New Invention? Protect It Without a Patent

New Invention? Protect It Without a Patent

When you've invented something new, you want to protect it. But how do you do that without getting a patent? The answer is simple: you need to take some basic steps to protect your invention before you even start the patent process. 1. Keep your invention a secret. If you tell people about your invention, they may be able to copy it or claim it as their own. So, it's important to keep your invention to yourself until you're ready to file a patent application. 2. Disclose your invention to potential investors or manufacturers. If you're looking for funding or partners to help you commercialize your invention, you may need to disclose your invention to them. But be sure to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) first. This will protect your invention while you're seeking funding or partners. 3. File a provisional patent application. A provisional patent application is a quick and easy way to get some basic protection for your invention. It's not as strong as a regular patent, but it's a good first step. And, it can give you a year to file a regular patent application. 4. Consider international protection. If you think your invention could be sold or used in other countries, you may want to file for international protection. This can be a complex process, so be sure to talk to a patent attorney before you get started. By taking these steps, you can protect your invention before you even start the patent process. And that will give you a better chance of success when you do file for a patent.

Get a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) from anyone you tell about your invention

If you're inventing something, it's important to keep it under wraps until you're ready to reveal it to the world. The last thing you want is for someone to steal your idea before you have a chance to patent it or pursue other legal protections.

One way to protect your invention is to get a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) from anyone you tell about it. An NDA is a legal contract that requires the person you're sharing information with to keep that information confidential.

It's important to have a well-drafted NDA in place before you reveal any details about your invention. Otherwise, you could inadvertently waive your right to keep the information confidential.

If you're looking for a sample NDA, you can find one here.

Build a prototype and get feedback from potential customers

Building a prototype is one of the best ways to get feedback from potential customers. It allows you to test your product with a group of people who are representative of your target market, and get their thoughts and reactions.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you're building a prototype:

  1. Make sure it's representative of the final product. You don't want to create a prototype that's too different from the final product, as it will be harder to get accurate feedback.
  2. Keep it simple. Don't try to include too many features in the prototype, as it will be more difficult to get feedback on all of them.
  3. Get feedback early and often. The sooner you can get feedback on your product, the better. It's often helpful to get feedback at each stage of development, so you can make sure you're on the right track.

Building a prototype is a great way to get feedback from potential customers. By keeping these things in mind, you can make sure you're getting the most accurate and helpful feedback possible.

Document everything about your invention (e.g. drawings, notes, prototypes, etc.) in a scientific or engineering journal

Assuming you have already invented something, it is important to document everything related to your invention in a scientific or engineering journal. This includes drawings, notes, and prototypes. By doing this, you will have a record of your invention that can be referenced in the future. Additionally, others may be able to learn from your documentation and build upon your invention.