You have probably never heard of Antonio Meucci or Elias Howe, but you have heard of Alexander Graham Bell and the Singer Brothers. Meucci invented the first telephone, and Howe invented the sewing machine. Like many others, Meucci and Howe had their inventions stolen because they did not adequately protect it.
With every great invention comes someone willing to copy it, robbing you of your time and profits. Fortunately, you can make sure this does not happen to you.
Write everything down, including your ideas with dates and times, any notes you have and any prototypes and prototype parts you need. There is no limit to documentation. You should keep records of any phone calls, emails and correspondence about your invention. All of these things may serve as proof that your ideas are yours should you need it in court.
Be Careful Who You Share With
Having a new idea or invention is exciting. You may want to tell the world. Social media and the internet are not great ways to do it. Geat ideas are stolen off the internet every day. You need to have a license or a patent for your invention before showing it off, particularly when sharing it makes your idea go world wide.
Get It in Writing
Make sure anyone you work with signs a nondisclosure agreement and a non-compete agreement. If you hire someone, make sure they sign each of these as well as a work-for-hire contract. These agreements protect you if your idea is stolen by someone offering you help or someone who works for you.
Do Your Research
You probably will have to work with outside companies while building your invention. Research their backgrounds and find any lawsuits against them. A bit of research will help you avoid scam artists and disreputable businesses.
Speak With a Patent Lawyer
Don’t be afraid to talk to a patent lawyer about your invention. A patent lawyer can help you navigate the confusing world of patents and licenses.
Obtain Licensing or a Patent As Quickly as Possible
The best way to protect your invention is to get a patent or licensing. When trying to prove you thought of it first, most courts decide in favor of who patented it first.
Coming up with a new idea is fantastic, but turning that idea into an actual product takes careful steps and planning. By taking your time and documenting everything legally, you can turn your dreams into reality.