I remember reading a quote by the legendary ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky who said:
Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.
While his words are harsh, I find his wisdom heavy. I have met countless inventors and entrepreneurs who for one reason or another find themselves unable to take the next step in bringing their idea to market or fully understanding the mechanics of protecting intellectual property in the United States.
As a result, I have put together three key questions that have come up in my career as a Miami Patent Attorney and my measured responses, which I hope will give you renewed impetus and energy to get your idea protected and ultimately profit from it. If you have further questions, simply use the form further below and I will be happy to give you further confidential guidance on your invention.
Question: Is it too late to patent your innovation or invention?
A: A patent application must be filled within one year of the time the invention was first made public or offered for sale. Potential patent rights for innovations disclosed more than a year ago today are forever lost. (Foreign rights can be lost immediately upon publication.) Have you made important developments during the past year that merit protection?
Question: Does the ability to control the market for your technology justify the investment in a patent?
A: A U.S. patent lets you prevent others from making, using, or selling the U.S. any products that contain your patented technology. Even if knock-offs are manufactured overseas, you can keep them out and control pricing in the United States.
Wouldn’t you prefer to set your pricing based upon the value of your product and not by undercutting rivals?
Question: Can you get a quality patent that will protect against clever competitors?
A: A patent should be more than an ‘expensive trophy’ that is too narrowly written to be of competitive use. A patent attorney must understand your technology and your business strategy with the long view in mind. Would you like to focus limited resources where they can provide the greatest leverage?