choose to file your utility patent application. However it will give you 1 year to produce your merchandise and gain market information prior to actually must have the final choice on whether or not to file utility and international patent applications.
While technically you can write and file this application yourself, I would recommend that you simply do it with a few guidance and, at the very least, an evaluation by a inventions ideas.
Every product carries a name, or it should. Once you start making use of the name with prospective licensees and customers, the invention actually becomes synonymous with the name. I actually have seen this happen over and over. There are only a lot of names a product could take that match the criteria for being both catchy capable to be registered.
So give the maximum amount of believed to names for the product as you can, and may include queries about the name within your researching the market. After you choose your selected name, trademark the name. When you talk to prospective licensees, make use of the name. (Note: I did not say you must tell them you are totally hooked on the name). However if they become familiar with your product’s name, they will watch your trademark as another valuable asset you happen to be bringing towards the table. And it also may further limit potential encroachment from likely competitors or knockoff products.
The underpinnings of trademark law are founded on the principle of first used, first in right. Filing of the trademark application typically constitutes use, but so does simply making use of the trademark. Actually, in many states you need to utilize the trademark publicly before filing a trademark application, and then in the government trademark system, a trademark should be used in interstate commerce before it might register. Therefore, utilize your trademark.
Once you’ve settled on and adopted your trademark you need to identify it as a trademark by utilizing either ™ or ® as appropriate. Look at the local state laws regarding the application of.
Generally in most states, trademark rights might be asserted regionally totally free, by just applying the T to some product (carried out 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 could be registered with all the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and overseas. This really is a faster process, taking only 10 to 14 months. Once it can be registered being a United states federally registered trademark, make use of the ® (also typed by inserting the “r” between parentheses).
I have got always claimed that intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyrights are just tools in your inventing tool box. Using the right tool can be hugely valuable. The nicest thing about inventions ideas is that it can find you time to find out which other tools can be necessary. Likewise, trademarks are a valuable tool inventors overlook.