Patent On The Cheap with the US Provisional Application for Patent for just $125
by, 07-25-2012 at 06:13 PM (943 Views)
Nearly every single person I know says at one time or another that they have or had, an invention. Some say they had an invention only to find out, years later, that someone "copied" their invention. Nope.. they just took action...
The MAIN reason most of those folks do not take action to actually file a patent is they think it is too expensive to file a patent. What they do not realize is the Federal U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, was "forced" by Congress to provide a path for the "little guy" to protect their inventive ideas. Their solution was to offer the Provisional Application for Patent that allows the "little guy" to play in the "big boys" sandbox for just $125.
The Provisional Application for Patent is just that.. a PROVISIONAL application, meaning that once filed you have Patent Pending status (within 5 seconds of hitting the online "submit" button) that allows you exactly one year to seek the necessary funding, partnerships, or testing protocols to determine if the concept is worthy of seeking a full Utility Patent that affords your monopolistic "ownership" of the inventive rights for 20 years... which really means that you have the "right" to defend your idea by going to court should someone infringe on your invention.
Folks like Shark Tank always ask the folks on the show something like... "Do you have a patent?" and if the answer is no then almost universally say they have no interest in partnering with them because some 2 million folks just saw the inventive idea publicly and there is likely someone in that 2 million population who might move on the idea.
The message is this: If you have an inventive idea and you have determined it is viable then go ahead and file a Provisional Application for Patent for $125 and consider your Provisional Application for Patent a simple $125 "Insurance Policy" that affords you a level of "protection" by virtue of the fact that it has the "early filing date" for your to-be-filed utility patent application.
One problem is the U.S. government has not demonstrated that they can make anything "easy" to do. For example.. the 1040 EZ is supposed to be easy to file yet most folks who try fail and end up having a professional do the job. The same is true with the Provisional Application for Patent.
The GREAT news is there is a simple Provisional Patent Video Course available that shows EXACTLY, with step by step over the shoulder videos with examples and templates that will guide you to a successful filing.
Additionally.. many readers will have MORE questions about how to file a patent and how to protect it while they are showing the invention to potential partners or investors. Visit this proactive how to patent website that will answer the many OTHER questions you will have and also has a free NDA you might want to use and modify for your use. I ALWAYS tell folks to use a Non Disclosure agreement BEFORE they work with ANYONE that also affords you are keeping the invention out of the public domain should you need to file yet another Provisional Application for Patent if you have not gotten all your ducks in a row. The "early filing date" will always be that of the last Provisional Application for Patent you filed. And YES.. folks do use this strategy to protect "Trade Secrets" as an insurance policy if they get word someone might have "reverse engineered" their invention.