Why is Apple one of the most valuable technology companies with unique products? Why can’t other companies imitate Apple? Why is Coca-Cola the most valuable brand in the world? The answer is that these companies are legally protected?
One of the worst mistakes new entrepreneurs make is taking their business idea or product to the marketplace without first protecting it. Just as there are armed robbers and thieves in life, so also do they exist in the business world. There are individuals who earn a living by stealing other people’s works or ideas and believe it or not, these individuals and companies are well positioned to put you out of business. Now how do you protect your company and your ideas from the big bad wolves of the business world. Well, you can do that through legal protection vehicles such as patents, trademarks and copyrights.
Obtaining legal protection for your original product or innovation, or determining how to protect an idea or invention through a valid patent, is one of the most important steps you can take for your business. A business can be built and earnings generated based on that original idea of yours. Hence, it is but just fitting to devote attention and allot resources to getting legal protection for that idea. You may stumble into offers to obtain a patent quickly and affordably, but be wary of these. It may be better to opt for a knowledgeable patent attorney or agent rather than deep-discount providers.
How to protect an idea or invention: Basic things you should know about the patent process
Seek the services of an experienced patent attorney or agent
Getting an experienced patent agent or somebody with track record of experience in licensing and business negotiations that can fetch you a good deal can pay off; despite the fact that such individual might be quite expensive. It is very important to deal with people you can trust. If you are using a third party to complete some requirements, like drawings, it is also important to get a professional that will not only turn in work on schedule, but also guarantee security. In any case, it is really up to you the inventor not to discuss the original invention with anyone until the patent application is filed.
Be prepared financially and mentally for the process
Even after a patent has been obtained, you must understand that there is still the possibility of losing the patent right. One way this can happen is when the patent owner fails to pay maintenance fees, or if the claims you made turns out to be legally inadequate. An utility patent (for inventions that are useful and unique) can last up to 20 years. In the US, the Patent Office requires payment for three maintenance fees.
Determining how to protect an idea or invention can be a good step, because if you comply with all the required rules to get a patent, you can protect your intellectual property or original idea and then extend its use to others; for a price. Finding out what makes something patentable and setting out to fulfill the requirements can all pay off in the end. A patented product deters competitors from imitating it. It also gives the inventor peace of mind.
Benefits of Protecting your Idea or Invention
Having exclusive control over the rights to an invention or intellectual property lets you reap several benefits. Among others, it prevents other firms or individuals from making something very similar and selling your own original invention. To ensure that you get a patent and that your patent right isn’t lost even after you’ve already acquired it, take a closer look and assess if your product or invention offers a unique solution to a problem, has a large market potential, and if it can be produced and sold at a profit.
In conclusion, knowing how to protect an idea or invention with a patent or any other legal vehicle can begin with a keen awareness of what is already out in the market. Working with a registered patent attorney or firm that puts importance to the confidentiality of your idea, and offers professional expertise to launch and transform a new idea into a patented property will greatly help. So if you have an exceptionally good product idea that meets the criteria for patenting, do not lose valuable time. Learn about the patent process first and foremost by updating your knowledge, and seek assistance from qualified experts in the field of patents.