As you may know, our patent laws changed last year – the law now gives patent priority to the first person to file a patent application on an idea. Before, the law allowed inventors to prove the earliest date that they conceived an idea (in this way, even if the inventor wasn’t the first to file a patent application on his idea, he could submit evidence of conception dating back before the earlier patent filer). Unfortunately now, in order to preserve your patent rights, you must be the first one to the patent office with your idea.
So, for those who are serious about pursuing their idea, it is my recommendation to file at least a provisional patent application before beginning any public disclosures. The USPTO (Patent Office) created the provisional patent application for inventors to easily and quickly obtain “patent pending” status. In turn, the provisional application serves to secure their spot in line for the patent rights to their idea for 1 year. During that one year period, the Patent Office never discloses your idea to the public – it simply saves your spot in line for a full non-provisional patent application. Within that 1 year, the inventor must follow with a non-provisional application or lose his spot in line.
Provisional Applications are relatively cheap to secure. We charge from $600-$1500, depending how much support you need from us. The provisional application gives you the peace of mind to go about promoting your idea, obtain partners and investors, and give your idea a trial run – knowing that your spot in line for the patent rights are secured.
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. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.
Source: Smartup Legal