Do you have an invention or idea that you want to patent? There are three major factors in patenting success. Most people think that all they have to do is come up with a good idea for a product and they can instantly get a patent.
Unfortunately it is not that easy. Getting a patent requires hard work and meeting three specific objectives that you should make sure you have before you even start. Those three things are usefulness, novelty, and non-obviousness and you can read about them on https://wp.nyu.edu/dispatch/2018/11/12/inventhelp-the-vibrant-business-of-inventing/ in details.
Usefulness is probably the easiest of the three factors to prove. It obviously means that the invention must be useful to someone. That mean simply useful to the inventor seek a patent. Usefulness includes that fact that the invention actually operates that way it was intended to. You cannot patent an idea for a product or invention. You may only patent the actual working invention.
Novelty means a product or process for doing something, a design that has never before existed in all of human kind. No one has ever heard of or seen anything like this before.
If the invention has ever been publicly talked about or a report published about it before the applicant for a patent applied for a patent, it will be declined. If you have an invention it is best not to talk about it until you file for a patent.
If you have publically talked about the invention or have publically sold the product in the U.S. you must file a patent application within one year of these events or you forfeit your right for a patent.
To have patenting success your invention must be truly unique. Make sure that there are not any similar products on the market. Differentiate your product from any similar product in a significant way. If you do not, you may not meet the novelty requirement.
This means that the invention is so unique that an expert in the field would not have normally thought of it. For example, a software designer may add a small feature to an already existing design and try to patent it. This is not non-obviousness. You can just alter a few things and call it a new invention. If you develop a new piece of software and another expert in the field says “Wow! I wish I had thought of that” you have non-obviousness.
If you have an invention that meets the three factors discussed above you have a fairly good chance of getting a patent. Keep in mind though, that you truly have to prove these things to some pretty tough judges. The U.S. patent office (commonly known as the US PTO) has some stringent guidelines you must meet and it is very well explained here – http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/inventhelp-can-help-make-young-inventors-dreams-into-reality/2018/07/20.
Being the first to invent a marketable idea or product has many rewards. Licensing an invention to business entities or individuals expands opportunities for increasing wealth. At the same time, a person’s invention could be in jeopardy as details are revealed. Considerations for how to copyright certain works of authorship is also important to expanding opportunities.
While most are happy to partner honestly with an inventor, some might want to copy or steal the idea. It is important to protect an invention before sharing it with others as was discussed in the article on https://sites.duke.edu/perspective/2018/11/12/bringing-ideas-to-the-world-with-inventhelp/.
First Steps of Patent Protection
There are several initial steps to take to protect an invention. Knowing how to copyright the idea or product can guarantee legal protection. Other things to consider:
- File for a provisional patent
- Consider copyright protection
- Prepare a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) for potential customers to sign if the invention is not patentable
- Use caution when disclosing details if customers refuse to sign a NDA and the invention is not patentable
Secure a Patent
A person can file for a provisional patent on an invention that meets certain criteria. Essentially, the invention qualifies for a patent if it is a new process or machinery. The invention could also be an improvement to an existing process or machine.
A patent establishes individual rights to the creation of the invention. Achieving a patent pending status for the invention often deters theft and also provides protects.
The provisional patent is filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or by visiting the website for instructions.
Copyright Patent Protection
Some people confuse patent and copyright. While there are some legal similarities, a few things distinguish the two. A patent protects ideas, inventions and discoveries. A copyright protects original written works. Nevertheless, either a patent or copyright can provide the legal protection needed for an invention.
Knowing how to copyright original works, whether it is a song, music or software can prevent others from reaping the benefits of another’s hard work. Similar to a patent, a person should register with the U.S. Copyright Office for public record of ownership as described in this article from https://www.tmcnet.com/topics/articles/2018/06/13/438460-how-inventhelp-change-business-destiny.htm.
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