To be able to patent an invention it has to be new, innovative and useful, meaning that no information should be disclosed regarding the invention at all and no one should ever use it before one applies for a patent. Therefore if you’re an inventor then it’s of the utmost importance that you keep your invention completely secret and avoid making it known to the pubic at all. Do not even attempt to discuss your ground-breaking invention even with a family member or friend if they are not bound by a legal contract. Confidentiality is rule number one when it comes to patents.
It is to the inventor’s advantage to file a provisional application, especially due to the fact that the procedure is relatively fast and it secures a specified filing date. Before the completion of the application it takes up to twelve months for investigation of technical excellence, innovation and commercial projections to be completed. Also, the inventor then has a twelve month period to develop and manufacture the product. During this time the inventor can compile a legal non -disclosure agreement to protect the confidentiality of the invention until the patent’s application has been filed.
All legal protection plans have expiry dates therefore it is advisable to apply to re-file the patent application once it expires. The re-filing of a patent does come with many disadvantages such as losing the original first file date; therefore the owner of the patent should invest in legal advice before taking reapplication.
There is only one solution around the patent protection plan to ensure that one is protected for life, and that is to not patent the invention at all and to keep it completely secret for ever. It is do able, but not realistic however, and it’s almost an impossible task.
For more information, visit www.howtopatent.co.za.