Inventions? Patents? Intellectual Property?

Finally!  You just solved that problem that’s been bugging you for years!  No one else could figure “it” out, but you did last weekend… in your garage… in the lab… on the factory floor….

Hey, should I ‘patent’ IT?”  “Can I patent it?”

A friend suggests filing a patent application immediately (maybe a “Provisional Patent Application” (what’s that, you ask)) while others suggest waiting until you do some tests, build a prototype, do some marketing, get “non-disclosure” agreements… you know – have all your ducks in a row.  But what about the America Invents Act?  Isn’t the U.S. a “first-to-file” country now?  Should you herd the ducks, or file something right away?

A quick search on the internet and a late night infomercial say that you can “get a patent” right away for less than $1,000.00!  Wow!  Really?

With some exceptions, the patenting process typically lasts about 3 years and can cost upwards of $10,000.00 to file a utility patent application and requires a lawyer…despite what that TV ad between the sitcom re-run and the slasher flick says.

Whatever you do, you might want to keep your invention secret until you talk with an IP attorney – a legal adviser with your interests at heart.  {Invention submission companies are usually pushing their products and services whether an invention is worthwhile or not.}

Once you’ve decided to pursue a patent (or a trade secret or a copyright or a trademark), an IP attorney (preferably, a registered patent attorney) will be able to walk you through the appropriate steps, laws, and the different types of patents and other IP and consider various options with you.

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The Legalese: This is not a solicitation for services, an advertisement, or legal advice.