You are certain you want to protect your invention. The only question is when: in a bad economy now, or in a better economy later. If it’s at all feasible, you may even benefit from seeking or enforcing a patent while the economy is still bad, while competitors and others are hunkered down. Here are some of the factors you’ll want to take into account:
1. The economy should improve eventually. When it does is probably not the best time for you to start the patent process, which usually takes at least a year and often takes longer. When the economy rebounds you’ll want your invention to be protected so you can continue with your production, marketing, and profiting from your hard work and patience.
2. Your invention may help you through the bad economy. Of course, that depends on a range of factors, like how long the economic troubles last, and how quickly you can monetize your invention once your intellectual property is protected.
3. Your more-inventive competitors probably face challenges, too. Some of them may hold off on trying to patent their inventions. That delay may give you an opening or a head start in bringing your invention to market.
4. It will never seem like exactly the right time to spend money on a patent. There will always be other good ways to use your money, and some of them will in fact be more urgent. But none will protect your invention, which presumably you’ve already sunk a significant amount of money into. You need to protect your investment.
5. Your idea is vulnerable whenever your product happens to be new. If you don’t act swiftly to get a patent on a new product, competitors may start to copy you once they find out you don’t have a patent on it. That’s the case when economy is good and when it’s bad.
6. The real-dollar costs of pursuing a patent may increase later, even when you don’t take inflation into account. Protecting your invention IS expensive now, but it will not be any less expensive later. Both are dwarfed by the potential costs of not protecting your invention.
7. You will probably need to pursue foreign patent protection if you want to profit from your invention in countries where the economy is stronger.
We can discuss your invention and goals, how best to protect them, and when is the most strategic time to start. I am based in Orange County and work with inventors throughout the United States. You can call me, patent attorney James Yang, at (949) 433-0900, or book a consultation here.