Two great tools for inventors that won’t break your checking account: provisional patent applications and trademarks.
Successfully licensing an invention or having a product to promote requires research and the opportunity to talk to people concerning your invention. It really is impossible to get a manufacturer or retail buyer to commit to a product or service without seeing it.
Forever 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 can be lost, along with the one-year timeline within which a United states patent application needs to be filed generally has begun to tick. Because of this, many inventors rush out and file a complete-blown, how do I get a patent. That addresses the uncertainties plus enables inventors to alert folks that their invention is “patent pending.”
However, this strategy has several downsides. First, utility patents and even patent applications could cost many lots of money. In the long run, an inventor could find that this expense outweighs the benefit. Second, during the early stages, most invention designs are still evolving. Filing a patent too soon could signify it doesn’t actually reflect the most evolved designs and drawings. Third–and most important, for me–this investment has become made before an inventor has conducted real market research to validate marketability of your product.
Two solutions that numerous inventors–myself included–use are to file provisional patent applications and trademark applications for your invention and product name or logo.
These applications provide the very best of both worlds. At a fraction of the price of a utility patent application, a provisional patent application will not be actually a patent. It never will convert into a patent or become public, unless further action is taken. A provisional patent application is actually a such as a place holder. In essence, you might be laying state they the filing date in the provisional patent application if and when you elect to file for a whole utility patent around twelve months from the time you file your provisional patent application. So if you wish to file a provisional patent application on March 1, 2010, so you then opt to file a utility patent application eleven months afterwards February 1, 2011, the priority date for your personal utility patent application would be thought to be March 1, 2010, for those material substantively disclosed and enabled within your provisional application.
In the date you file your provisional patent application, you have the legal right to write “patent pending” in your prototype and show it to whomever you want. During this process, you will not lose your international patent rights and may still elect to file your utility patent application. But it really offers you twelve months to produce your product and gain market information before you actually must make your final decision on whether to file utility and international patent applications.
While technically you can write and file this application yourself, I suggest that you just do it with a bit of guidance and, at the least, an assessment by way of a inventions ideas.
Every product features a name, or it will. Once you begin making use of the name with prospective licensees and customers, the invention actually becomes symbolic of the name. We have seen this happen over and over. Where there are only a lot of names a product might take that meet the criteria to be both catchy and able to be registered.
So give the maximum amount of considered to names for your product as you possibly can, and can include queries about the name in your consumer research. After you settle on the preferred name, trademark the name. Then when you speak to prospective licensees, use the name. (Note: I did not say you need to let them know you will be totally hooked on the name). But if they become used to your product’s name, they may see your trademark as another valuable asset you might be bringing to the table. Additionally it may further limit potential encroachment from likely competitors or knockoff products.
The underpinnings of trademark law are founded about the principle of first used, first in right. Filing of your trademark application typically constitutes use, but so does simply making use of the trademark. In fact, in a few states you must use the trademark publicly before filing a trademark application, as well as in the federal trademark system, a trademark must be used in interstate commerce before it may register. Therefore, utilize your trademark.
Once you’ve settled on and adopted your trademark you must identify it as a a trademark through the use of either ™ or ® as appropriate. Check your local state laws regarding the usage of.
In the majority of states, trademark rights can be asserted regionally totally free, simply by applying the T to some product (done by typing the letters “t” and “m” between two parentheses. The writing program automatically shrinks and raises it to offer the T appearance.)
Second, a trademark can be registered using the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and overseas. This is a faster process, taking only 10 to 14 months. Once it is registered as a Usa federally registered trademark, use the ® (also typed by inserting the “r” between parentheses).
I actually have always mentioned that intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyrights are only tools inside your inventing tool box. While using right tool can be extremely valuable. The nicest thing about new invention idea is that it can find you time to determine which other tools may be necessary. Likewise, trademarks can be a valuable tool inventors overlook.