Your Protection Starts Today
In all matters, it is essential that you preserve the confidentiality of your idea while working with third party interests. Request to view MTIP's 15-minute introductory webinar on Intellectual Property. Take time to educate yourself on what constitutes IP and how to protect it. Find out what kind of IP protection you need by using the USPTO's IP Awareness Assessment Tool. The tool guides you through questions and returns a report to you about which IP areas, i.e. patents, trademarks, etc. you may need to apply to your business.
Start your IP education by reading MTIP's Innovator's Guide. In it, you'll learn how to talk about your invention before obtaining a patent, how to keep invention records, and other key tips about IP. You can also learn more about how to conduct your own patent search by reading MTIP's A Preliminary Approach to Patent Searching.
Seasoned inventors know that using a non-disclosure agreement or NDA (confidentiality agreement) is critical to protecting IP while at the same time, opening the communication lines to discuss the innovation. An NDA is a contract that creates a confidential relationship between parties to protect nonpublic business information. NDA's are commonly signed between two parties who are considering doing business together. NDA's can be mutual and protect both parties with one agreement.
The following are links to examples of non-disclosure forms and language that can help you customize a confidentiality document to protect the confidentiality of your innovations.
To find out more, visit MTIP's Training Materials page to request access to view Intellectual Property Lite, a 15-minute overview of Intellectual Property; learn the basics on patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.
Beware of Invention Scams
Michael S. Neustel, a U.S. Registered Patent Attorney, founded the National Inventor Fraud Center, Inc. (NIFC) with the goal to provide information to consumers about invention promotion companies and how people can market their ideas. Many inventors do not realize that some invention marketing companies charge thousands of dollars yet have success rates of 0.00%. The goal of the NIFC is to educate and help inventors make the right decisions. Learn how to avoid scams at: www.inventorfraud.com.
You Have a Good Idea. Now What Do You Do?
Dr. Robert Hunter, former Montanan and a registered patent agent, has developed an invention tutorial for inventors. Some of the topics covered at Dr. Hunter's website www.webpatent.com include:
- Protecting Your Intellectual Property
- Provisional Patents
- Technology Management
- Inventor's Guide