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8 Ways To Protect Your Invention From Theft

Attracting investors requires pitching your idea. Learn how to protect your invention or your intellectual property (IP) rights from theft in the US.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

Business opportunities would require you to discuss your invention with potential investors and partners. Have them sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This NDA outlines the terms and conditions of your meeting. It protects details of your invention.

Provisional Patent Application

File a provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). For a maximum of 12 months, a provisional patent application grants you “patent pending” status. This sets an early filing date for your innovation. Use this as future proof of your invention’s priority date.

Patent Protection

Some inventions are novel, useful, and non-obvious. You need a full patent protection for this type of invention. It’s recommended that you apply for a utility patent. Take time to study the requirements and prepare your application. A utility patent grants exclusive rights for up to 20 years from the filing date. This allows you to produce, use, and sell the invention.

Protect your Invention through Prototype Development

Create a working prototype of your invention. Showcase its functionalities for potential investors and partners to see. This makes your idea not easy to replicate or steal.

Selective Disclosure

Disclose confidential information about your invention with an NDA. First meeting discussions are normally for product overviews.

Document Everything to Protect your Invention

Compile all records about your invention’s development process. This serves as future evidence of your ownership and the originality of your work.

  • Research notes
  • Sketches
  • Prototypes
  • Correspondence
  • Meeting minutes

Trademark Protection

Protect other unique branding elements of your invention. This includes the logo or the product name. It would prevent anyone who will attempt to use similar elements in their products or services.

Monitor and Enforce Your Rights

Keep an eye out for any IP rights violations in the market regularly. Take immediate action to enforce them if necessary. Here are the remedies you may use:

  • Sending cease-and-desist letters
  • Initiating legal proceedings
  • Other remedies available under intellectual property law

 

Reduce the likelihood of theft or unauthorized use of your invention. It’s important to take precautionary measures to protect your invention. Implement confidentiality measures. Obtain appropriate IP rights. Documenting your development process. Maximize the value of your innovation through all these. Contact a patent attorney or agent for thorough guidance and assistance.

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