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.
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 IdeaBuyer.com- 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 Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.