Written by Jayant Row in Legal
Viewed by 99 readers since 04-26-2009
A patent is a document that grants you legal rights on an invention that is unique and announces to the world that you are the first person in the world who has made such an invention. It ensures that for a period of twenty years after the registration of the patent, no one else is allowed to make, use, or sell that particular product or process without permission from you. Such patent rights are highly saleable items and people have earned fortunes from just selling these rights or allowing others to use their patent.
A patent has to be filed very precisely so that your invention is thoroughly protected. It would be wise to take the assistance of a patent attorney while filing your claim. A good patent attorney is expensive and you would have to consider this before you file your patent. If the idea you have involves a lot of manufacturing or business processes, it would be advisable to find business associates who could help you with the initial fees. You would however, have to assure them of a part of the likely benefits that you can make from the patent.
A provisional patent claim can be filed which will allow you to establish the date for filing of the patent. This is only useful if your final product does not vary from the item you have patented provisionally, as any changes would not be allowed. It is always better to maintain complete secrecy while the patent is being filed and processed. This will ensure that your product has the exclusivity that a patent requires.
Business processes and manufacting can be started with a ‘patent pending’ notation on the product, and this can give you as much protection as a formally approved patent. Never reveal all details of your product to any one person and bind down the persons with whom you have to share certain information during manufacture, with a secrecy clause.
Patents can take as much as two years to be approved, as the Patents Office has to make a very thorough study of your product to see that it does not infringe on existing patents in any way.
A provisional patent application can be made by you without the services of an attorney. This provisional application will get you an acceptance notification. Once you have this you are protected for twelve months. During this time you are free to bargain with potential investors, manufacturers or people who may license your product. You can promote and show your idea around without any worry of it being copied, though it is always wise to be prudent about sharing information till you actually receive the patent. This twelve months period does not allow anyone else to apply for a patent for a similar product while your application is pending.
Before the expiration of the twelve month period when you are reasonably protected, you would need to file for a regular patent. This can be done by the persons to whom you have sold or marketed the idea, and if he is a manufacturer he would have the wherewithal to do this.