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Philip'
24-10-2004, 09:39 PM
Hi,

Iím currently looking at patenting a few innovations, however before I invest in such products I would prefer to approach the organisations I intend to sell the innovations to. Does anybody know how I can secure these innovations as my intellectual property before actually approaching an organisation? Also, is it possible to protect not the product, but an idea.

Thanks for your help and I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Phil.

Afzaal
25-10-2004, 04:41 PM
Dear Phil,

To learn more about what steps can be taken to protect one's intellectual property rights, visit The Patent Office website at www.patent.gov.uk. It offers a lot of useful information and forms that can be downloaded.

Before approaching organisations to discuss your ideas, you would be strongly advised to draft a 'non-disclosure agreement' or a 'confidentiality agreement', setting out the terms under which you would be willing to discuss your work. A solicitor specialising in Intellectual Property will be able to help you on this.

If you decide to file a patent for your invention, I would advise that you seek the professional advice and assistance of a qualified patent attorney who will be able to draft a description for your invention with sufficient scope as to cover variations of it, thereby protecting more than one manifestation of your idea.

There is no filing fee for a patent application, but patent attorney fees can begin to mount up. However to file an application yourself may not give you the best possible chance of acquiring a patent or one that has sufficient scope to offer any reasonable protection.

Having filed your patent apllication, you will be given a filing date and a period of 12 months within which to decide whether to proceed further with your application. At this stage you may have to meet further requirements such as filing 'claims' if you haven't already done so, and fees will also become due to The Patent Office. This 12 month period does give you a window in which to disclose your idea within a protective framework.

The best approach is to carry out thorough research of the market and to evaluate the full potential of your invention. Showing/discussing the idea/product with potential customers may not be a bad idea.

Hope this helps.

Afzaal