Invention Ideas - Do I require a Patent Before Selling Invention Ideas to Big companies?


A United States Patent is essentially a "grant of rights" for modest period. In layman's terms, it is a contract in which the United states government expressly permits any individual or company to monopolize a particular concept to acquire a limited time.

Typically, our government frowns upon any type of monopolization in commerce, considering the belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our monetary. A good example is the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some years ago in the many regional phone groups. The government, in particular the Justice Department (the governmental agency which prosecutes monopoly or "antitrust" violations), believed that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers over the device industry.

Why, then, would the government permit a monopoly a form of a patent? The government makes an exception to encourage inventors to come forward with their works of art. In doing so, the government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.

First of all, it should dissatisfied to you to select a patent provides for a "monopoly. "A patent permits the who owns the patent steer clear of anyone else from producing the product or using begin the process covered by the patent. Think of Thomas Edison remarkable most famous patented invention, the bulb. With his patent for that light bulb, Thomas Edison could prevent any other person or company from producing, using or selling lamps without his permission. Essentially, no one could compete with him in the sunshine bulb business, so therefore he possessed a monopoly.

However, in order to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison had to give something in return. He needed to fully "disclose" his invention on the public.

To obtain as a famous Patent, an inventor must fully disclose what the invention is, how it operates, and most beneficial way known coming from the inventor to permit it to be.It is this disclosure towards the public which entitles the inventor with a monopoly.The logic undertaking this is that by promising inventors a monopoly in return for their disclosures to the public, inventors will continually strive to develop new technologies and disclose them on the public. Providing these the monopoly him or her to to profit financially from the invention. Without this "tradeoff," there this would definately be few incentives to create new technologies, because without a patent monopoly an inventor's hard work would bring him no financial reward.Fearing that their invention would be stolen when they attempt to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul about their invention, and the islands would never positive aspect.

The grant of rights under a patent lasts regarding any limited period.Utility patents expire 20 years after they are filed.If this had not been the case, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there properly serious consequences. For example, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for the light bulb, we may possibly need to pay about $300 purchaser a light bulb today.Without competition, there would be little incentive for Edison to enhance upon his bulb.Instead, once the Edison lamp patent expired, citizens were free to manufacture light bulbs, lots companies did.The vigorous competition to function that after expiration of the Edison patent resulted in better quality, lower costing light lamps.

II. Types of patents

There are essentially three types of patents which you need to be aware of -- utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications.

A utility patent applies to inventions which have a "functional" aspect (in other words, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result -- it actually "does" something).In other words, the thing along with that is different or "special" about the invention must be for that functional purpose.To meet the criteria for utility patent protection, an invention must also fall within at least one of the following "statutory categories" as required under 35 USC 101. Bear in mind that just about any physical, functional invention will become another victim of at least one amongst these categories, that means you need not stress with which category best describes your invention.

A) Machine: regarding a "machine" as something which accomplishes a task a consequence of the interaction of the company's physical parts, since a can opener, an automobile engine, a fax machine, etc.It is the mixture and interconnection of these kinds of physical parts in which we are concerned and which are protected by the obvious.

B) Article of manufacture: "articles of manufacture" should be thought of as things which accomplish a task similar to a machine, but without the interaction of various physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may seem turn out to be similar in many instances, you can distinguish the two by thinking of articles of manufacture as more simplistic things which most often have no moving parts. A paper clip, for example is an actual manufacture.It accomplishes a pursuit (holding papers together), but is clearly not a "machine" since it is really a simple device which does not rely on the interaction of parts.

C) Process: a way of doing something through one or higher steps, each step interacting in somehow with a physical element, is since a "process." An activity can be a new method of manufacturing a known product or can even be a new use for a known product. Board games are typically protected as a means.

D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions such as pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds such as soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and other snack food can be patented as "compositions of matter." Food items and recipes are often protected in this way.

A design patent protects the "ornamental appearance" of object, compared to its "utility" or function, which is safe by a computer program patent. Various other words, if for example the invention is a useful object that has a novel shape or overall appearance, a design patent might offer appropriate protection. To avoid infringement, a copier would have to set up a version that does not look "substantially similar for the ordinary viewer."They cannot copy the shape and look without infringing the design patent.

A provisional patent application is a pace toward purchasing a utility patent, where the invention won't yet be prepared to get yourself utility eclatant. In other words, whether it seems although the invention cannot yet obtain a software application patent, the provisional application may be filed from the Patent Office to establish the inventor's priority on the invention.As the inventor continuously develop the invention and make further developments which allow a utility patent staying obtained, a new inventor can "convert" the provisional application to a full utility implementation. This later application is "given credit" for the date once the provisional application was first filed.