Five Things That Matter if You are Trying to Patent Your Million Dollar Idea

Patent attorney

Are you looking for design patent law firms in Minneapolis? Getting a design patent in Minneapolis (or anywhere) can be a daunting task but incredibly important to protect your intellectual property. While looking for design patent law firms in Minneapolis, check out our list of things to know to make your process smooth:

Five Things to Know Before Looking Into Design Patent Law Firms in Minneapolis (Or Anywhere Else)

  1. When you have a million dollar idea, speed matters. Let’s say you think of a new process or technology that will revolutionize the way all humans will brush their teeth one day. It doesn’t matter whether or not it was your idea. What matters is that you applied for a patent before anyone else. Like the rest of the world, that time stamp is the singular reason that your golden idea belongs to you and not someone else. What we’re saying is the best time to get patent lawyers on your team is the moment the light bulb illuminates above your head in the comic book version of your life.
  2. Patents are awarded to people, not businesses. Trademarks are often used interchangeably with patents, but there is one big difference: trademarks are awarded to businesses, patents go to the person or people who created the concept or technology. This means if your business’s success relies on a patent that will be in someone’s name other than your own, you will need to get a written assignment of rights to protect yourself. On the flip side, if you hold a patent that a business wants to use, you have the ability to sell it to them. But the business itself cannot hold a patent.

    This is incredibly important when you are gathering investors. The first thing a venture capitalist will look into before investing in your company is whether or not you properly hold the rights to the product or service you offer. If you do not, or there is nothing proprietary about your business, it will be difficult to gather investors.

  3. When you have a patent, you corner the market.

    Technically, there is no reason for you to be design patent law firms in Minneapolis. You can run a business without going through the rigmarole of a patent. However, if you have a killer idea, without a patent, a hundred other people can copy it and give you stiff competition. Worst case, someone else could take your brilliant idea to a patent attorney and gain ownership of it.

    On the flip side, when you go through the trouble of getting a design patent on your fantastic idea, you have a temporary monopoly on it. No one else can use your idea to make money or give competition, until the patent expires. Design patents expire in 14 years, and utility and plant patents last 20 years.
  4. Get yourself a provisional patent, pronto.

    Having a provisional patent last 12 months and protects your intellectual property while you battle your way through the patent process. Basically, if you refer back to the first point, getting a patent on a brilliant idea is a race. The first one across the finish line takes all; number two gets nothing for their effort. While you get your ducks in a row to get a patent on your brilliant idea, having a provisional patent ensures that someone else can’t swoop in and slap their own patent on the idea first.

  5. What is a patent really worth to your business?

    Having a patent on a good idea really adds value to a business. But the key word in the previous sentence is “good.” If the idea you patent is something that doesn’t generate interest in the marketplace, having a patent on it will not improve its value.

    If you want to invent something that will make you a young millionaire, consider a product that is useful across multiple industries. Niche products are neat, but very seldom make patent holders wealthy.

Do you hold a patent in your name? What advice do would you pass along to someone else just beginning the process? Please share your input in the comment section below. Read more like this.

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