Have you come up with an invention that will be a truly unique addition to the world of sports? If you believe that you have an idea worth selling, then you will want to discuss your options with a patent attorney immediately. If you attempt to bring your invention to the open market without a patent, any major sporting goods company can take your idea and use their massive budgets to run you out of the industry. Instead, take advantage of the legal protections that a United States patent grants you, and capitalize on your ideas to build a business around. The Patent Professor has over 20 years of experience with helping clients submit successful patent applications, and we will be happy to help you with your new idea. Our understanding of the complex nature of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will be a great asset to you and your invention, as we build a complete picture of your intellectual property before submitting it for final approval. Read more below about patents, and how we can help you with yours.
What Is a Patent?
A patent is a legal protective device issued by the USPTO for inventions that they determine to be “unique, useful, and non-obvious.” These legal tools give inventors a certain period of time that they can take advantage of complete exclusivity in the market, where they have full rights to sales, distribution, manufacturing, and all other actions pertaining to their invention. For example, if we were to file a successful patent for your sports invention, you will have 20 years (if it is a utility patent) where you can focus entirely on growing your market without fear of competition from knock-off products or replicants.
Do You Need a Patent?
Underestimating the need for a sports patent could hurt your invention or your business. There are several ways in which failing to obtain a patent can hurt you.
1. Lack of Exclusivity
With a sports patent, you can protect your invention for 20 years. In that time, no one else is allowed to produce or offer your invention. If you fail to obtain a patent, you have no protection. This leaves your invention open to the public. Anyone can hear about your invention and use it for their personal gain. For instance, a competitor could see your product and decide to make their own version. If they have more resources than you, they could take off with your sales. Your potential customers could turn to them. The lack of exclusivity makes the competition much more difficult. With a patent, you won’t have any direct competition.
2. You Can’t Sell Rights to Your Sports Invention
If you have a patent, you can sell the patent or licensing rights. In either case, you can make money from your invention. You could sell the patent for a lump sum, or sell licensing rights and make royalties from sales of your product. It’s a passive way to make income. Without a patent, you need to do the work on your own. No matter how great your invention may be, you need to work hard to market it. You could struggle to make a profit.
3. You Need to Rely on Trade Secrets
Failing to obtain a patent means you need to rely on trade secrets. Therefore, you need to spend time and energy guarding your secrets. You never know when something will get out, and the result could be a disaster. For more security, you need a patent. The protection that a patent gives you allows you to stop having trade secrets. Furthermore, it allows you to stop spending time guarding your secrets.
How Long Will My Patent Last?
Each patent designation has a different length of time that they are valid for. If you are applying for a design patent, then you will have a 14 year term. If, however, you are applying for a utility patent, then you will have 20 years. A patent term runs from the day that you receive your final approval.
How Can The Patent Professor Help?
When dealing with the patent application process, you can find that it is complex and confusing. Even the most experienced inventors find this part of invention to be very overwhelming, which is where The Patent Professor comes in. We will walk you through every step of the process, and make sure that your chances of being approved are high. Read more about how we work with our clients below:
Patent Research Process
When a client approaches us with an invention, the first thing we do is research the patent databases to determine that it is truly unique. This step can be lengthy, but we believe that it is absolutely essential. We do not want to waste your time or money proceeding forward with the application process, only to find out that there are already patents that will keep you from being approved. Once we complete our research, we will make a suggestion on whether or not to proceed based on our experience and analysis.
The patent application process is notoriously tedious and detailed. During this step of the process, we will go through each step with you to make sure that every bit of information is accurate, complete, and that your application follows the necessary standards of the USPTO. There is nothing more disheartening than spending a lot of time on your application, only to receive a rejection based on a simple procedural error or an omission of basic information. Once we have determined your application to be complete, then we will go through it once more to be absolutely sure. During this time, you will be able to focus on your business plans and how you will capitalize on your invention once you have full legal protection.
Once you receive your final approval of your patent, we will make sure that you completely understand the legal rights you have been granted. Since a patent is meant to encourage innovation in global markets, we want to be positive that you are able to take full advantage of this benefit.
Contact Us Today
If you believe that you have come up with a unique invention and would like to patent it for the sports world, contact The Patent Professor today. We will be happy to explore your legal options, explain our process, and get you one step closer to your dreams.