If you need to get a US patent for something you created, it can potentially take years to do. The US patent office is known for being extremely slow, which makes filing a patent a frustrating experience for inventors. When you have a great idea and want to start your own company, you need the proper protection so that someone else cannot copy your idea. Consider these 3 tips that will improve your chances of legally protecting your idea.
Foreign Country Patents
It's actually possible to file your patent with another country that will process it much faster. It will give you coverage that you need fast, effectively protecting your idea since there are still legal consequences if another person tries to duplicate it.
Having a patent that is already approved in another country will also show that there is legitimacy behind your patent, and show that there is a high chance of it eventually being approved with the US patent office. This can lead to getting more investors, since they know that the idea is patentable.
Provisional patents are a great way to receive the protection you need. It is typically processed in a fast manner by the US patent office since it isn't a true patent, but a placeholder. It will allow you to legally say that your idea is "patent pending", which includes putting the phrase on physical products.
You will have 1 year to file paperwork for the actual patent, which can be done while you are developing your idea into a product. Provisional patents can even be extended an additional year if necessary, giving you additional time for development.
Trademarks are processed faster than patents and can be another way to protect your idea. A trademark shows that you are making a claim of ownership of your idea, as well as the exclusive rights to use a name or phrase when discussing it. Since it is what people will say when talking about your invention, having ownership of that phrase is crucial to preventing others from using it for themselves.
For example, the person that invented Sriracha sauce never took the time to trademark the name Sriracha. As a result, other companies were able to make products that were similar with the exact same name. While a patent will prevent people from making an exact copy of your idea, the trademark will help avoid confusion in the marketplace when others attempt to make their own version of your product.
For more help with patents and trademarks, speak to a patent attorney in your area for assistance.Share