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Can you Protect your Ideas with a Patent?

funny copyright owner man with his idea, concept of intellectualYou have come up with an incredible idea and you cannot wait to share it with the world. Before you do, though, you want to patent it so no one steals your idea from under your feet and becomes the millionaire you were supposed to be. Unfortunately, until your idea becomes a concrete concept that can be put to use or put into writing, there is no way to protect it. You are best to keep your ideas to yourself until you have something more concrete. So how do you move from the idea phase into the patent or copyright phase? There are several ways you can do this.

Come up with a Plan

If your idea is for a product or service, you need something concrete to prove your idea is going to work in order to patent it. This could take place several ways – have a professional illustrator draw up the product for you based on your descriptions after signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement or simply write out the steps to the product you plan to make or the service you plan to provide with as many details as possible. When the plans are able to be executed, meaning someone could come along, take those plans and make your product or service a reality, then you may be able to apply for a patent.

Putting it on Paper

If your idea is more of a story that will need a copyright rather than a patent, you have it even easier. Get that first draft written and then copyright it. As soon as you write it down, your idea is created and is able to be protected by copyright laws. If you want to stop others from stealing it legally with coverage from the infringement laws, you will have to register it with the U.S. Copyright Office to have the right to bring legal action against the perpetrator.

Your idea is simply that, an idea. Until you have something or some way to follow through on it, you will have no legal protection. If you are not able to figure out a way to bring your idea to the invention phase, ask for help from other professionals. Make sure that you enlist the help of a qualified attorney beforehand and have an executed NDA in order to protect your ideas from becoming somebody’ else’s invention, though.

If you have questions on how to begin the process contact us or comment below.