Inventing an idea and implementing it is not easy. It requires creativity and strategies. Thus, it can be stressful when another person copies your invention and monetizes it without your permission.
The United States Code (U.S.C.) Title 35 protects people who discover new and useful ideas or improvements by allowing them to obtain a patent. But when should you do so?
Below is a discussion on the right time to file a patent application.
How long do you have to act?
According to the U.S.C Title 35 102(b), it is advisable to file for a patent one year or less after disclosing the claimed invention to the public. Undoubtedly, the sooner you start the process, the better. People who can disclose the idea are the inventor, joint inventor or those who obtained the idea directly or indirectly from these two parties.
Even though filing early is vital, you need to know how your invention will be implemented. Thus, you should have documents explaining your idea, how it’s unique and how you will execute its creation.
What if you have a co-inventor?
Joint inventors have the upper hand to some extent as different ideas are combined to create a unique one. If this is where your concept falls, all parties should agree on the right time to start the patent application process.
You don’t need to have an equal degree of input, but everyone should understand the idea extensively and its implementation. Consider having rules that guide you and your partners, including how to approach the patent application process.
Filing for a patent application should be done as soon as possible, but this is not a do-it-yourself situation. Experienced legal guidance before starting the process can help you take a strategic approach to your intellectual property protection and avoid mistakes.