11 March 2006

Patents: Resources on Yahoo

It's funny how one discovers useful tings in the most unexpected places isn't. A good example of this serendipity is the "Patent And Trade Law" (sic) - I think they meant "trade secrets" - on the "Small Business " section of Yahoo. The material is written from an American perspective and is therefore based on US law, but much of it is universally applicable.

My favourite article is "You Don't Need a Lawyer to Get a Patent". The article starts with the position of many inventors:
"you have more imagination than money, and a patent attorney wants $7,500 to file a patent application for you. Must your invention gather dust in the garage, or can you apply for a patent yourself, without a lawyer?"

The advice that the article gives is very sound. The only bit that isn't really necessary here is: "record every step of the invention process in a notebook." That is very necessary in America because the right to apply for a patent goes to whoever is the first to invent in America and not the person who is the first to file as it is in most other countries of the world including here. It is still however good practice and as many foreign inventors would want patent protection in the USA there is no harm in following it. The articles ends with potted life histories of four persons who have done very well from their inventions.

Two interesting related articles are "Patent searching online" and "Making your own patent drawings". There are also some good articles on enforcement, non-disclosure agreements and plenty of other stuff.

No comments: