---James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
Lindon & Lindon, LLC
Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
[this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
I am not sure would need anything more than a utility patent or something to prove you had the idea first - talk to a patent attorney. But patents aren`t always enforcable anyway.
Boy oh boy there are some smart folks on this board!! Sargent is right in that you absolutely need to do a patent search; first and foremost regardless of your intentions to get one, simply to insure you are not infringing on someone else’s IP. From there, there are 2 main schools of thought… To patent or not to patent…. Some folks are of the opinion “The first one to market wins”. While I do agree that if you can protect your idea, you probably should (or at least get a provisional to explore the possibility that your invention has legs) having a patent is not a necessity or a prerequisite by any means to make a living with your product. It’s all about market share baby! HOWEVER, as Roger said, a lot also depends on whether you want to simply license it or build a company around it. What are your thoughts for this “product”? Do you want to build a company or do you want to take the money and run?
Founder and President
Charmed Life Products LLC
Grill Charms™… The MUST HAVE grilling accessory that is revolutionizing the American Cook-out AND The perfect gift for any occasion!
I agree with Wisepreneur the patent is only as good as your ability to enforce it. You can do a search yourself on the patent office website. Also, do a web search for similar items before spending any money.
You also have to decide are you looking to license your idea to a company or manufacture it yourself? You can approach a company with a NDA. Do not send them your working model unless they ask for it. Companies don't want to be responsible for items they did not request if it gets lost or damaged.
--- http://www.rogerbrown.net http://www.looking2license.com