Two great tools for inventors that won’t break your bank account: provisional patent applications and trademarks.
Successfully licensing an invention or taking a product to advertise requires research and the ability to talk to people concerning your invention. It can be impossible for any manufacturer or retail buyer to commit to a product without seeing it.
Once and for all reason, many inventors are unwilling to share their invention with people they don’t know. Further, once an invention is shared publicly, international patent rights can be lost, as well as the one-year timeline within which a United states patent application needs to be filed generally has started to tick. Because of this, many inventors rush out and file a complete-blown, product ideas. That addresses the uncertainties as well as enables inventors to alert individuals who their invention is “patent pending.”
However, this method has several downsides. First, utility patents and also patent applications can cost many thousands. Eventually, an inventor might find the expense outweighs the benefit. Second, during the early stages, most invention designs remain evolving. Filing a patent too soon could imply that it doesn’t actually reflect probably the most evolved designs and drawings. Third–and many important, for me–this investment has been made before an inventor has conducted real consumer research to validate marketability in the product.
Two solutions that numerous 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 very best of both worlds. At a small fraction of the fee for a utility patent application, a provisional patent application will not be actually a patent. It never will convert to a patent or become public, unless further action is taken. A provisional patent application is really a such as a place holder. Basically, you will be laying claim to the filing date of your provisional patent application when and if you elect to apply for a complete utility patent as much as 1 year from the moment you file your provisional patent application. So if you want to file a provisional patent application on March 1, 2010, so you then decide to file a utility patent application eleven months afterwards February 1, 2011, the priority date to your utility patent application can be thought to be March 1, 2010, for all those material substantively disclosed and enabled within your provisional application.
From your date you file your provisional patent application, you will find the legal right to write “patent pending” on your own prototype and show it to whomever you want. At the same time, you simply will not lose your international patent rights and might still opt to file your utility patent application. However it provides you with 1 year to build up your product and gain market information prior to actually must create the final decision on whether to file utility and international patent applications.
While technically you are able to write and file this application yourself, I would recommend you do it with a few guidance and, at the least, a review from a inventions ideas.
Every product carries a name, or it should. Once you start using the name with prospective licensees and customers, the invention actually becomes synonymous with the name. I have seen this happen over and over. And then there are merely countless names a specific thing could take that fulfill the criteria of being both catchy capable to be registered.
So give all the considered to names for your personal product as possible, and include questions about the name in your consumer research. Once you decide on your preferred name, trademark the name. When you speak to prospective licensees, use the name. (Note: I did not say you ought to inform them you are hooked on the name). However if they become familiar with your product’s name, they are going to see your trademark as another valuable asset you are bringing on the table. Additionally it may further limit potential encroachment from likely competitors or knockoff products.
The underpinnings of trademark law are founded in the principle of first in use, first in right. Filing of any trademark application typically constitutes use, but so does simply while using trademark. In reality, in certain states you must utilize the trademark publicly before filing a trademark application, and then in the federal trademark system, a trademark should be used in interstate commerce before it might register. Therefore, make use of trademark.
Once you’ve settled on and adopted your trademark you must identify it as being a trademark through the use of either ™ or ® as appropriate. Examine your local state laws regarding the usage of.
In the majority of states, trademark rights might be asserted regionally for free, by just utilizing the T to some product (completed by typing the letters “t” and “m” between two parentheses. The writing program automatically shrinks and raises it to get the T appearance.)
Second, a trademark might be registered with the United states Patent and Trademark office and overseas. This really is a faster process, taking only 10 to 14 months. Once it can be registered as a Usa 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 merely tools in your inventing tool box. Utilizing the right tool can be quite valuable. The nicest thing about patent idea is that it can buy you time to determine which other tools may be necessary. Likewise, trademarks are a valuable tool inventors overlook.