28 Aug Kickstarter Patenting – Why and How
Do you currently have an idea for a Kickstarter project or had one in the past? Have you wondered about the importance of patenting your idea before launching it? There’s a lot more thought that needs to go into setting up your Crowdfunding or Kickstarter projects than simply loading your content and hitting publish. If you want to avoid possible legal issues, you’re going to need to be up to date on the measures you’ll have to take in order to protect the intellectual property you’re making public. Failing to patent an idea could result in it ending up in the hands of the public or worse, up against a legal battle for trademark infringement.
The first thing to know before going ahead and starting the patent process, is to understand what exactly a patent is, how to patent an idea or product and why it is important for Crowdfunding and Kickstarter projects. You’ve worked long and hard to come up with your product idea, now’s not the time to risk putting it in jeopardy. We’ll share with you some basic but highly valuable information that will help you keep your ideas secure and protected.
What is a Patent?
When we think about innovation, the word patent often comes to mind. If you’ve come up with an innovative idea, protecting your rights to it is essential. When you patent your product, it prevents others from stealing the rights to the product’s utility function and design. Your patent will also inhibit others from releasing the same product under their name.
When & How to Patent an Idea?
When your spark of an idea has matured past the conceptual stage, your next step would be to find out whether what you’ve invented is a product there is demand for. If you’ve done the research to determine there is a need for what you’ve invented then you can continue along in the patenting stage.
If you don’t exactly have a physical product yet but simply an expression of an innovative product idea, then you will want to file for a provisional patent. Filing for a provisional patent will allow you 1 year to dig into market research. The title of ‘patent pending’ will provide you with the one-year protection before you will need to finalize the utility and design features of your product idea.
Note: In order to list ‘patent pending’ on your product, you need to be the first person to apply for a provisional patent, not simply the first to have come up with the innovative idea or to have invented the product.
If your idea has already materialized, meaning you’ve ironed out the details of its utility and design already, you can skip ahead and file for a patent directly.
Kickstarter Patenting – Why and How
Kickstarter and Crowdfunding patenting is almost essential if you plan to launch an extremely innovative product out to the public. Patenting your product will provide it with utility and design protection. As mentioned at the beginning, if you have not patented your product and decide to simply launch it to the public, there is a huge risk if you’ve failed to look into whether someone already has an existing patent on the product. The possibility of being faced with trademark, copywrite or patent infringements can be a death sentence for the success of your product. In addition to the fines you may face, you could have to change the entire design or utility of your product and/or the name.
Once you’re well into your Kickstarter or Crowdfunding campaign and already have a strong following backing you, any changes to your product could result in catastrophe for the campaign.
Has your idea matured past concept? Will your customers see your innovative product idea as useful to them? Ready to release it to the public? If you’ve said yes to all of these questions then it’s time to file for a provisional patent.
The clock is ticking! Once you’ve filled for your provisional patent, you’ve got one year to conduct all your market research.
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