I Have an Idea! Now What?
Your idea may be protectable with securing your Intellectual Property. Here are some good rules of thumb to follow.
DO NOT TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT – Depending on the way your idea can be protected, you will want to keep it confidential and be sure to only discuss it internally or if you have a non-disclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement. The biggest mistake seen is people want to tell everyone about their idea and without the right agreements in place. Without the right agreements and exposing the idea, there could be loss of patent rights.
DO A QUICK SEARCH ONLINE – You would be surprised how many ideas are out there but not commercially available. Doing a quick search online will give you a sense of how many things are close to your idea or how open the landscape is for your idea. There are specific websites that allow you to search patent applications or issues patents. There is also a benefit of just searching the Internet to see if there are aspects of your idea already out in the public domain. If your search does not bear any results that are close to your idea, we often recommend a more thorough search to be performed by Tucker Ellis or a search authority.
EVALUATE IP PLAN AND CONTINUE DEVELOPMENT OF IDEA – Now that there is an understanding of the landscape for your idea based on the search, a protection plan can start to take shape by discussing the idea and options with an Intellectual Property attorney at Tucker Ellis. In parallel with talking with us, you can continue to finalize your idea internally. The conversation is confidential and we can layout a game plan that will be sure to protect your idea using various Intellectual Property constructs such as patent applications, trademark applications, copyright registration, trade secret, contracts/agreements, or a combination thereof.