In the early stages of developing a new idea, invention protection is all about confidentiality. Intellectual property lawyers usually advise their clients to obtain a statement of confidentiality and non-use from anyone who they tell about their idea.
Many people do not want to sign this agreement, and this can establish an environment of mistrust among industry partners.
However, you do have other options for accomplishing the same thing. By asking people to sign a Technical Advisor Agreement instead, they can provide you with input on your product during the development process but must also agree to keep confidential any details about the idea.
Another easy way to protect your invention is to keep a notebook in which you record your development of the invention chronologically. You should write down all your ideas and your strategy for developing the invention, along with details of any conversations about the invention and the dates they took place.
A patent offers the greatest degree of invention protection from fraud, because it legally excludes anyone else from producing, importing or selling an invention in the covered region without the consent of the inventor.
The inventor may also sell or license the rights to the product which are defined by the patent claims. Following the filing of a patent or provisional patent application, an inventor can also market their products with the patent pending label to prevent fraud.
There are more than 7 million patents that have been issued in the US, and this protection is critical because without it anyone can produce and market your invention without compensating you for the idea. Patent protection should be considered as early as possible in the invention process.
Competition is fierce, and companies are filing more patents than ever in order to gain an edge by being the exclusive manufacturer of a new invention.