How to protect your idea's

Right so I pretty new to posting on here, I’m still a university student.

3 years back I came up with this concept at university during a project, (just to let you know the university has an agreement that they don’t own our work , we do!) Recently I have seen someone with a very similar idea to that of what I created. The look is different but the concept of how the product works is the same.

can any one offer advice to were I stand? and whats the best way to protect your idea’s i.e. Record posting your idea and drawings to yourself. As I know I don’t have much to stand on, but would make good practice for future.

Patent law in the US is first to file. They changed the law about a year or two ago to be like the rest of the world. First to invent is now meaningless.

  1. There are a few more, I just don’t want to dig. Most ideas aren’t that original. It’s probably a coincidence.

  2. The only way to protect your ideas is to have a massive pile of cash that you want to burn through. Design patent is hundreds of dollars to get and you can file yourself. Utility patent is thousands and really needs a lawyer involved. In either case, you will need to be prepared to actually sue someone and spend tens of thousands to actually enforce it. Dyson does this quite well.

  3. Is it fair? I don’t know. I’m glad that there exists some protection, but I’m glad that everyone is discouraged from spurious lawsuits.

Though the US TM also switched to first to use, which can be challenging because when you file it becomes public. So you have to balance locking in the filing with being ready to use it.

It’s always important that we follow up on our ideas and pay for a patent because in today’s economy and capitalism their will always be competition and copy cats trying to steal our work and if we dont keep track of our projects they will.

dont post designs on websites or show them to the public until you at least have a non-disclosure filed.