How To Protect Your Invention Idea
Posted on February 6, 2010 by Jamie Slaughter, with 11408 views
For many inventors coming up with a new idea is a long and painful process. It is not as simple as thinking of a new product, making it and putting it out for sale. You have to make sure the idea is unique, do market research to make sure it is something that people really want, build and rebuild your idea and make many adjustments. This whole process can take years and become very expensive. This is why it is very important to protect you invention idea so that no one can steal it. It would be extremely frustrating to make something only to have it stolen and you make no money from it at all.
In actual fact it is the inventions that are protected quickest which are often the most successful. A great example of this is the Dyson vacuum cleaner. The cyclone technologies on this brand of hoover were patented years before the vacuum was released.
If you have a great idea then you need to make sure that the product you have "invented" is actually brand new and hasn't already been done. Usually you can find this information at your local library. This really should be one of the first steps that you undertake because you don't want to be spending time, money and effort on something that someone has already tried. Also you need to consider whether only you like your invention or whether it is something that will actually sell in the real world.
What is vitally important is that you do not let word get out about your invention. As soon as you think you have hit on something that is going to work well then you need to contact a patent agent or solicitor. They will help you file an application to have your idea patented and until this is passed you they are the only people you should discuss your invention with. Any patent will be worthless if it can be proved your idea was already in the public domain. If this helps then it means anyone can choose to use your idea and possibly beat you to getting it on sale and therefore making your version more or less worthless.
Actually putting together patent documents is a skilled job and to make sure that you get this done correctly you should hire a professional. A patent agent or attorney will go through your patent from every direction to make sure that you are covered from all angles. The cost of this can be anything up to $5,000. However it should always be done properly to make sure you are protected and no one can copy your idea.
A lot of patent agents will also be able to give you help and advice on the companies to contact to get your product manufactured. They will also be able to arrange for a professionally drawn confidentiality agreement to be made up if the company are interested or require more information.
It may also be worth contacting solicitor specializing in 'intellectual property', the global term for patent, copyright, trademarks and design registration for their help and advice.