Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Protective Devices

I counted nine “protective devices” that some people presume are automatic defenders. But, oh no! Theses “defenses” will still require your continued attention.

Let’s count off the 9 “Protective Devices”

Number 1. The Inventors Logbook. It is used to diligently document dates, discoveries and ideas in a solidly bound book …to capture ideas…and have them witnessed.

Number 2. Trade Secrets are often claimed by employers wanting to guarantee a “hush-hush” policy among workers, or former employees who must “keep quiet” about tricks of the trade.

Number 3. Confidentiality Agreements or Non-disclosure Agreements are used by inventors seeking quotes for prototyping or manufacturing. You’ve got things to talk about… confidentially.

Number 4. Copyrights cover original works of authorship: of music and literature. They’re cheap, easy and will live longer than you.

Number 5. A Trademark is a symbol, word or design you have designated to identify your product from others. Look for a small tm.

Number 6. Provisional Patents act as a temporary 1 year stepping stone - of extended “protection” for developing your product and preparing it for the next step… a utility patent.

Number 7. Utility Patents are more detailed, more costly and can last 20 years. They define the function and uniqueness of the invention. This is the big one…wait till you hear what it cost.

Number 8. Design Patents last 14 years and deal with ornamentation (or the appearance) you want to claim and restrain from others.

Number 9. Plant Patents cover asexually reproductive plants..those evolving from grafts and cutting. Some folks like to discover new flowers - and document their creations. I know very little about them except that the up-front fees for filing, searching and examining will cost you $360 and the Plant Patent issue fee will be $595. Don’t ask me anything more about Plant Patents.

Future Inventor Videos …will tell where, when and how these “protective measures” become useful to you.

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