Most people with a new product idea think the first thing they need to do is protect their idea. So they immediately pursue filing a patent and spend $3k-$12k.
Why is this a bad idea?
As I stated in the last blog, it is very common and most likely that you will need to make numerous changes to your original idea. Inventors end up ripping themselves off if they fail to realize this. It’s one thing to invest $105 on a provisional patent application that lets you declare that your intellectual property is “patent pending”. This way, if you need to make some changes you only need to spend another hundred and five dollars to further cover yourself. But if you hire a patent attorney, you will have to spend thousands of dollars to create a new patent for these needed changes.
A provisional patent application need not be perfect, but it will protect you for an entire year, and can be filed in common English. Meaning, you can draft one yourself. Will it be as sound as an attorney’s? No, of course not. You’re never going to do as good of a job as a patent attorney that has been filing patents for 10 years. But the protection is still effective. You have to measure the risk of spending $3-$12,000 on a project that may very well need to be modified or changed completely against the risk of filing a provisional patent application, which although it may not be perfect, is easily subject to change and won’t cause you to declare bankruptcy!
It is important to remember that you will never, never, NEVER have 100% protection. Patents are perceived protection. Spending $105 to get that perceived protection is a great deal.
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