Patenting your intellectual property is a crucial component of your business’s success. The competitive edge provided by a patent can be invaluable. You probably know that the patent application process can be lengthy. So, how do you know when it’s the right time to begin the patent application process?
How many people know about your idea?
Your design is increasingly vulnerable to copycats the longer it’s left unprotected. This may not be a big concern if only you or a handful of others know about your idea. However, once your idea becomes known across your business organization or outside of the organization, the risk of someone stealing your idea increases exponentially.
If you intend to move forward with something that was once just an idea, you should begin the patent application process. Doing so can help give you the time you need to ensure your intellectual property is fully protected when it’s ready for the marketplace.
Is a patent-pending label useful?
A patent-pending label is useful for putting others on notice that you are likely to receive full patent protection. This label may be enough to give potential copycats pause if they are considering running away with your design. A patent-pending label also offers you some level of protection should another party infringe on your design.
It’s important that you not put a patent-pending label on something before you file an actual patent application. Doing so could land you in legal hot water.
You should consider working with an experienced professional who can help guide you through the patent application process. This can help ensure there are no untimely delays as you move forward with your plan.