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Creating inventions or products for a company is a popular option for many talented inventors. However, many inventors have been shortchanged by large corporations and in some cases they have not been able to reasonably benefit from their hard work.
There are a lot of precautions that can be taken to ensure that inventors and their creations are protected. The following are some of the main actions that you can take as an inventor in order to protect your own interests, especially if the product you have is not yet patented:
Have the Company to Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement
One of the first steps that will help protect your invention is having any person or company that you disclose your idea to, sign a confidential non-disclosure agreement, stating that the confidential aspects of the invention will not be disclosed to a third party. However, it is important to note many companies will not be open to signing an NDA and you will have to either do a lot of convincing, or risk losing your idea. Always make sure the agreement is signed before disclosing details of your invention to anyone, just to be on the safe side.
File for a Provisional Patent
It’s really not easy to tangle with the big corporations and if they want to misappropriate your idea; they can find twisted ways to do so within the legal frame work. Getting a patent is somewhat costly, but worth every penny if the creation goes to market. If you are not ready to obtain a non-provisional patent, at least make sure you file for a provisional patent to protect yourself and your creative inventions. A provisional patent allows you to use the term “Patent Pending” on your invention and provides you a one year timeframe to file the non-provisional patent application.
Have a Detailed Document of Your Invention and All Its Facets
It is important for inventors to have a comprehensive detailed document of their invention, including all the major facets to ensure that any infringements are easily detectable. Of course big corporations may try to details some details about your creation and sell it as a new and different product, but having as much details about your invention as possible can help draw comparisons and detect areas of infringement liability. You can read more about this on our how to patent an idea page.
Make Sure You Keep the Details of Your Invention Confidential
Although there will probably be a point when you will have to disclose the key details of your invention to another party, until that happens you have to ensure that all aspects of your products and designs are maintained as confidential. Whether it’s a proprietary process or design, make sure the details are revealed only when you obtain a product patent.
Protecting your invention will not always be a walk in the park. Getting a patent can be very expensive, but with help from the simple tips highlighted above, you can fend off the selfish interest of others towards your inventions long enough for you to be able to file and secure a patent for your invention.