Business Strategy

Once your idea is patent pending move forward right away with commercial steps. Never wait for your patent to issue.

The most important variable in the inventing game is of course, the INVENTIVE IDEA itself. But, don’t try to sell the IDEA. Once you disclose the idea to others it no longer is your exclusive property. From a business standpoint, an idea is not a property or a business asset. However, a patent pending or an issued patent are each a business asset and therefore can be bought and sold, bequeathed, transferred, licensed, and gifted.

Once the INVENTIVE IDEA is disclosed to the public most patent offices around the world consider the idea as not patentable since the disclosure acts as prior art against the application. However, the following countries allow a 12 month grace period between first public disclosure and the application filing date. This gives the inventor a year to check marketability of the invention before investing in patent applications:

Argentina (AR) South Korea (KR)
Australia (AU) Malaysia (MY)
Brazil (BR) Mexico (MX)
Canada (CA) Peru (PE)
Chile (CL) Philippines (PH)
Columbia (CO) Turkey (TR)
Estonia (EE) United States of America (US)
Japan (JP)* Singapore (SG)

Because the self-life of great new ideas is fleeting, it’s critically important to get the idea into patent pending status as early as possible. DON’T WAIT. The USPTO uses the “First To File” approach to granting patent rights.

A patent application is required to teach in significant detail, how to make and use the invention. If the inventor needs help with this an outside contractor may need to be called-in and any engagement contract with such a contractor should clearly state that the contractor agrees to give up legal rights to the invention (very important).

Patent applications may be owned by the inventor(s) or by an enterprise. When an application is filed all named co-inventors are automatically designated owners of the property (usually called “intellectual property” or simply “IP”). Legally, each co-inventor has the right to make and use the invention as well as to sell or license patent rights without permission by the other co-inventors. Obviously then, the co-inventors should transfer their rights in the IP to a business entity so that the disposition of the IP can be controlled by officers of the business.

Once a first utility patent application is filed the owner(s) have a year to file a further patent application of the same invention into most other countries’ patent offices while claiming the filing date of the first application. An international treaty (Paris Convention treaty) controls this.

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