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Patent tips for manufacturers

architect36832024.jpgAs a manufacturer chances are that you have invented a product that you want to manufacture. The problem is that you do not want other people to be able to manufacture the same product that you designed without your permission. The only way to ensure that other people do not manufacture your invented product is to patent your product. A patent is going to give you the exclusive right to use your idea for your business, whether it is for manufacturing a product you invented or for a process that you designed to make things easier for your business.

Here are some tips that you will want to keep in mind when applying for a patent.

Tip one:
Patents do not just apply to widgets, you can patent just about anything as long as it is not a written piece of work or a name of a business, product or service. Any written work is protected by a copyright and business names or product and service names are protected by trademarks. If you are told that a certain widget cannot be patented you should not give up trying because many times people have been proven wrong and things have been patented that most lawyers will tell you are not allowed to be patented. For example, spreadsheets were patented by their inventor after they were told repeatedly that spreadsheets cannot be patented.

Tip two
Never give out all of your ideas on your invention when you are applying for a patent. This is important because many times big name companies will steal patents from the patent pending files at the patent office. If you can show your product in a black box, which will hide most of the important components of the invention, but will ensure that people can see what it can do. If you have to show people the plans or the product to show them how it works you want to try and make it to where the person viewing the product cannot duplicate what you have made because of secret components or endorsements or something else that they would not be able to get. If all else fails you can also manufacture the product yourself, if you don't have the money you can use venture capitalists or other forms of financing to get started.

Tip three
Ensure that you go out and check any competitive patents that might be out there. To do this you will need to read the patent numbers on similar products that you are going to be manufacturing. You can often find the patent numbers on the shelf at your local stores. Once you get the patent numbers look through the various patent files.

Tip four
When looking up different patents one of the best places to go for the most resources is the patent office's that are located in Arlington, Virginia and in Menlo Park, which is in Northern California. If you are not close enough to these offices you can use other sources, such as libraries that are located on a University campus. Almost all University libraries have small patent libraries, which means most of the information that you will be look for is probably not going to be easily found.

Tip five:
If you are not sure of what you are doing and need some help in applying for your patent you can check your local search engines or you can find places in your local phone book. The one person you want to avoid when applying for a patent is a patent lawyer because of how expensive they can be. You want to first begin by using a patent engineer, go up to the lawyer when you are ready to make the claim for the patent.

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