Ideas and inventions fuel our world. Creative minds putting ideas to paper and eventually turning those ideas into reality can change the way we live each and every day. The process does not happen overnight, however.
When you invent something, you will often need financial backing for the production and marketing of your product. Pitching your product will often be the first time you have exposed your invention and/or certain trade secrets to others who were not part of the initial creative process. You will need to protect your work from others who may attempt to undermine your invention and use it for themselves.
Be Selective About Who You Pitch To
First and foremost, you should not be pitching your invention to anyone who cannot actually help you accomplish your goals. Research potential investors and partners before revealing the details of your work. For instance, you would not want to pitch an invention related to automobiles to a company that exclusively works on medical technology.
You may know others in the target industry who can guide you to the right people. The fewer people your idea is exposed to the less risk there is that your idea can be leaked or stolen.
Use Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreements
The quickest way to prevent your idea from leaking outside of the rooms you are pitching it in is to form legally-binding agreements preventing the disclosure of those discussions Confidentiality agreements or NDAs give you legal recourse should someone violate the terms.
You will likely want to make it clear, however, that these agreements are not an indication of exclusivity. Ensuring flexibility through the pitch process as you work with multiple investors or parties to find the best fit for your product is imperative to retain fairness and maximize potential earnings.
Of course, both sides would need to agree to sign these agreements. It will be up to you to decide whether or not to pitch your invention to a party who refuses to keep those discussions confidential.
File a Provisional or Full Patent Application
There is nothing that says you must secure full funding before you secure patent-pending status or full patent protection. This process can take some time, but a provisional patent application at least makes it clear to others that you are already in the process of securing patent protection.
Provisional patent applications give you patent-pending status for 12 months. This gives you time to shop around for investors before fully committing to the patent. On the other hand, putting in the time and money to secure full patent protection ensures nobody can steal your work during the pitch process without exposing themselves to significant liability.
Work With an Attorney
All of this can be made easier by working with an experienced intellectual property attorney. At IP Works Law, we proudly represent our clients and power their ideas for the future. Whether you are in the initial stages of your work or are ready to pitch to investors, we can meet you where you are and help you make the right decisions for your innovation today. Contact our team to get started.
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