Protecting Your Invention

Conception of an invention occurs upon the initial formulation of the idea in the inventor’s mind. Conception refers only to the “idea” and nothing more. You cannot patent an “idea.” In order to put your “conception” or “idea” into a form for protection, you need to proceed with “reduction to practice” of your idea. Depending on the specific circumstances, this can be as simple as a drawing of the invention, or, in certain cases the construction of a prototype for testing. If you are in doubt as to what needs to be done, call George Williamson.

Once you conceive an invention, you should document the invention and the steps you have taken in developing the idea. Click on Confidential Disclosure Form – Record of Invention to review a form which can be used for this purpose. It is recommended that you consult a Patent Attorney. Consulting a registered Patent Attorney is very important, as you could lose your patent rights if you don’t know the laws. If you call Mr. Williamson, your initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose. Keep in mind that the steps to obtaining patent protection are Time Dependent, so don’t waste time before contacting a Patent Attorney.

After the conception of your invention, it is advisable to make a written disclosure of the invention, with the time and date of conception, including a description of the invention with a sketch of its features. It’s a good idea to date and initial each page of your notes. The description should include as much detail as possible and describe the operation, purposes, and advantages of the invention. You should then have the disclosure witnessed in compliance with the laws of of your particular state. Normally, this requires that at least two individuals sign your description. The witnesses should be trustworthy, unrelated to you, and agree to keep the invention confidential. If possible, the witnesses should also have sufficient technical knowledge to fully understand your invention. You might also want to have the disclosure notarized by a notary public. Click on Confidential Disclosure Form – Record of Invention to review a form which can be used for this purpose.