As an inventor, with an invention with decent potential, you may be thinking of marketing it for lucrative opportunities. However, to start making money from your invention, you must invest in marketing, mass production, and sell the product. For that, you will need a distributor or manufacturer who can make your invention reachable to potential buyers. However, in this scenario, you may also be at risk of disclosing vital information to others. Especially if you are without proper licensing and other legal documentation.
If you do not get legal protection for your invention, there’s a possibility of losing the rights to your product to the hands of exploiters. Without proper proof and legal help, its very challenging to win back the rights to your invention to save it from unfair use. So, it’s important to know how you can protect your invention while marketing and selling it without jeopardizing the rights.
The following tips can help you with that. Let’s dig in!
Filing a Provisional Patent for Your Invention
If you know that your invention can be filed for a patent application, do it as early as you can. However, patents can take some time to process. In that case, you should get a provisional patent application registration for your invention to safeguard it. That way, potential exploiters will know that you are serious about your invention. Thereby compelling them not to infringe your invention in any unfair way. If you have no idea how to file an application for a provisional patent, consider hiring an intellectual attorney to help you with the process.
Using an NDA Agreement
Sometimes, you are not sure whether your invention is patentable or not. And, you may have to get your product on the market urgently. In that case, you may sign a confidentiality agreement or a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). This ensures that your invention information stays between you and your associates. Such an agreement can be handled in the care of capable intellectual property lawyers who will ensure that your invention stays protected from unfair use. Using an NDA contract can be of great help to keep your invention and its secrets safe. Your attorney will also ensure that you get fair compensation for any type of breach by a third party.
While NDA contracts can differ based on situations, a typical one will cover the following points;
A description of what all points are considered confidential
Necessities that the third party has to maintain to keep the information confidential
Period till which the NDA agreement will be valid
Such agreements may also offer a clause for arbitration to resolve any dispute. If a breach occurs, you should be ready with your intellectual lawyer to support and defend you in court if that’s the only way.
How Intellectual Property Attorneys Help
Remember that if there is a dispute due to unfair means for your invention, you may have to defend your case in court. You may have to disclose your invention’s secrets there. If your invention does not have a patent, anyone can use your invention’s secrets, and you might lose the exclusive rights to your product.
This happens because of a law that offers the rights to an individual who files the patent first. If that happens, it will be impossible to reverse the process. That’s why the first thing that you have to do is file for a provisional patent application, as above.
Your intellectual property lawyer will help you with disclosing information so that it stays secret as much as possible. Your attorney will also help you determine the right way to present information on your invention without disclosing too much. Even if you have a provisional patent application for your invention.
Establishing an Implied Confidential Relationship
In some cases, you may also establish a confidential relationship with the manufacturer or distributor without signing an agreement. Expert attorneys will guide you to agree to an “implied” confidential relation when all parties agree to such a course of action. This type of confidentiality agreement will still give you legal rights to the invention in the form of a written agreement. It might be risky because it can be difficult to prove such an agreement of an existing relationship. However it’s still much better than no action at all.
Such an agreement can be implied if you keep the following factors in it.
The implied information is solicited from you without your consideration.
You stated the invention to be a proposal for a business relationship, for which you expect payment.
While disclosing the invention information, you requested the other party to keep the information secret.
The information has vital commercial value and should be kept away from competitors.
If you have an incredible and innovative idea that you feel can make a difference in people’s lives, then the next step is to work on the creation of your idea. It’s important that as you work on this. Consider getting a patent, and utilize the information provided here so that you can see your idea become a reality. All without having to worry about anyone stealing your idea or unfair use issues.
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