Invention protection is a very important part of the patent process that every inventor should be familiar with for the security of his/her invention. To the eyes of a nonprofessional, this step can appear tedious, but it is an essential part of the invention process.
Let us familiarize ourselves with the ways you can ensure protection of your invention. First, you must determine under which category to file your invention. Can I patent my invention? Should I file for a utility patent, design patent, or plant patent? Should I initially file for a provisional patent? Every inventor should ask these questions.
A patent is the best way to protect your invention. A patent is a written contract granting exclusive rights to an inventor for his/her invention by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). There are three distinctive kinds of patents: utility, design, and plant. Utility patents are patents for innovations in machinery, articles of manufacture, or useful process. Design patents involve ornamental appearance and are not associated with the functional aspects of an invention. Plant patents are for innovations in newly created asexually reproduced plant-life.
There are thousands of reasons why you should protect your invention. It is essential to file a patent for your invention if you want to profit from it. If you do not file a patent for your invention, there is nothing to stop someone else from doing so and profiting from your hard work. Failing to file a patent for your invention also means you have forfeited all of your rights to your invention. You cannot file a patent after someone else has filed one for the same invention or innovation. All of your investment, ingenuity, and perspiration would have been for nothing.
A general warning for people who want to protect a potential invention is not to disclose every single detail of your invention to a company or manufacturer when pitching your idea before you patent it.
Topics and issues related to invention protection include: