We live in a world where people continually search for ways to better and improve the world, whether it be through music, books, ideas, or inventions. There is no better find than coming up with an idea that can change the world and set you up for a lifelong success. However, chances are that almost 99% of the ideas are already thought of and even patented. There's nothing worse than having to put all of your energy and money only to realize that your idea already has someone's own rights to it. However, if it isn't, learn how you can protect your idea and reap your benefits!
The first step in protecting your idea or invention is to first know the difference between a copyright, trademark, and a patent. In order to protect your idea, you must first obtain a copyright, especially for plays, books, piece of music, etc. which will give you the right to spread your idea along with the credit for coming up with it.
A trademark is used to distinguish the product coming from one particular entity to another. It protects elements such as marketing, logos, slogans, or other characteristics against infringement.
A patent is for inventions, like a product or a process of obtaining the product. It allows the inventor to prevent selling or offering the idea or product from use.
After understanding the terms mentioned above, you must assess whether you idea or invention can be protected or not. There is a term called "fair use" which allows educational or non-profit organizations to use for criticism, tribute, or inspiration.
Patents cannot be acquired for natural processes or products and business methods, although it can depend on the situation. Once a patent or copyright expires, anyone can use it, so one must renew the patent. Your idea will only be protected until a patent is issued. Just because you file for a patent does not mean that you can prevent and protect your idea from others. Buy paying periodic fees, you can maintain and renew your patent.
Make sure to document the development of your idea. Why? Because the people helping you with your idea might be the first ones claiming your idea and money, and they can get away with it since they helped you with every step. Videotape, record, or find a way to document every step and interaction of your idea or invention.
Next, hire a patent attorney. It's best to hire an attorney who specializes in patent and copyrighting because patents are long, complex documents. Although they charge you a pretty penny, it's all worth it once your idea soars to the sky.