Most inventions begin as a trade secret. A person encounters a problem. While trying to solve the problem, the person formulates a solution. Inventors intuitively understand that they should keep the solution a secret. Although this intuition is correct, other areas of the law are not as intuitive. Proceeding without legal advice from an experienced patent attorney could cost you (i.e., inventor) to waste a significant amount of time and money.
Before you call to schedule a consultation, you should conduct your own informal prior art search to see if someone else has already thought of your idea. Search the internet. Search stores. Search trade shows. Save relevant information found during your informal prior art search. I will review them if and when we meet for your initial consultation. Once you have done your own due diligence, I invite you to contact me to confirm your findings. If you found a prior art reference which is identical to your invention or idea, then you saved yourself a significant amount of money by not having to spend money on an attorney.
After your preliminary prior art search, you need a plan to protect your solution (i.e., intellectual property) so that no one else can copy or steal your idea when you begin marketing your product or service. Investors and licensees may tell you that they are not interested in your idea while implementing your idea behind your back, without your knowledge and without compensation.
You can protect yourself by filing a patent application, trademark application, copyright application or protecting your idea as a trade secret. The available information on the internet may be overwhelming but I am here to help. I invite you to contact me to discuss your situation. During your initial consultation, I will explain the intricacies of all the various forms of intellectual property. We will also develop a 3-6 month next-steps plan.
During your initial consultation, we determine which form of intellectual property is the most suitable for your invention, specifically, patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Most likely, we will protect your idea or invention with a patent but we still go through a checklist to make sure that you are in the right area and that it wouldn’t be a waste of your time and money to file a patent application.
During the initial consultation, we also cover 7 Core Concepts which are fundamental to your understanding of how to protect your idea with a patent. The 7 Core Concepts include:
- Prior art search (You may bring in the relevant information you found during your preliminary patent search. I will review them for you.);
- Other forms of intellectual property (Utility patents, design patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets);
- Foreign patent protection;
- America Invents Act (Impact of the First to file system); and
- Patent process.
These 7 core concepts guide us in our discussion to accomplish two goals.
- Uncover whether you have jeopardized your intellectual property rights and develop a plan of action to resolve any issues; and
- Develop a next steps plan for you to guide you through the process of protecting your intellectual property so that independent contractors, manufacturers, developers, licensees and investors cannot steal your idea and you can safely market your idea.
I invite you to contact me to schedule your initial consultation. You may contact me at (949) 433-0900 or [email protected] Please feel free to forward this article to your friends. As an Orange County Patent Attorney, I serve Orange County, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and surrounding cities.