Patents are expensive, but if you are working for a startup or just have a great idea that your company is going to sue, you need to make sure that you get your intellectual property protected as quickly and comprehensively as possible. There's nothing more crushing than to have your brilliant design idea or method of doing things copied by someone else before you can benefit from it. Take these three easy steps to start protecting your intellectual property today.
1. Work With Patent Attorneys In Flyover States
Attorneys that live in popular places, such as the East or the West Coasts, are going to have a much higher cost of living than an attorney that lives in Nebraska or another flyover state. These attorneys are going to charge less money for their services because they will not need the money as desperately. An attorney that attended a top-notch school and lives in the mid-west is going to be just as good an attorney from the same school living in Silicon Valley, only cheaper. Don't worry about the fact that you don't live near your patent attorney. Most attorneys will be excellent as communicating through video chat functions and getting any necessary information to you that way.
2. Get an Audit
Hire a professional to audit your company and get a list of all of your intellectual property. There are going to be some forms of intellectual property that you may have missed, such as small details in how your idea is translated to the real world and any trademarks you may have. Having a comprehensive list will put your mind at ease and give you a set list of items to file when you finally do make it to the patent office.
3. File as Quickly as Possible and Keep Up on It
You need to file your patents as quickly as possible in order to make sure that your intellectual property is fully protected. When you file a patent application, you don't actually have the patent. It just creates a record that you had the idea first and anyone who follows will have to defer to this place in line. In 12 months, you will have to expand exactly what you are filing. By filing quickly, even before you performed an audit, you will be able to hold your place for the most important things which you can then expand later.
For more information, contact an office specializing in business law or intellectual property law.