This past March, patent law made an important shift that all entreps should be aware of. The new system is known as “first-to-file” which means patents go to the first entity to file an application. In the past, if you could prove that you were the first to invent the product, you were awarded a patent. Additionally, patents will be judged against international inventions, not just those created in the US.
With these new rules: 1- Be sure to search the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Patentscope and the European Patent Office’s website. 2- Consider filing a “provisional application” which will hold your patent for one year-- only $130 for provisional filing! The good news- the US Patent and Trademark Office is setting up pro-bono patent assistance centers across the country! Learn more: www.uspto.gov/inventors/