When should I patent my invention?

Inventor, you’ve probably already searched for answers to: how much does it cost to patent your idea, what’s the process for patenting your idea and what does actual patent protection of your ideas consist of. However, at PROTOTÉCNICA, instead of answering the same questions for the umpteenth time, we urge you to switch the question to: When should I patent my invention?

THE BIG IDEA never comes to you by itself. It’s usually accompanied by a little voice in your head incessantly repeating “please let no one copy me” and, as of that moment, nothing else matters. Everything that has to do with tools to protect your idea … sounds good!

After doing a deep search in Google and not finding anything similar to your invention, you believe, mistakenly, that you’ve resolved the principal hypotheses and mitigated the main risks of the matter. Therefore, all attention, efforts and resources are directed toward the legal protection of the invention.

 Here are the questions:

  1. What happens if after registering my invention, in the prototyping process, we discover that to get the best version of the product, the initial idea has to be changed substantially?
  2. Would it make more sense to patent or protect the invention when we already know, with all certainty, what the physical result of my working prototype will be like?
  3. Wouldn’t it suffice to sign a confidentiality agreement with the engineering team that will support me in materializing my invention, and thus protect a working invention?
  4. Would it be appropriate to obtain “innovation claim” proposals that actually add value to my invention and make a difference in the prototyping process?

If you’ve answered using common sense, I’m sure that right now you’re regretting having sought legal protection too soon. Don’t worry, this happens much more often than you think. 

Five years ago, when we asked ourselves these same questions, we arrived at the conclusion that the invention legal protection process should begin neither before nor after the prototype design and manufacturing process. They are processes that should coexist and remain active in parallel fashion.

Below, we list what we consider to be the right steps for the process of kick-starting your

  1. Drafting a general description of the idea, defining the invention’s principal features and objectives. 
  2. Defining the elements of the invention that are considered innovative. 
  3. Conducting the prior art search, both for inventions geared toward resolving the same problems as your invention, as well as for the points that you have identified as innovative. 
  4. Initiating the prototyping process, focusing on technical feasibility, future economic feasibility, as well as on any elements you intend to claim as innovative elements. 
  5. Testing of functionalities on the prototype. 
  6. Selecting the optimal method to protect the invention. (Does not need to be a patent). 
  7. Initiating the protection process. 
  8. Approaching the market.
  9. Prototype optimization. 
  10. Business development. 
  11. Industrialization

If you would like to receive more information about this process, or would like us to help you understand what comprises each step, just contact us. 

We hope that you find this post useful to make the best decisions based on your own answers.

Contact us now to receive a one-on-one explanation of when to patent an invention.

See details about the patents for inventors service.

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Erick Remedios