A patent can make or break a business. It determines not only your business's success, but financial future. If you do not patent your invention and someone else does, you could be sued for patent infringement and forced to shut down - even if you were the original inventor.
As a business owner or inventor, you need to file a patent application right away - but at the same time, make sure you don't commit one of these common patent application mistakes.
Waiting Too Long to File Your Application
Patents prevent others from using your technology, invention or unique design. If you don't file your application in time, you could forfeit your right to use that invention - and someone else can scoop up the opportunity.
You are required to file your Provisional Patent Application or PPA within 12 months after you first sell the product or use it in public. After that, you then have an additional 12-month period to file your official patent application. If you skip either deadline, you no longer have the right to claim the product/invention as your own.
Not Conducting a Patent Search
Before filing your application, you must do a patent search. A patent attorney in Illinois can assist you with this part of the process. Even if you do a search on your own, you may want an attorney to confirm the results before filing.
Submitting a Poor Application
The USPTO has very strict rules for patent applications and if you do not follow those rules, you will face an automatic rejection. The easiest part to mess up is your patent drawings - most first-time applicants ignore the strict instructions. It is best to hire patent lawyers in Illinois for your patent application, because they understand the rules and can ensure your application is not rejected for a simple mistake.
Not Using Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Agreements
Patent applications can take a long time to approve. If you are seeking outside investors or even hiring people to work within your company, you need to protect your unpatented invention. Non-disclosure and non-compete agreements can be drafted by your patent attorney in Illinois. These agreements can prevent those third parties from using a similar invention or creating a competing business with your invention while you wait for official patent approval.