Is the Poor Man’s Patent A Myth?

The so-called “Poor Man’s Patent” is a myth. The phrase is referring to protecting your idea by describing your invention on paper and then mailing yourself the documentation in a sealed envelope. The purpose was to prove that an inventor had the idea first by records of the dated envelope.

This theory WILL NOT PROTECT YOUR INVENTION. In 2013, the USPTO introduced the first-to-file provision and in order to obtain a patent, you have to be the first person to file.

Being the original inventor with an idea no longer matters. If someone beats you to the patent office, they would have immediate and exclusive access to file for the invention.

The only way to legally protect your idea is to file for a patent. And timing is everything since you have to file first to be protected.

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