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

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

The suggestion to patent an idea, or keep the idea a secret, is most probably not a surprise. But why would anyone publish a useful idea? To understand why publishing is advantageous, you have to first understand the work with patent or keep secret an idea.

Patenting an invention provides patent holder the in order to prevent anyone else from utilizing that invention. The patent invention ideas makes the idea more useful because the patent holder has a legal monopoly. Competition can be restrained to greatly increase sales and profits. In addition, after one files to patent an idea, no-one else receive a patent for that idea. Patents can also be were accustomed file a patent to ward off patent infringement lawsuits.

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

The biggest issue with a patent, besides cost, is any particular must disclose should put a nice to get the patent. For many inventions this is irrelevant. For example, for the price of the product, everyone know the inventive improvements to a new television set or a more efficient carburetor. However, if the invention is a factor is hard to see, like an inexpensive way to produce high-grade steel or route cellular telephone calls, then making the invention public using a patent might not be a good proposition. Instead, it may be more profitable to maintain your idea a secret, protecting the idea without a patent.

Using trade secret laws, one can stop employees yet others that learn technique 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 actually free. Like a patent, publishing also protects by preventing others from patenting the idea. Just as an idea is published, 1 else in the earth can patent this task.

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

If an inventor doesn't file for a patent on primary obstacle within a year of its publication, the idea becomes part of the fans domain. However, even during the public domain, a published idea is still valuable intellectual property. The published idea is prior art that could 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 folks the world, and if they generate two how to get an idea patented 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 you.