Trade Secrets in Intellectual Property

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the ability to come up with new ideas and services is something that can be incredibly lucrative, when marketed correctly. Much of the work Mr. Sullivan conducts revolves around increasing the productivity of software, and if you happen to be in a field where there are inadequacies spotted, you just might be able to make living off of your ideas. Those who work in a store or a restaurant might have a stroke of genius and not even know it, but when the time comes to protect that idea it is important to know the law.

According to their site, patent protection services with Shapiro Legal, or a similar type of firm go a long way in protecting company’s IP (intellectual property) from piracy.  It is a very disappointing and even scary event when someone has their idea stolen not only after having developed it, but in many cases after having marketed and sold it. While not as common today because of bad publicity on the internet, this form of ‘patent thievery’ is known as a submarine patent, and yes, it is quite legal. It is even possible for someone to be sued for selling the product they invented, unless they acquire a patent before someone else does.

Here’s a link to search for existing patents:

http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp

Having a patent makes it infinitely easier to pursue damages suffered as a result of having an idea or a product infringed upon by another company. While there are investigations that can be done in to who actually came up with an idea first, a patent being filed is the court’s way of knowing ‘this individual was first to discover said invention.’

One of the best ways to avoid having one’s patent questioned or fought in court is to come up with an idea that is as radical as possible. As was evidenced by the recent lawsuits between Apple and Google, there is no easy way to come up with a distinct product these days.  Checking one’s idea against any others that might be similar at the patent office is a great first step in knowing if you are on the right track to cultivating an original idea. Also, having a basic idea of what can be patented and what cannot be will help to avoid a whole lot of headaches.

Someone cannot just come out and patent the automobile for example, because that would create a monopoly on a market so large it would be detrimental to the public. But, creating a unique automobile with specific brand qualities and design aesthetics is completely acceptable in the patent world. The details tend to tell the story much of the time, whether it is a piece of computer software, a car engine or any other type of invention being produced and patented.

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