how do you protect your work?

hey guys!

I was just wondering, since I´m about to open my website, how do you protect your work? Is there someone out there who patented something?, the procedure is different from one country to another? (I am romanian citizen living in Spain).
I read over the internet that a patent must be payed to stay patented. Are other less expensive methods to stay with your legal rights?


Even getting a patent doesn’t guarantee you legal protection- you must still hire lawyers, etc. to actually fight those who you suspect of stealing your idea. And yes, patent protection varies from one country to another.

I read a book I found helpful, called “Will It Sell?:
How to Determine If Your Invention Is Profitably Marketable
(Before Wasting Money on a Patent)”

You might want to consider if the publicity and benefits of showing your ideas (jobs, school applications), might outweigh the risks of having someone take you idea from you. My guess is for most people, it might.

You can apply for design patents which are usually easier to get than utility patents. The problem is your protection is by country, so you need to file in every country that you would want protection. This is super expensive. Another note is if you are applying for any international patent outside the US then your term starts on the first published date, so unless you haven’t shown anybody the drawings or images regarding to any kind of business relationship, you will have a one year term starting on the date that you do. With that said, if you were to publish any work on your website and the purposes of that display was to either raise interest of solicit any kind of work, you would have a one year term starting on that date to file a formal application. You can file provisional applications in the US for around $150 and that can secure you another 18mo. before having to file a formal application. Other than that I would suggest only pursuing patent protection on work you are going to actually pursue to put on the market. Patent protection is only valuable to someone who is going to be able to sell a product, defend their patents and also be able to prove calculated damages resulting from any infringement. PS. A lawyer will help you through this process but a good lawyer will make the difference in making sure your patent isn’t worthless.

IIRC, if you file a patent in one country but do not file a corresponding PCT application at the same time, you lose your ability to file in every other country except the USA, which allows for a one year period before disallowing an application. If you file in the USA first, you have up to a year in which to file a PCT application that allows applications in other countries that have signed onto the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

My last employer spent upwards of $50K CAD on patent office fees and legal costs for the one utility patent in which I share invention. There are a couple of design patents also, but they are easily completed for $2K or thereabouts.

I believe many countries have much lower fees for application from “small entities” like sole inventors and the like. But, that does not take into account the legal bills which make up the bulk of your costs. You could attempt to prosecute your own application but the real value in a good patent lawyer is the ability to write up “claims” which are sufficiently specific to be granted a patent but sufficiently broad to cover a wide variety of “embodiments.”

Good luck.



thanks a lot guys!

Another question: puting a date on the site and the date of when you have posted (or completed) the work there is a solution?
On the other hand, posting a big anouncement at entrace with copyright material , or something (accept to enter or not), does it help? …

Let’s say that I make a website that shows a light bulb prototype and says that Joe Blow invented it in 1492. Nobody would believe it and nobody would take it seriously.

Websites are not static so any dates on them do not have any force except for copyright pertaining to the content such as text and images.

For a fee you can probably show your invention to a lawyer and get a notarized statement demonstrating it, but that will still not protect you from copycat inventions.

If you are worried about copying then apply for a utility patent. If the work is really worth copying, someone will approach you with some kind of deal or just copy it. If there is some financial benefit but not $$$$$, then nobody else will bother.

An example is the crank radio Freeplay. We all know it is a great invention and a great product. So good that there are many versions of it from various name brands like Grundig. In the surplus store I see many $10 knock-offs which provide the same function with bad materials and cheezy style. While some of this has affected the total income potential of the inventor, Mr. Baylis OBE, is not starving.