Most people think that intellectual property is something they should consider when they have created an invention, written a book, or designed a logo. While this is true (and it is imperative that you do get the legal rights to your creation) this is not always the step at which you want to protect your invention. One of the most important parts about creating an invention is actually pitching the invention. You may have this amazing idea for something that could potentially help many people, but first, you need to tell others about your invention so that you can get the funding needed to begin manufacturing it. When this is the case, you should consider protecting your invention by this stage. A patent attorney, can help you protect your invention when you need it.
Why should you protect your invention early on in this stage?
This is a great question. Perhaps you are someone who doesn’t like to think the worst in people. However, especially when you are inventing a product, you should always be wary that someone else may try to take it. Thus, it is possible that when you are pitching your new, great invention to a company, they may steal your invention and market it as their own. How can you protect your work? There are two options:
- A provisional patent
- A nondisclosure agreement
Filing a Provisional Patent Application
As with any type of intellectual property, it can be complicated to file the application. This is where your trusted intellectual property attorneys can help you. Your attorney can help you to determine if your invention would qualify for a patent and if it does, you may have the opportunity to file for a provisional patent. This is typically where you see the “patent pending” label on an item. When you have not yet gotten the backing necessary for your invention but want to ensure your legal rights are made clear, this can be a good route to go.
Creating a Nondisclosure Agreement
Another option you may have is filing a nondisclosure agreement. When you speak with a company or business about getting funding for your invention, you can have your attorney write up a nondisclosure agreement for the company to sign before you ever tell them about your invention. If someone were to break the nondisclosure agreement (NDA), you would have the right to sue for damages.