I just returned from the 14th annual US Patent & Trademark Office Independent Inventor’s Conference in Alexandria, Virginia. It was wonderful to be invited by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the sponsor of the event, to be a guest speaker. My lecture was on the power of patents. In the past thirty years, patents have provided me with the protection I’ve needed to license my ideas to very large companies – and collect royalties for years and years in return.
But the USPTO provides many more services than most inventors even realize. One of their greatest services is the option to file for a provisional patent application, or PPA. Filing for a PPA gives you one year to determine if there is a sizable market for your idea. It’s a great option for people just starting out; you don’t have to invest in a costly patent, but you’re protected for that year!
If you’re fearful of being denied a patent, like I was, don’t be. I’ve learned that the USPTO is truly there to help. They want you to get protection. They even provide customer service to help guide you through their system. Please, check out their website. All the info about what it patentable and what is not is there – including what makes a strong or weak patent. There is also so much information about other forms of intellectual property, such as trademarks and copyrights. I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about them, but I learned even more at the conference. It was truly a wonderful time – meeting other people in the industry is always rewarding.
Visit the USPTO – www.uspto.gov
(Pictured above L to R – Louis Foreman – Producer of Everyday Edisons & Publisher of Inventors Digest, Stephen Key – Successful Inventor & Co-Founder InventRight, Don Kelly – Champion of Americas Inventors & Entrepreneurs & Co-Founder of UIA & Don Skomsky – Winner of NASA’s Create The Future competition in the Safety and Security Category.)
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight,
a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas
and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.