Discover how to protect your idea even before you submit a formal patent application.
Intellectual property is valuable. Inventions might provide you a competitive advantage or increase your market share. However, they may be stolen, just like any other piece of property. Although a patent is one of the greatest kinds of intellectual property protection available, it takes time to perfect an idea before patenting it. The preparation of the patent application is equally costly and time-consuming. Before you register for a patent, your concept might be stolen at any time. As a result, adequate protection is critical.
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Keep it hidden
The most efficient approach to protect ideas is to maintain them as a trade secret, but determining how to protect an idea may be difficult. You must vet everyone with whom you do business, from workers to partners, require everyone to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before obtaining the private information, and guarantee that the innovation is utilized in a way that secures its confidentiality. The good news is that applying these methods will qualify you for protection under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act if the innovation has independent economic worth (increases your earnings, essentially) (UTSA). Except for the states of New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts, the UTSA is meant to protect trade secrets from misuse by allowing injunctive relief and damages against parties that gained your concept via illicit methods, such as espionage or theft.
Get a Provisional Patent.
The UTSA does not protect you against legal methods of developing the same concept, such as reverse engineering or independently developing the same invention. In this instance, submitting a Provisional Patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office may be a viable option. It will provide you with a 12-month term in which to file a legitimate, non-provisional patent application. When you submit the non-provisional application, the patent protection you obtain is retrospectively applied all the way back to the filing date of the provisional application, rather than beginning with the filing date of the non-provisional application.