Is My Idea Already Patented?
Understanding How to Protect Your Intellectual Property
Coming up with a new idea is an exciting development in your
business ventures, but before you delve too far into production, it’s important
to ensure your idea isn’t already legally protected by someone else.
The process for securing your own unique patent is packed with important
steps that can appear insurmountable but are easily achievable with the
proper information and legal assistance from Scaringi Law.
Researching Existing Patents for Similar Ideas
Trademarks and copyrights are everywhere nowadays with the global boom of creative and business endeavors. While millions of patents already claim the intellectual property of many ideas, the landscape still leaves a great depth of opportunity that is currently unexplored.
To find out if your idea has already been claimed by someone else under a different patent, you should:
- Visit the official U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where you will be able to explore the full-text and image database to find applications and pictures for patents filed from 1975 to present day
- Search copies of applications for patents filed between 1790 and 1975 on the same trademark database
- Visit your local Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) where workers can assist you in your research
It’s important for your queries to be thorough and inclusive of synonymous
phrases. Identify the distinctive characteristics of your product that
make it unique and incorporate those terms into your search.
What if I Find Something Similar to My Idea?
Even if your specific idea is unclaimed, it’s wise to acknowledge
products that are tangent to yours. Understand the products protected
in the market and reference them in your application if they are similar
to yours. This gives you the opportunity to address the aspects of your
design that are inimitable.
What Do I Do if a Patent Already Exists?
If a patent exists on your idea, knowingly infringing on it could lead
to serious consequences. Our attorneys will help you dissect the verbiage
in the document to understand how broad or specific the patent is to see
if it overlaps with yours.
If the license is specific to your ideas, our attorneys can help you explore other options to carry on with development, such as an exclusive or non-exclusive licensing deal. Alternatively, we could help you negotiate with the owner to buy the patent completely. Whatever the case, our lawyers can help you tackle it.
Contact Scaringi Law for help protecting your intellectual property.