Two great tools for inventors that won’t break your checking account: provisional patent applications and trademarks.
Successfully licensing an invention or taking a product to promote requires research and the ability to speak with people regarding your invention. It is impossible for a manufacturer or retail buyer to agree to something without seeing it.
Once and for all reason, many inventors are hesitant to share their invention with others they don’t know. Further, once an invention is shared publicly, international patent rights might be lost, along with the one-year timeline within that your Usa patent application needs to be filed generally has started to tick. For this reason, many inventors rush out and file a full-blown, invention idea. That addresses the uncertainties and in addition enables inventors to alert people who their invention is “patent pending.”
However, this approach has several downsides. First, utility patents and in many cases patent applications may cost many lots of money. Eventually, an inventor might discover that this expense outweighs the main benefit. Second, in early stages, most invention designs remain evolving. Filing a patent too early could signify it doesn’t actually reflect the most evolved designs and drawings. Third–and a lot important, in my opinion–this investment continues to be made before an inventor has conducted real researching the market to validate marketability of your product.
Two solutions that a great many 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 expense of a utility patent application, a provisional patent application is not really actually a patent. It never will convert to some patent or become public, unless further action is taken. A provisional patent application is actually a similar to a place holder. Basically, you might be laying state they the filing date of your provisional patent application if and when you elect to file for a full utility patent up to 12 months from the moment you file your provisional patent application. So if you want to file a provisional patent application on March 1, 2010, and you also then choose to file a utility patent application eleven months at a later time February 1, 2011, the priority date to your utility patent application could be thought to be March 1, 2010, for all those material substantively disclosed and enabled inside your provisional application.
In the date you file your provisional patent application, there is the legal right to publish “patent pending” on the prototype and show it to whomever you desire. Along the way, you will not lose your international patent rights and can still choose to file your utility patent application. However it will give you one year to formulate your products or services and gain market information before you decide to actually must make your final choice on if you should file utility and international patent applications.
While technically you may write and file this application yourself, I would recommend that you simply do it with a few guidance and, at the very least, an overview from a patent an idea.
Every product has a name, or it must. Once you start making use of the name with prospective licensees and customers, the invention actually becomes synonymous with the name. I have got seen this happen time and time again. And then there are merely a lot of names an item might take that match the criteria being both catchy and able to be registered.
So give the maximum amount of thought to names for your product as is possible, and may include queries about the name within your market research. After you settle on the preferred name, trademark the name. When you consult with prospective licensees, make use of the name. (Note: I did not say you need to let them know you might be hooked on the name). However, if they become used to your product’s name, they will see your trademark as another valuable asset you might be bringing for 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 used, first in right. Filing of your trademark application typically constitutes use, but so does simply utilizing the trademark. The truth is, in certain states you have to take advantage of 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 can register. Therefore, make use of trademark.
Once you’ve settled on and adopted your trademark you ought to identify it as a trademark by utilizing either ™ or ® as appropriate. Check your local state laws regarding using.
Generally in most states, trademark rights can be asserted regionally totally free, simply by utilizing the T to a product (carried out 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 could be registered with all the Usa Patent and Trademark office and overseas. This really is a faster process, taking only 10 to 14 months. Once it is actually registered as a United states federally registered trademark, make use of the ® (also typed by inserting the “r” between parentheses).
I actually have always stated 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 new invention ideas is it can buy you time to find out which other tools may be necessary. Likewise, trademarks can be a valuable tool inventors overlook.