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

Ideas are incredibly prized. Billion dollar businesses are often built on a single imagined. Lots of million dollar businesses are far too. So if you have a fine 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 take care of the idea a secret, is more than likely not a surprise. Why would anyone publish a very important 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 to prevent anyone else while 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, no-one else receive a patent for that idea. Patents invention companies can also be were accustomed to ward off patent infringement lawsuits.

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

The biggest problem with a patent, besides cost, is even just a single must disclose the idea to get the patent. For many inventions this doesn't matter. For example, for the price of the product, everyone know the inventive improvements to a new television set or possibly a more efficient carburetor. However, if the invention is someone which is hard to see, like an inexpensive way to produce high-grade steel or route cellular telephone calls, then since it is invention public with a patent might not be a good goal. Instead, it may be more profitable to keep the idea a secret, protecting the idea without a evident.

Using trade secret laws, one can stop employees yet others that learn the secret from you from profiting from which it. Patents expire are 20 years, but secrets never expire, so a secret could getting a patent 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 cons 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 quickly as an idea is published, no one else in society can patent of which.

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

If an inventor doesn't file for their patent on the idea within a year of its publication, the idea becomes part of the fans domain. However, for the duration of the public domain, a published idea is still valuable intellectual property. The published idea is prior art typically used to invalidate patents that are asserted against the ideas for inventions 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 people in the world, along with 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 that same idea and perhaps latter suing yourself.

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