Whether it is the perfect new gadget, tool, or machine, inventing something wonderful is a frequent dream for many people today. In actuality, only a few will likely move forward and turn their dream into a reality. However, those that actually do persevere sometimes find their dream has become a nightmare when their idea is stolen from them. If you are filled with great ideas but new to the world of inventing, the following information can be useful in helping you retain ownership of your ideas and make sure that they are not stolen or copied without your express permission.
Take care of the details
Great ideas are meant to be shared, but sharing too many of the details often leads to the theft of an inventor's idea. If you are new to inventing, you may be wondering how to market your idea safely and the answer is to be very careful with every detail about your idea and your development of it. Keep careful records and take time to fully document all parts of your invention process, remembering to note critical times, dates, and information about the all parties involved.
Another part of taking care of the details is to consider having a legally binding non-disclosure agreement drawn up that you can require to be signed before you reveal important details about your idea, prototype, or the process you are using for your invention. In addition, a carefully worded confidentiality statement should be part of any business plan or other documentation you might provide to prospective investors or others interested in your project.
Remember, too, that it is important to do due diligence by thoroughly researching everyone who may become involved in your project. Use online court records to search for any signs of criminal or civil court cases in their past that might point to issues with their character and reputation.
Register a trademark
Another way to protect your current and future inventions is to register your name as a trademark. Trademark registrations can provide legal proof of the time frame in which you were working on your idea in the event you are challenged by someone claiming to own it.
Understand the patent process and work within its bounds
The most important thing you can do to protect your idea as an inventor is to understand the patent process and use it to your advantage. For example, consider applying for a provisional patent. This will provide one year of protection for your idea and give you time to see if you will want to apply for a full patent. Consulting with a reputable patent agent will help you better understand the entire patent process and ensure that you make decisions that will best protect your original ideas and any future profits they may produce.