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Justified Paranoia: Patenting and the Delicate Dance Between Confidentiality and Investment

Most inventors understand that a certain amount of paranoia goes a long way when dealing with an idea or invention. Ideas cannot be patented, but every invention starts with an idea. When you have an idea that has been sufficiently formulated and described in a provisional patent application, you may even be able to license that invention idea without yet having received a patent. This all falls apart if you tell others about your invention or otherwise disclose your invention before a patent application is filed. Worse, if you tell someone your idea without a confidentiality agreement, they are free to use the idea without paying you anything. It can feel like the wild west sometimes for inventors seeking to become entrepreneurs—whether their dreams are to license inventions, to build a company to sell a product, or to offer a service representing the invention. Once your idea crosses the idea-invention boundary (discussed here), you can receive a patent, provided of course that it is new and nonobvious. But if you start telling others about your invention, they could make and use your invention without paying you—which is bad enough, but the mere act of someone else moving forward with your idea could forever prevent you from obtaining a patent.
The post Justified Paranoia: Patenting and the Delicate Dance Between Confidentiality and Investment appeared first on IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law.

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