When inventors come up with fantastic products and devices, they naturally want to take the next step: patenting. But attaining a patent is not simple, and there are several pitfalls that aspiring inventors should be wary of. Below are five patent mistakes that you should avoid.
- Patenting an Idea You cannot simply patent an idea. You may have a simple, brilliant concept, but it takes much more than that to get a patent. You must be able to explain the intricacies of your product so that an expert could construct it on a work bench after having seeing a blueprint.
- Discussing an Unprotected Invention If you do not have a formal confidentiality agreement with someone, it's a bad idea to discuss your invention with anyone. If you talk about your creation and there is no agreement, nothing can stop that person from taking your idea and patenting it first.
- Being the Second to File In 2013, the United States joined many other countries that give patent rights to whoever files first. In the past, whoever invented a product first received rights.
- Failing to be Unique It almost seems impossible to invent something completely new these days. Additions or adjustments to a pre-existing invention can possibly be patented, but such modifications to existing patented products must first be run by the holders of those patents.
- Waiting too Long Don't drag your feet once you've publicly disclosed or offered to sell your invention. From that point, you have one year to file an application for a patent.