1. Secure Trademark Protection Immediately
One of the top ways to effectively protect your ideas is by securing trademark protection as quickly as possible. Although the process takes 3-6 months, as long as you have started the process, this will provide you some protection as far as overall legality is concerned.
This is the most important action - having the process in place will give you the safety net you need under the eye of the law, even if not completed in its entirety.
2. Ensure you Know the Right Patent for your ProductNext, knowing the type of patent needed for your product or idea is vital. Different types of patents are used for specific categories of inventions. If you fail to choose the right one, this could prolong or even negate the process. The types of patents are as follows:
- Utility- This type of patent is the most commonly discussed patent. A utility patent includes a detailed technical document that provides the general public with instructions on how to use the product, system, or process.
- Provisional- A provisional patent is considered an extension of the utility patent. This type of patent provides inventors with a "patent pending" status and is essentially a way to protect the invention as if goes through the long, drawn-out process of securing a utility patent.
- Design- This type of patent is specifically to protect the ornamental design of a product. For instance, if you have a fancy type of packaging or a special type of container, a design patent can cover you and keep your competition from stealing your unique aesthetics.
- Plant- These patents are literally for plants and other types of horticultural products.
3. Utilize Requests for Continuation Applications
No technical process is foolproof. This is especially true for the process of patenting products. However, if you find yourself on the receiving end of a patent denial, you can request a continuation application to give yourself some more time and options for securing some sort of protection. Other than that, your product would essentially lose protection until you found a way to secure the necessary patent or trademark.
Overall, protecting your products and ideas is serious business. However, don't let this arduous process intimidate or confuse you. Simply follow these tips and you're well on your way to securing long-term protection for your products and/or ideas.