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Two great tools for inventors that won’t break your banking accounts: provisional patent applications and trademarks.

Successfully licensing an invention or having a product to promote requires research and the ability to speak to people about your invention. It really is impossible for a manufacturer or retail buyer to decide on a product or service without seeing it.

For good reason, many inventors are hesitant to share their invention with others they don’t know. Further, once an invention is shared publicly, international patent rights could be lost, and the one-year timeline within that your United states patent application should be filed generally has started to tick. Because of this, many inventors rush out and file an entire-blown, how to pitch an invention idea to a company. That addresses the uncertainties as well as enables inventors to alert folks that their invention is “patent pending.”

However, this strategy has several downsides. First, utility patents and in many cases patent applications can cost many 1000s of dollars. In the long run, an inventor may find that this expense outweighs the main benefit. Second, during the early stages, most invention designs will still be evolving. Filing a patent too early could signify it doesn’t actually reflect by far the most evolved designs and drawings. Third–and many important, in my opinion–this investment continues to be made before an inventor has conducted real market research to validate marketability of your product.

Two solutions that numerous inventors–myself included–use are to file provisional patent applications and trademark applications for that invention and product name or logo.

These applications provide the very best of both worlds. At a small fraction of the cost of a utility patent application, a provisional patent application is not really actually a patent. It never will convert into a patent or become public, unless further action is taken. A provisional patent application can be a like a place holder. Basically, you are laying state they the filing date of the provisional patent application if and when you choose to apply for a whole utility patent around one year from the moment you file your provisional patent application. So if you wish to file a provisional patent application on March 1, 2010, and you then choose to file a utility patent application eleven months afterwards February 1, 2011, the priority date for the utility patent application will be regarded as being March 1, 2010, for all those material substantively disclosed and enabled inside your provisional application.

From your date you file your provisional patent application, you will find the right to write “patent pending” on your own prototype and show it to whomever you wish. Along the way, you simply will not lose your international patent rights and can still elect to file your utility patent application. But it really offers you one year to produce your merchandise and gain market information before you decide to actually must have the ultimate decision on whether or not to file utility or international patent applications.

While technically it is possible to write and file this application yourself, I recommend that you do it with a bit of guidance and, at the least, an evaluation by a inventions ideas.

Every product includes a name, or it should. Once you start using the name with prospective licensees and customers, the invention actually becomes symbolic of the name. We have seen this happen over and over. And then there are merely numerous names a product or service might take that satisfy the criteria being both catchy and able to be registered.

So give all the thought to names for your product as you can, and may include questions on the name in your researching the market. After you select the preferred name, trademark the name. Then when you talk to prospective licensees, take advantage of the name. (Note: I have done not say you must let them know you happen to be totally hooked on the name). But when they become familiar with your product’s name, they will watch your trademark as another valuable asset you will be bringing on the table. Plus it may further limit potential encroachment from likely competitors or knockoff products.

The underpinnings of trademark law are founded about the principle of first being used, first in right. Filing of the trademark application typically constitutes use, but so does simply while using trademark. The truth is, in certain states you should take advantage of the trademark publicly before filing a trademark application, and also in the government trademark system, a trademark must be used in interstate commerce before it can register. Therefore, make use of your trademark.

Once you’ve settled on and adopted your trademark you need to identify it a trademark by using either ™ or ® as appropriate. Look at your local state laws regarding using.

In most states, trademark rights might be asserted regionally free of charge, just by using the T to a product (performed by typing the letters “t” and “m” between two parentheses. The writing program automatically shrinks and raises it to offer the T appearance.)

Second, a trademark can be registered with the Usa Patent and Trademark office and overseas. This is a faster process, taking only 10 to 14 months. Once it is registered like a United states federally registered trademark, utilize the ® (also typed by inserting the “r” between parentheses).

I actually have always stated that intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyrights are merely tools inside your inventing tool box. Using the right tool can be hugely valuable. The nicest thing about patent invention is that it can purchase you time to understand which other tools might be necessary. Likewise, trademarks can be a valuable tool inventors overlook.