Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents Your Rights Online

Should I Publish Or Patent? 266

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-a-lawyer dept.
BorgeStrand writes 'Patenting is an expensive process, even coming up with some sort of proof that your idea is unique (and thereby try to attract financing) may be prohibitive for the lone inventor. So what do you folks out there do when you come up with a good idea but don't have the means to patent it or market it to someone who will pay for the patenting process? And how much sense does it really make for the lone inventor to patent something? Would it make more sense to publish the whole idea, and make it (and my inventive brainpower) up for grabs? If my ideas are indeed valuable, what is the best way to gain anything from them without investing too much financially? What is your experience?'
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Should I Publish Or Patent?

Comments Filter:
  • You can do both (Score:5, Informative)

    by Steve1952 (651150) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @09:39AM (#29756407)
    If you live in the US, you can do both. First send in a provisional patent to the USPTO using their electronic filing system (costs $110), then publish your idea. You have a year to decide to patent the idea or not, and if you decide not to, all you are out is $110.
  • In the UK (Score:2, Informative)

    by whencanistop (1224156) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @09:53AM (#29756567) Homepage Journal
    In the UK, fortunately you have a nice little website [businesslink.gov.uk] that tells you all about how to take ideas you have and turn them into money.

    Fortunately, they also have a section on protecting your intellectual property [businesslink.gov.uk] that tells you how to do that as well (in terms of patenting, NDAs, Trademarks and Design right). I'm sure the processes aren't quite as straightforward as they look like they are here, but you get the point.

    On a personal note - the question of whether to patent is a difficult one. In the internet era it would seem easier to exploit the innovation yourself before anyone else can come up with a similar, but slightly different idea that they then make a shed load of money out of.

    Disclaimer: I work for BusinessLink
  • Re:You can do both (Score:3, Informative)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:03AM (#29756675) Homepage

    I had an IP lawyer tell me that the provisional patent is completely pointless. You don't have to file a provisional patent to get this protection. You can publish, then patent up to a year later and your idea is still protected.

  • Re:You can do both (Score:5, Informative)

    by N Monkey (313423) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:20AM (#29756933)

    I had an IP lawyer tell me that the provisional patent is completely pointless. You don't have to file a provisional patent to get this protection. You can publish, then patent up to a year later and your idea is still protected.

    ...but only in the US. If you do as suggested above you will have screwed up your protection for the rest of the world (or at least the majority of it :-) ). Get your patent filed first, to get a "priority date" and you then have, something like, a year to file in other countries. In the mean time you can publish if you want.

  • by tburkhol (121842) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:24AM (#29757011)

    If you patent, it'll be expensive.

    In the US, you can apply for a provisional patent [uspto.gov] for $110. This is a simplified, essentially abstract patent application you can use to hold your place in the patent line while you go off and find someone to commercialize/help you commercialize your idea.

    You've still got a year after publication to make a provisional filing, but you also get a year after the provisional filing before the full application.

HOST SYSTEM NOT RESPONDING, PROBABLY DOWN. DO YOU WANT TO WAIT? (Y/N)

Working...