Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Is it possible for an individual to patent their own idea? If so, what direction do I go in?
By Joyce Lambert from Nokomis, AL
Go to this U.S. government patent office link, click on the 'patent' button on the blue barline (towards the top of the page) and a box will drop down giving all of the info you will need :-)
You can even file for a patent online.
I'm not sure about patents but I once heard about a poor man's copyright. You may be able to do the same thing for a patent.
The idea behind a poor man's copyright is you right down everything in detail and I will add (because of the new technology since I was told about this) take pictures and/or video (burn to CD). I would also add the documents to CD if possible. Take everything and package it up and mail it to yourself. When the package shows up DO NOT open it. The US Post Office delivery stamp and date are a Federal seal. As long as it remains closed it is proof of your design. If there is ever a question it can be opened in court as evidence to your claim.
This was originally told to me for something that could be written down and mailed in a letter. Maybe a Priority envelop from the Post Office would be better suited for documents, a CD/DVD and/or pictures.
The information that Suntydt provided above is incorrect. Please see
Your best bet is to get a lawyer and do it the proper way. If the idea is good enough to patent, it's worth the investment.
This newer website is all inclusive. That means you can make a patent, will, and business contract all on the same site. Their services range from 69.00 and up. I have heard nothing but good things about them, so that is my sage advice.
But the bottom line is, if it is something that might make you a lot of money, spending a little now will be worth it. Not to sound like our former VP, my husband came up with the idea of a calculator watch, but we didn't have the money to take it any further than the paper stage. A friend of mine's 16 year old son came up with the idea of coffee bags, but again, not much resource.
If you have what it takes, you will protect yourself with this very first step.