As a business owner, keeping informed about the finer points of employment law is important. If you're getting ready to hire your first employees, you need to be sure that you understand exactly what you can and cannot do. Don't risk getting yourself into legal trouble by asking the wrong question at the interview or making an off-hand comment that's considered legally unacceptable. I created this site to give you the basics of employment law expectations. I hope that the information here helps you to understand what you should and shouldn't do as you're interviewing and hiring your first staff members.
Do you have an excellent idea for an invention that people will want to buy? As any inventor knows, you have to file for a patent if you want to keep your intellectual property safe while you develop your idea. If you've never applied for a provisional patent before, it's vital to know how you can avoid mistakes that might cost you in the long run.
Provisional Applications Can Hold Your Place In Line
Even if you aren't ready to file for a full patent yet, you don't have to just sit and worry about your idea being taken. Instead, you can apply for a less expensive provisional patent, which also requires less detail. By getting a provisional patent for your idea now, you can ensure that your eventual full patent application is treated as though you applied on the date of your provisional patent. This essentially holds your spot in line and keeps competing patents filed after yours from being able to steal your thunder.
An Incomplete Provisional Application May Be Used Against You
Competing patents pose a threat to you if your application is lacking in sufficient detail. Provisional patents take less information than full-fledged ones, but they still require elements that show you have a well-defined concept.
If your provisional application is lacking drawings, specifications, or other information to show you have a real invention, patent court may award the rights to your competitor, making all of your efforts for nothing. To avoid this, consult with a patent lawyer before filing your application. This may drive the cost up slightly, but an airtight provisional patent will ensure that your future full patent is safe.
Maintaining A Patent Is Going To Cost You
Even if you think your idea is perfect now, you might reconsider how much you want to invest in your invention when you look at the cost of a patent application. Even if you manage all of the work yourself and don't seek professional assistance, it can still cost hundreds in application fees to even have your idea considered. With help from a patent lawyer to ensure your papers are properly completed, that figure rises by thousands of dollars.
After your patent is granted, you'll have to pay regular maintenance fees to keep your rights. Costs vary based on the size of your company and how long you've held the patent, but you should expect to pay a few hundred dollars every few years.
Getting a patent for your idea can be daunting, but it's still important. If you aren't sure where to start, consult with a patent lawyer from a firm like Kaufhold & Dix Patent Law about your options. Most lawyers will talk to you the first time for free, so it's a good way to get an idea of what you need before your application is ready.