Here’s 4 Things to know about your Patent Rights on Crowdfunding Platforms such as Kickstarter.

#4 is what most people DON’T know, #3 is the most important to know.

1.  First Come, First Serve:  The US patent system will only reward a Patent on an idea or invention to the first inventor who files a patent application.  If you aren’t the first to file, you risk losing your patent rights!

2.  The Clock is Ticking: If you don’t file a U.S. Patent Application within 12 months of the date you first disclose or offer your invention for sale to the public, you lose your patent rights!  Even if you wait just a single month, you risk losing your patent rights to someone who files a patent application before you do!

3.  File a Provisional Patent: It’s affordable and it’s the most essential piece of information you can take away from this letter.  A provisional application secures your priority date (your spot in line) to the patent rights while you raise funding through your crowdfunding campaign!  This helps ensure that no one will beat you the patent office.  Founders Legal has made the provisional patenting process quick and easy for 100’s of crowdfunders across the nation

 4.  Put the Public on Notice:  If you don’t put the public on notice of your patent (or pending) rights, then you can’t collect any monetary reward from competitors who have infringed your patent rights under your radar!  To bring things to the digital era, recent changes to our patent laws allow for a Virtual Patent Marking.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.