How To Protect Your Intellectual Property
When it comes to protecting intellectual property, there are several ways you can do it. Recent reports show that over 600,000 patent applications were filed in 2020. On average, hundreds of new patents and intellectual properties are granted each day.
If you’re looking for the best methods to protect your IP, keep reading this article. We outline what you need to do to keep your innovations safe.
Keep Things Under Wraps
The first step to ensuring that nobody else goes after your innovation is to keep quiet until you are sure it is protected. In 2013, there was a substantial change to the United States patent system. Before 2013 the system provided protection to the first person to invent something. However, with the change, the system now protects the first person to file a patent.
Proper design often requires input and feedback from the users. However, if you talk to users without protecting your idea, they could (in theory) apply for and get a patent on your idea. However, you can get feedback from those who have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), or better yet, you can file a provisional patent application (PPA). While a PPA does not actually protect anything, it does mark your place in line, securing you a date for filing that will be earlier than any filings that those you show your idea to might otherwise be able to get. Learn more about PPA’s in this article (https://alpineeng.com/provisional-patent-applications-what-you-need-to-know/).
File a Utility Patent
Once you have completed your design, or are reasonably certain that your design will not substantially change, you can work with an attorney to file a utility patent, a design patent, or a plant patent. Of these three types of patents, a utility patent is by far the most common. Utility patents cover the creation of new or improved, useful, products, processes or machines. Utility patents can be used to prevent other people from making, using, offering to sell, or selling products that contain every element of any of your utility patent claims.
Alpine Engineering and Design: The Best Expert Witness for Protecting Intellectual Property
If you expect that someone is infringing your patent, or if you are accused of infringing someone else’s patent, one of the first steps in protecting intellectual property is to contact a good patent litigation attorney.
There are two main practice areas for patent attorneys, those that prosecute patents – help people get patents on their inventions – and those that litigate patents – help protect already issued patents, or help defend against wrongly asserted patents.
Patent litigation attorneys will often work with an expert witness — a professional with the technical expertise (mechanical engineering in our case) and a solid understanding of patent law to sort through the issues and compare the accused products to the patent claims. This is where our team at Alpine Engineering and Design can help!
Our consulting background has provided us with experience and expertise in a wide variety of industries and on a wide variety of products. We have multiple engineers who are experienced in patent and intellectual property matters to assist with your case.
Contact us now, and rest assured that your work is in safe hands!