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

Ideas are incredibly valuable. Billion dollar businesses are often built on a single way of thinking. Lots of million dollar businesses are too. So if you have a high quality 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 try and idea a secret, is most probably not a surprise. But why would anyone publish a priceless idea? To understand why publishing is advantageous, one must first understand the good reasons to patent or keep secret an idea.

Patenting an invention gives the patent holder the in order to prevent anyone else by using that invention. The patent makes the idea more valuable because the patent holder has a legal monopoly. Competition can be restrained to greatly increase benefits. In addition, after one files to patent an idea, a single else receive a patent for that idea. Patents can also be employeed to ward off patent infringement lawsuits.

Unfortunately, patents furthermore expensive. Patenting all good ideas can be prohibitively what to do with an invention idea expensive, for large corporations. Still, one's best ideas should be protected with a obvious.

The biggest pitfall with a patent, besides cost, is any particular must disclose the idea to get the patent. For many inventions this does not matter. For example, for that inventions ideas price of the product, everyone can see the inventive improvements to a new television set or a more efficient carburetor. However, if the invention is individuals is hard to see, like a less expensive way to produce high-grade steel or route cellular telephone calls, then since it is invention public using a patent might do not be a good decision. Instead, it may be more profitable to maintain your idea a secret, protecting the idea without a evident.

Using trade secret laws, one can stop employees other people that learn powering from you from profiting from which 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 fundamentally free. Like a patent, publishing also protects by preventing others from patenting the idea. As soon as an idea is published, there's no-one to else in the field of can patent this task.

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

If an inventor doesn't file to your patent on band is supposed to within a year of its publication, the idea becomes part of individuals domain. However, even during the public domain, a published idea is still valuable intellectual property. The published idea is prior art which is often 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 they generate two 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 exact same idea and perhaps latter suing your.