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Three Options for Protecting Your Idea Including Patents, Secrets, and Publishing

Ideas are incredibly prized. Billion dollar businesses are often built on a single idea. Lots of million dollar businesses are so. So if you have a fine idea, you should do one of three things with it: patent it, keep it secret, and publish it.

The suggestion to patent an idea, or keep your idea a secret, may be not a surprise. But why would anyone publish a useful idea? To understand why publishing is advantageous, you have to first understand the good reasons to patent or keep secret an idea.

Patenting an invention gives the patent holder the to be able to prevent anyone else from utilizing that invention. The patent makes the idea more significant because the patent holder has a legal monopoly. Competition can be restrained to greatly increase takings. In addition, after one files to patent an idea, a single else receive a patent for that idea. Patents can also be used to ward off patent infringement lawsuits.

Unfortunately, patents are also expensive. Patenting excellent ideas can be prohibitively expensive, even for large corporations. Still, one's best ideas should be protected with a patent.

The biggest problem with a patent, besides cost, is even just a single must disclose wholly to get the patent. For many inventions this isn't important. For example, for that price of the product, everyone view the inventive improvements to a new television set or simply more efficient carburetor. However, if the invention is any situation that is hard to see, like a less expensive way to produce high-grade steel or route cellular telephone calls, then so invention public along with a patent might end a good hint. Instead, it may be more profitable to maintain your idea a secret, protecting the idea without a certain.

Using trade secret laws, one can stop employees yet others that learn technique from you from profiting from which it. Patents expire are 20 years, but secrets never expire, so a secret could theoretically last forever. Unfortunately, trade secret laws will not protect your secret idea if someone else discovers it one her own. Worse, if someone else patent idea did discover your secret, she could try to patent the idea.

Publishing an idea shares advantages and disadvantages with both patenting and secrecy. Like keeping an idea secret, publishing basically free. Like a patent, publishing also protects by preventing others from patenting the idea. As quickly as an idea is published, no how to obtain a patent one else in planet can patent that it.

However, in the United States, the inventor still has one year after publication to file a patent registration. So you could publish your idea, preventing every else from patenting it, and then wait a year before filing for about a patent. This essentially gives the inventor free protection for a year.

If an inventor doesn't file for their patent on viewed as within a year of its publication, the idea becomes part of the islands domain. However, even in the public domain, a published idea is still valuable intellectual property. The published idea is prior art that will be used to invalidate patents that are asserted against the inventor. In fact, a published idea is just as useful as a patent in invalidating other patents.

If you don't patent or keep secret an idea, you should publish it. There are seven billion people the world, and then they generate two million patent applications every year, plus getting a patent countless other publications. Someone will have your idea soon. Ideas that you don't patent should be published to prevent others patenting that same idea and perhaps latter suing your.