Patent Protection

If Your Invention is Worth Stealing, It's Worth Protecting.

In order to protect your idea, you must obtain a patent. Only a patent will enable you to own the idea and make money from it. Nobody will be able to legally make, sell, or use the invention unless you give your permission. Patent rights can enable you to profit from your invention in the U.S. and, if desired, around the world.

What Qualifies?

To qualify for patent protection, an invention does not have to be totally new. It can be an improvement on existing items or processes, including business methods. Even a small functional or decorative improvement may be patented. You don't need to make a prototype to patent your invention.


An improved, decorative appearance to a product is protected by a design patent, which lasts for 14 years. A utility patent protects functional improvements to a product or process. Once issued, utility patents usually last for 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.

Losing Your Rights

These valuable rights can be lost forever by public exposure of the idea. In the U.S., public exposure more than one year before you file a patent application will cause you to lose potential patent rights. In many foreign countries, if any public exposure occurs prior to the filing of the patent application, you can lose all rights and others are free to use the invention.

Any public disclosure of your idea, on the Internet, by voice, television, radio, or any other form of public disclosure, could affect your chances of getting a patent. It's best not to tell others about your idea until you have achieved "patent pending" status by filing an application.

The Biggest Mistake

The single biggest mistake we have seen over the years is that inventors do not take action when they should. Your failure to act diligently in pursuing your legal rights could cause you to lose all rights: your invention would become available to everybody without you getting paid a penny. To avoid losing your patent rights, you need to take the next steps without delay.


To receive free information on patents or if you have any questions, contact us via our secure Contact Form. If you would like us to conduct a patent search for you, please submit your request via our secure Patent Search Request Form.