Whether you’re starting a business or you’re a successful innovator, the five stages of patent efficiency will help you get the most out of your intellectual property rights. These steps will increase your productivity, help you to better understand your own legal rights, and help you to better protect your assets.
Developing a menu of different degrees of patent protection
Developing a menu of different degrees of patent protection can help you prioritize your patent portfolio and make informed decisions about which inventions to pursue and how to protect them. Here are a few examples of different degrees of patent protection:
1. Full Patent Protection
A full patent protection involves filing a comprehensive patent application and seeking the broadest possible protection for the invention. This typically requires a significant investment of time and resources but provides the greatest level of protection for the invention.
2. Provisional Patent Application
A provisional patent application is a quick and inexpensive way to secure a filing date for your invention. It allows you to establish priority for the invention and provides a one-year window to file a full patent application.
3. Patent Pending
A patent pending status is obtained by filing a provisional or full patent application. It indicates that a patent application has been filed and is being reviewed by the patent office, but has not yet been granted.
4. Trade Secret Protection
Trade secret protection involves keeping an invention confidential and not disclosing it to the public. This provides protection for the invention as long as it remains a trade secret, but the protection can be lost if the secret is disclosed or otherwise becomes known to the public.
5. Open Source Licensing
Open source licensing allows others to use and build upon your invention, but typically requires them to share any improvements they make with the community. This approach can be useful for software and other technologies that benefit from collaboration and widespread adoption.
6. Defensive Publication
A defensive publication involves publicly disclosing the invention to prevent others from obtaining a patent on the same or similar invention. This approach can be useful for inventions that you do not plan to commercialize but want to protect from being patented by others.
By developing a menu of different degrees of patent protection, you can prioritize your patent portfolio and make informed decisions about which inventions to pursue and how to protect them. This can help you optimize your IP strategy and maximize the value of your patent portfolio.