Three Options for Protecting Your Idea Including Patents, Secrets, and Publishing

Three Options for Protecting Your Idea Including Patents, Secrets, and Publishing

Ideas are incredibly irreplaceable. Billion dollar businesses are often built on a single idea. Lots of million dollar businesses are too. So if you have an experienced idea, you should do one of three things with it: patent it, keep it secret, and publish it.

The suggestion to patent an new invention idea idea, or keep your idea a secret, is likely to be not a surprise. But why would anyone publish a very important idea? To understand why publishing is advantageous, one must first understand the good reasons to patent or keep secret an idea.

Patenting an invention provides each patent holder the to be invention able to prevent anyone else while using that invention. The patent makes the idea more significant because the patent holder has a legal monopoly. Competition can be restrained to greatly increase benefits. In addition, after one files to patent an idea, a single else receive a patent for that idea. Patents can also be made to ward off patent infringement lawsuits.

Unfortunately, patents as well expensive. Patenting excellent ideas can be prohibitively expensive, for large corporations. Still, one's best ideas should be protected with a eclatant.

The biggest drawback to a patent, besides cost, is certain must disclose plan seems to be to get the patent. For many inventions this isn't important. For example, for your price of the product, everyone can easily see the inventive improvements to a new television set perhaps a more efficient carburetor. However, if the invention is a factor is hard to see, like a lower priced way to produce high-grade steel or route cellular telephone calls, then proper invention public having a patent might do not be a good hint. Instead, it may be more profitable to keep a idea a secret, protecting the idea without a patent.

Using trade secret laws, one can stop employees and others that learn the secret from you from profiting from it. Patents expire are 20 years, but secrets never expire, so a secret could theoretically last forever. Unfortunately, trade secret laws will not protect your secret idea if someone else discovers it one her own. Worse, if someone else did discover your secret, she could try to patent the idea.

Publishing an idea shares advantages and downsides with both patenting and secrecy. Like keeping an idea secret, publishing is essentially free. Like a patent, publishing also protects by preventing others from invention idea patenting the idea. Just as an idea is published, a single else in the field of can patent getting this done.

However, in the United States, the inventor still has one year after publication to file a patent submission. So you could publish your idea, preventing every else from patenting it, and then wait a year before filing for a patent. This essentially gives the inventor free protection to obtain year.

If an inventor doesn't file for a patent on the idea within a year of its publication, the idea becomes part of the fans domain. However, in the course of the public domain, a published idea is still valuable intellectual property. The published idea is prior art that will be used to invalidate patents that are asserted against the inventor. In fact, a published idea is just as useful as a patent in invalidating other patents.

If you don't patent or keep secret an idea, you should publish it. There are seven billion individuals the world, and then they generate two million patent applications every year, plus countless other publications. Someone will have your idea soon. Ideas that you don't patent should be published to prevent others patenting that same idea and perhaps latter suing anyone.
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