They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, and for many inventors this well-known phrase certainly rings true. Whilst there is a plethora of products on the market that are designed to improve upon existing offerings, there are many inventors that create unique products.
I know how exciting it can be to develop something special. But, sadly, the downfall for a lot of inventors is that they reveal the details or specifics of their inventions to the world too quickly; this inevitably results in other interested parties stealing the hard work of an inventor and claiming it as their own creation.
If you have just invented something useful, I would hate for the above scenario to happen to you. In today’s blog post, I discuss the concept of patenting unique creations, include the importance of doing so and how to go about it.
Should you patent your invention?
The thing about patents is that they are designed to protect the manifestation of an idea; in other words, you can’t patent a kettle, but you could patent a variation of a kettle that perhaps boiled the water in a different way, maybe using a unique heating element, for example.
It is also important to understand that patents are different to trademarks. Here is how to differentiate between the two:
- Let’s say that you have invented a new method of generating electricity that hasn’t already been done before;
- To protect the manifestation of that idea, you would patent it;
- If someone else owns the patent, but you want to develop a system that uses the same technology, you can trademark its brand name.
Be careful of who you talk to
The above headline might sound a little “cloak and dagger” to you, but during the initial stages of inventing something unique, you should ensure that you are careful of who you talk to about your new invention.
Most inventors would need to seek the financial backing of a third party in order to bring their invention to fruition. Before you speak to third parties about your new invention, I strongly recommend that you ask them to sign a confidentiality or “nondisclosure” agreement beforehand.
How to get a patent
The process of obtaining a patent is a long one so you will need to seek the services of a professional patent lawyer. Check out www.londonip.com for further details on how the process works.
Could I be declined for a patent?
People in the legal industry, such as solicitors and patent lawyers, can prepare such agreements for you. Because any conversation you have with such legal professionals is confidential, this will not count as “revealing your invention” to third parties from a legal point of view.
However, if you talk to others and they have not signed a confidentiality agreement with you beforehand, and they then steal your ideas and claim them as your own (for the purposes of obtaining a patent), it is likely that you will lose any patent claims.