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 so. So if you have an experienced 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 more than likely not a surprise. Why would anyone publish a very important idea? To understand why publishing is advantageous, you must first understand the good reasons to patent or keep secret an idea.

Patenting an invention provides each patent holder the to prevent anyone else from using that invention. The patent makes the idea worth more 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 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 eclatant.

The biggest drawback to a patent, besides cost, is that one must disclose the idea to get the patent. For many inventions this doesn't matter. For example, for that price of the product, everyone can see the inventive improvements to a new television set or simply more efficient carburetor. However, if the invention is something that is hard to see, like a less new invention ideas expensive way to produce product ideas high-grade steel or route cellular telephone calls, then making the invention public by using a patent might not be a good proposition. Instead, it may be more profitable to make idea a secret, protecting the idea without a patent.

Using trade secret laws, one can stop employees and others that learn really need . 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 disadvantages with both patenting and secrecy. Like keeping an idea secret, publishing is basically free. Like a patent, publishing also protects by preventing others from patenting the idea. Right as an idea how to obtain a patent is published, there's no-one to else in society can patent this task.

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

If an inventor doesn't file for their patent on an excellent within a year of its publication, the idea becomes part of the islands domain. However, for the duration of 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 individuals 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 that same idea and perhaps latter suing anyone.