- Black Belt
- Posts: 2414
- Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:32 pm
- Location: United States
bzguy, assuming you're refering to patent rights, the only way to do that is to file for one. A provisional will do also. Prior to that point, the only thing you can do to guarantee seniority with the patent office (assuming you're talking about the US) is to begin documenting the development of your concept as soon as you conceive it, and don't stop--not for more than a week or two at a time--until you have reduced it to practice.
There are two ways to reduce it to practice: 1) prototype a functioning model, or 2) file an enabling patent application. In your case, where the concept involves many moving parts that need to work almost perfectly in order to substantiate your claims, trust me, you'd be better off just filing an application. That way, you can enjoy several legal advantages, such as being able to use general mention of well-known sub-assemblies and incorporation-by-reference of existing patent specifications, all instead of having to physically purchase and assemble all of those parts.
And, in a case where your concept would be considered a rather disruptive technology, you may again want to reconsider all of the additional time, money, and effort that you would be sinking into a working model. Sure, there's no guarantee that anyone would be willing to license it, unless they thought it was as appealing as you hope. But if that were the case, there may not be any good reason to consider anything less than a patent pending status. Any type of confidentiality or non-compete agreement would need to have your claimable features well-defined in the document, if they'd have a chance of holding up in court...so if you go that far, then you might as well file the provisional and be done with it.
Tough situation, I know...but an interesting one. Thanks for your participation here, and welcome to the forums.
________________I'm Ken Campbell, a registered US patent practitioner at the Affordable Patent Service™.
As a forum moderator, though, any input I provide should be considered general information, and not legal advice. The ideas I express are not necessarily the opinions of InventorSpot.com or its affiliates. In general, any action taken as a result of information, analysis, or advice from any forum members on this site is ultimately the user's responsibility.