Understanding the Importance of Patent Filing
There are few things more rewarding to an individual than to create something completely new and unique. New inventions are the perfect representation of progress and when you complete an invention it is natural to get excited and want to get it on the market as quickly as possible. However, if you fail to get a patent beforehand, you may find that your exuberance to show the world your accomplishment can lead to disappointment when your invention is hijacked.
Protect Your Inventions
As an inventor, it is important that you keep your new creations safe from competitors. If you talk with a business attorney on the subject, they will suggest that the best route to take is to get a patent on your new inventions. A patent gives the inventor the right to exclude others from selling, making, or even using his or her invention without explicit permission. In other words, should someone try to rip off your invention and sell it, you can use the patent to immediately stop the sales.
First to File Rule
On March 16, 2013, the U.S. patent filing system underwent a significant change in the way it works. Rather than look at patents based on the first to invent, it instead allows for patents to be assigned to those who first file. In other words, if you do release your invention before getting a patent, you could end up getting the rights pulled out from under you.
The best way to avoid running into this issue is to look at getting provisional patents prior to taking any action, which includes showing your invention at a trade show. Much like a regular patent, you must disclose the complete information of your invention to the patent office. Provisional patents are much less expensive than getting a full patent, and give the owner a year to decide if he or she wants a complete patent.
As an inventor, it is important that you understand how filing a patent works and ensure that you get your documents in order ahead of time. By doing so, you can ensure that you maintain your rights and are protected from knock-offs of your new invention hitting the market. When you find that you have questions about patent filing or are looking to consult with a Boston business attorney about defending an invention that you had previously patented, contact Jeffrey Cymrot of Sassoon & Cymrot for individual guidance and consultation.