How to Protect an Invention or Copyrighted Work from Theft
December 14, 2018
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.
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.