Helpful Tips for Protecting, Developing and Marketing Your Idea

The tips we are about to share with you are based in part on the experience of inventors who successfully patented, developed and marketed their inventions. These tips may or may not work for every inventor and will likely require you to adapt them to your own unique situation.

Keep a notebook or log to record concept development

A notebook or log can be helpful for several reasons:

(1) it helps you keep track of your progress and testing results, so you don’t repeat steps;

(2) it can serve as evidence of date of conception in the event another inventor claims that they invented first.

When you have a completed concept for your invention order a patent search

A patent search is a relatively cost effective way to determine the likelihood of getting a patent for your invention. A patent search may also inform you about other similar inventions and help you differentiate your invention from these inventions. Also, a patent search may also be used as evidence to help establish date of conception. There are very good patenting companies, such as InventHelp –, that can do a professional patent search for you.

Avoid any public disclosure or offer for sale of your invention before you file a Patent Application.

If the patent search suggests that there is a good likelihood of getting a patent for your invention, then you should file a patent application as soon as possible. You should not make any “public disclosure” or “offer for sale” of your invention before filing a patent application, as it could result in a loss of patent rights. An “offer for sale” might include working with invention promotion companies who may try to sell your invention to third parties and should be avoided as explained in article.

File a Patent Application

As you can imagine, we recommend using a licensed patent attorney or agent to draft and file your patent application. A patent application is one of the most complicated legal documents that exist and should not be taken lightly. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has stringent requirements, as provided in the Manual of Patent Examination Procedure (MPEP), for proper format and contents of a patent application.

In addition, the strength of your patent often depends on how the legal claims are written. The claims define the legal boundaries of your invention and ideally should be drafted to cover your invention broadly, while avoiding any conflict with another patent reference. Therefore, you should work with an experienced patent attorney or agent who is familiar with MPEP requirements and is skilled at drafting patent claims.

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