Many of us have had the dream of becoming an inventor and making millions! Maybe that’s why many have fallen for “scams” promising to market your invention. These scams make big promises about taking your invention to market and they ask for money up front.
BEWARE! I have never found a legit “money-up-front” invention submission company. In fact, the US Patent office warns against them and they have a list of the ones they’ve gotten complaints about. Go to USPTO.gov/inventions/scam-prevention to find out details.
So what should you do is you think you have a cool invention? I recommend you find a local patent attorney. One of the ones I recommend from www.ReferralList.com is Mark Trenner.
Here are the steps you should take:
- Think of the product
- Do an extensive Internet search to see if it is already invented.
- Describe the product (an informal narrative). Talk about what it will look like: the size, shape, function.
- See a patent attorney for a more “legal” search. A good patent attorney can find things you may not.
- If the patent attorney thinks there’s a shot at a patent, file a provisional patent. It gets you a holding place in line and acts as a “patent pending”.
- Draft a “non-disclosure” agreement if you are going to talk to others about it. Even though you have a provisional patent filed, it helps keep things under wraps until you’re ready to go to market.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A provisional patent is simply a holding place in line. It assures you that no one else can file after you and take your patent rights. However, it is not yet a patent so if, along the process, the patent office or your attorney discovers something similar has already been invented and filed, the final patent may not be issued.
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