Coming up with an invention that you know is going to be popular is a marvelous feeling. Some inventors might not realize that they need to take steps to protect their interests before they put their products on the market.
There are two primary ways that you might be able to protect your invention – using a nondisclosure agreement or obtaining a patent. Both of these provide you with legal recourse. If someone steals or copies your invention, you can act.
How do these two protections work?
A patent is a legal method of recording the specifications of the invention. This is done through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You have to apply for this, but you have to provide specific information. There’s a chance that an unscrupulous individual may use the patent information to steal your design.
If you’re working with others, you may consider a nondisclosure agreement. This prevents anyone from being able to discuss your invention. If they do discuss the matters covered by the non-disclosure agreement, they will face the consequences that are laid out in the agreement.
There’s a chance that you won’t be able to do both of these. If that’s the case, you may have to protect your interests by providing as little information about the invention as possible.
Working with someone who’s familiar with the legal methods of protecting an invention can be valuable. Take the time to understand your options and determine what’s best for your intellectual property. If you find out that someone is using your invention without your permission, you may want to explore your legal options, which is something you may need help with.