Archive for the ‘IP Protection’ Category

Intellectual Property Protection- Checklist Week 1

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Store Shelves…CHECK! Royalties…CHECK!

Over the next couple weeks our newsletter is going to be based on a checklist for getting your patent to market. Each step is crucial, so keep updated with the newsletter!



Protecting your intellectual property is the first and most important step in the inventing process. Use the USPTO’s recommendations to ensure that you are as protected as you think you are. There are ways to market and sell your intellectual property without formal filing, but the only way to GUARANTEE that you are protected is to make sure that you are patented.

I highly recommend starting with a provisional patent. They are inexpensive compared to a full patent, and they protect you for a year while you are doing market research. The results of your research will let you know if you want to continue to move forward and spend the money for a full patent.

protecting my idea

While you are awaiting your provisional patent, you will be in a patent pending status. This is good, but there is always a chance that you could be denied for one reason or another. In order to make sure that you are covered, use partial disclosure when you describe your idea to anyone that has not signed a non-disclosure agreement.

If you are wondering how to explain your idea without giving it away, use this to help you:

“Selling intellectual property is like selling a cake. Show the buyer how good it looks. Show the buyer how good it smells. Let the buyer taste how good it tastes. You can show them why it will work and why it will sell, but you don’t have to give them the recipe.”

Anyone who knows about your non-patented intellectual property should be signing a non-disclosure agreement. Now when I say anyone, I mean anyone. Friends can easily become foes, people get divorced, and some people just have big mouths. If they know that they are legally bound to keeping your idea a secret, they will be more likely to actually do it. Keep several non-disclosure agreements on hand and this will be easier to accomplish.

This week: Protect your idea and CHECK it off the list!

Next week: Creating a prototype and drawings!

About the author of this article:

Lindsey Yeauger is the Director of Communications for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that owns and operates The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at

Selling Your Patent

Friday, January 4th, 2008

A Simple Guide to Selling Your Patent, Selling a Patent, Sell a Patent

Selling Your Patent Selling a patent can be a great way to turn stagnant but valuable intellectual property into cash. Selling a patent is a great option for those who don’t necessarily have the resources to bring a product to market themselves yet can show the potential the patent would have if produced and marketed. This article discusses how to increase your chances of selling your patent and provides a basic education on the subject.

Selling A Patent: Critical Elements

To sell a patent, it is critical that one can demonstrate that it is valubale, that potential customers are interested in it, and have an idea of how much they want to receive in exchange for the patent. It is also critical that the patent is presented for sale to companies in a professional manner and for what it is; a business opportunity. While selling a patent can get complicated, that is a good problem to have. The key is to market your patent as much as possible and get interested parties to the table. It is better to fire and then aim rather than get locked into paralysis analysis. If companies do not know about your patent, they cannot make you an offer or plan on putting the product into their product line. Get out there and do what it takes to reach companies.

Selling Your Patent: Sacrifices

That said, there are some potential drawbacks to selling. After all, what if it becomes a huge hit? More concretely, what if you sell your patent for $100,000 and it generates $10,000,000 in profits for the new owner? This is a very real possibility that you must reckon with before selling. For many people, this possibility is enough to scare them (irrationally) into rejecting perfectly good offers and holding onto their patent indefinitely. However, you can and should make this decision intelligently. Think long and hard about your idea. Is it so innovative, so groundbreaking, so over-the-top revolutionary that it is going to redefine an industry? Or are there similar products out there for sale already? In the former case, you might want to hold on to your idea or hold out for a higher sum. In the latter case, however, you need to realize that as the intellectual property ages it could become worth less money and you could be missing out on big opportunities. Our recommendation is to also consider licensing if you are interested in future profits (There are many companies that are open to licensing as it provides less up front cash and puts some of the risk on the patent owner. Licensing your patent grants exploitation rights to a licensee in exchange for royalties and performance options to ensure the licensee acts to make the patent a success for you. For a more in-depth explanation of patent licensing, see our article on the subject.)

Selling Your Patent: Making the Pitch

How do you actually go about selling a patent? Several options exist, and you should choose the one that best matches your strengths and resources. One way to sell your patent is through direct contact. While working with personal contacts is ideal, many patent holders do not have the network to be personally introduced to executives. When you do make contact with a firm, you want to present yourself as a business man or woman (I.E.- Product Developer, Founder, etc), not a mere inventor. This exudes an air of professionalism that established companies prefer. Then, request a face-to-face meeting with a Sales Manager or Product Manager within the company. Now, a word of caution is in order. You only want to schedule such a meeting if and when you have secured a patent for your idea. Otherwise, you have to ask the company to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements which they are unlikely to sign for standard business reasons. Therefore, a patent is your best (and often, only) means of selling your patent through direct contact methods. Here, you will encounter companies or people interested in your product and potentially buying it.

Selling Your Patent: Focus on Generating Interest

If you have secured the patent already, you are in prime position to market it to interested parties and evaluate potential buyers in your quest to profit from your labor. You can create a listing on our website in less than 10 minutes and immediately expand your network to thousands of companies that are looking for innovative new products to license or purchase in their industry.
Eric Corl is the Founder and CEO of, the online marketplace for intellectual property. The site helps innovators generate interest among consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email him at You can visit the site by clicking here > Patents for Sale.

Nondisclosure Agreement And Intellectual Property

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

by Alexander Gordon

Modern age companies, unlike the traditional firms, are spending colossal amount of resources in two key areas i.e. a) undertaking research and b) training manpower. These resources contribute to firm’s hard earned intellectual property pool. Another key distinction among the firms of then and now is the growing decentralization wherein firms are no longer trying to stay in a cocoon and avoid any outsiders. This era is marked by growth through expansion and external investment. However any such growth or transition not only implies external investment but also is indicative of involvement of more players, of which many could not be trustworthy. But to succeed it is imperative to open out. Than what is the way out to prevent miss-use of such information spread among associates, colleagues and employees?

Enables Spread of Information in the Desired Form: A nondisclosure agreement with the information sharers proves to be a handy tool in such situations. This vital instrument helps prevention of flow of key research outputs and other such information to any undesired sources, while at the same time keeping the requisite details available for all concerned. Such an understanding among associates not only substantiates as a legal document in any eventual legal proceedings but the only existence of the same de-motivates all concerned to take any action against the company’s interest.

Keeps a Check on Competition: A nondisclosure agreement therefore acts as a preventive tool and at the same time curbs internal competition by preventing those involved from opening up their own individual initiatives in the same field of work in a specified area for a particular period. This is your information and therefore does not deserve to be used by others for personal use.

Acts As an Employee Retention Tool: A clearly defined nondisclosure agreement between the employer and employees also acts as an important instrument against increasing instances of employee fraud. A limiting factor, which discourages employee to join direct competition for better packages, is like magical wand to the disturbed employees who spend enormous amounts just to recruit, train and retain employees. Nobody wants to be training school, especially for competition, than why not prevent loss of such crucial intellectual property resources.

Various Non- Disclosure Agreements (NDA) are posted online and cane be referred to for making an NDA. However to ascertain if the same fulfills the desired guidelines and covers the loopholes depending upon the company’s functioning within the legal framework it is advised to get the same made form the professional. This would though entail a one time fee, yet this cost could save those enormous losses arising out of miss-management on account of information and resources i.e. company’s valuable intellectual property.

Alexander Gordon is a writer for – The Small Business Consulting Community. Sign-up for the free success steps newsletter and get our booklet valued at $24.95 for free as a special bonus. The newsletter provides daily strategies on starting and significantly growing a business.

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Protect your Idea with an NDA

Monday, August 13th, 2007

How To Use A NDA to Protect Your Idea When You Don’t Have A Patent

For most of the companies found over the market today, a most valuable asset is the IP(Intellectual Property). advises you to take proper and necessary steps for protecting your own asset to utilize with full potential. A NDA or a Non-Disclosure Agreement is often called as statement of confidentiality. This statement allows a company for sharing an Intellectual property with others around you without jeopardizing information. For instance, if you are having a new product, say, a proper Non disclosure agreement will ensure that the expert is not handling the details of your new product.

A Non-Disclosure agreement is a kind of legal contract between an individual and another one. Further more, you also agree thereby for disclosing certain important information for a specific purpose. Also, they agree not to expose any information to public. A Non disclosure agreement is the only way for protecting your intellectual property. You use NDA when you are having information which you should convey to someone, but not to pass that to anyone else.

When you don’t have a patent, NDA will be very helpful for making a strong agreement. Many companies may have a NDA like, as posted over the web for some reasons. There are lots of similarities within them; still they show a very huge range of industry. As for any legal document such as a non-disclosure agreement, you may need to consult a trained professional to avoid certain legal problems. But, better don’t rely on the forms which are available on the net unless/until you are well qualified to do that.

Intellectual Property

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

by Dr. Louis M. Scarmoutzos

Intellectual Property (IP) is a valuable asset that is included in a company’s “balance sheet” and provides additional valuation to a company. For early stage and small companies, IP may be the company’s sole or primary asset base.

Intellectual Property includes patents, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and trade secrets. This value-added asset can be sold, bought and traded as a part of everyday commerce.

It is important for a company to know what IP it has and how to enhance the company’s IP position which, in turn, enhances the company’s valuation.

Patents are often the most valuable IP asset for most companies. Strictly speaking there are three types of U.S. patents:

(1) Design Patents (for example, an ornamental design for an article of manufacture)
(2) Plant Patents (for example, an asexually produced flower or plant)
(3) Utility Patents

The most common patent for technology-based companies are utility patents. Utility patents are granted to inventors according to the Patent Act, which can be found at Title 35 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) and states as follows:

“Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefore, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.” (35 U.S.C., §101)

Equally as important as what is patentable is what is not patentable. What are not patentable are:

(1) Laws of nature
(2) Physical phenomena
(3) Abstract ideas
(4) Products of nature

However, what constitutes patentable subject matter has come under broad interpretation as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Diamond vs. Chakraborty (1980), which established that companies or individuals could receive utility patents for newly created organisms. Since then, the biotechnology industry has argued that patents should issue on genes, proteins and other natural materials which have commercial value.

Primarily as an effort to boost U.S. eminence and competitiveness to the then fledgling but growing biotech industry, shortly after the Diamond vs. Chakraborty decision the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) began issuing patents on products of nature including genes (human or otherwise), gene fragments, cell lines, proteins and other naturally occurring substances.

As a result of increasingly growing criticism, the USPTO has recently issued utility patent guidelines and rules regarding a stricter definition of what is invented or patentable. These new guidelines and rules call for utility patents to have “specific and substantial utility that is credible.”

No longer will it be sufficient to claim that a particular biological or molecular probe (DNA, protein, etc.) to be a useful probe, the new utility test calls for specific utility regarding that particular molecular probe (i.e., a probe for a particular gene, a probe for a specific disease state or a probe for a defined location on a chromosome).

In addition, it is no longer acceptable to make general claims regarding utility and usefulness. For example, it will not be acceptable to claim that a protein is a source of amino acids or a feed supplement or a dietary supplement, but real-world utility must be specified and demonstrated.

The new utility patent guidelines and rules will have a profound effect on the biotech and related industries.

Visit for additional information concerning Intellectual Property and the business of science and technology.

Louis M. Scarmoutzos, Ph.D., or “Dr. Lou” as his colleagues and friends fondly call him, is President & Founder of MVS Solutions, Inc., a corporate and technology development company focused on the biotech, chemistry, pharma, medical and related industries.

Dr. Scarmoutzos received his B.S. cum laude in Chemistry from Boston College, a Ph.D. summa cum laude in Physical Organic Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Scarmoutzos serves as a Principal Advisor to the Los Angeles Research and Technology Association (Larta) Life Sciences Technology Group and a Principal Advisor in the National Institutes of Health Commercialization Assistance Program (NIH-CAP). Additional info about Dr. Scarmoutzos and MVS Solutions may be found at or via email at

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Protect Your Business With Non-Disclosure Agreements

Monday, August 6th, 2007

by Richard Chapo

Every business should protect proprietary information when dealing with independent contractors, vendors and other businesses. The best way to do this is to use a non-disclosure agreement, often referred to as an “NDA.”

What is an NDA?

An NDA is an agreement between two parties to protect confidential information disclosed in a business transaction. The proprietary information can include business methods, finances, client lists, and anything that isn’t already readily available in the public arena. If a party subsequently breaches the NDA, the injured party can sue for damages, an injunction against further disclosure and attorney’s fees.

Directional NDA

In many situations, only one party requires the protection provided by an NDA. If you invent a new product, you are going to need an NDA from manufacturers, distributors, etc., before you discuss the product with them. While this may seem like common sense, most businesses fail to carry the thought through to their daily activities.

Practically every business hires independent contractors, but they rarely obtain NDAs prior to disclosing information to the contractors. For example, do you use third parties to create or maintain your websites? Did you obtain NDAs from any of them? If not, what’s to keep that party from using your business methods on other sites? A directional NDA can keep this from occurring.

Mutual NDA

As the name suggest, a mutual NDA allows two parties to protect confidential information. The mutual NDA is typically used when two businesses are negotiating a joint venture. Each party must disclose enough information to make the negotiations viable, but neither wants that information made public if the negotiations fail. If negotiations go well, additional non-disclosure information will be incorporated into the joint venture agreement to protect additional information revealed during the joint venture.

Refusing to Sign an NDA

Alarms and warning lights should go off if a party refuses to sign your NDA. Unless they can provide a very compelling reason for the refusal, you should walk away from the business relationship.

When An NDA isn’t really an NDA

Just because a document is titled, “Non-Disclosure Agreement”, does not mean it provides you with protection. You should ALWAYS read the language of an NDA because the document may establish that you are WAIVING all confidentiality rights. The waiver might be very direct and read something like, “The disclosure of information pursuant to this Agreement shall not be considered confidential.” Alternatively, the language may be more indirect and read, “The parties acknowledge and agree that all information exchanged pursuant to this agreement has previously been established in public forums.” Regardless, the “reverse NDAs” strip you of protection and should not be signed.

Obtaining non-disclosure agreements should be a standard practice for your business. Don’t exposure your proprietary business secrets to others without this protection.

Richard Chapo is the lead attorney for the law firm – a firm providing legal advice to California businesses. This article is for general education purposes and does not address every facet of the subject matter. Nothing in this article creates an attorney-client relationship.

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Patent an Idea

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

How to get a Patent for your Idea

by Jill Dow

Do you have a great new idea? Are you an aspiring new inventor? Are you scared someone might try to steal your idea or invention? Are you wondering if your idea or invention is even new? Would you like to know how to get a patent for your idea or invention? If so, please read on for answers to these common patent questions.

Invention patents are obtained through the U.S. Patent Office. All of the information needed for obtaining an invention patent and the patent filing procedures are listed at their website: Here, you can download and file your patent application electronically.

Not everyone can obtain a patent for their inventions or ideas. If your invention has already been created, or if it is just an improvement of someone else’s patented invention, you cannot obtain a patent for it. You can do a patent search at to see if your idea has already been thought of.

When you’re ready to obtain a patent, you can either file yourself or get the help of a patent attorney. Patent attorneys are available anywhere, but make sure you find a reputable one because they can be quite expensive. You’ll also have to pay patent application fees when you file.

There are 3 different types of patents: utility, design, and plant. Each type of patent has a different application. The patent application should include the inventor, a description of the invention, what the invention does, drawings, charts, testimonials, and any other information about the invention. You must also submit the application fees upon filing.

Next, your patent application will be reviewed. The patent examiner will do a patent search to be sure your invention is unique. If he determines it is unique, you will get a patent. If it is not found to be unique, you will not receive the patent and you must argue against it or try to file again.

Once you have the patent, be sure to get the help of an Invention Development Organization (IDO). An IDO will help you to market your idea and invention. They will also help you protect your invention and its patent by keeping a look out for copy cat inventors that will try to mimic your invention.

This is all of the basic information you need to know to obtain a patent for your idea. The U.S. patent office receives over 350,000 patent applications a year, so the application process for your patent idea can take a very long time. Be patient and remain optimistic. If you have a truly remarkable idea or invention your chances of obtaining a patent are excellent!

For more information on obtaining a patent and resources for patent searches, patent applications and other patent help see

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