Three New Year's Resolutions for
People With an Idea
By J. Nevin Shaffer, Jr.
1. I resolve to get it written down and witnessed!
Every great idea has a starting point. The number one thing you can
do to protect it is to make a written record and get it witnessed.
Then relax. The United States is the only country in the world that
does not require you to race to the patent office with a patent
application. We are a first to invent country which begs the
question: How do you prove you invented first? Ergo, the witnessed
2. I resolve to keep my mouth shut!
People with great ideas are naturally nervous and for good reason.
There are very few good ideas in the world. Still, if you have an
idea, you will eventually need to talk to some one like a banker, a
venture capitalist, a prototype manufacturer, or the like. So how do
you talk to someone and keep your mouth shut? A Non Disclosure
Agreement is the ticket. A simple contract that requires the person
you want to talk to to keep what you tell them confidential. Have
them sign it and they must keep their mouth shut and you don’t have
3. I resolve to investigate the market!
My Mom, rest her soul, loved every idea I had. “Nevie! Mud pies!
You’re a genius!” The problem is your family and friends love you
and your ideas. So, rather than relying on them for market analysis,
go to the internet! You want to know the who, what, why where and
when of the market for your idea. The more information the better.
Particularly, you want to know how big it is and where. “How big”
tells you how much you want/need to spend to protect it and “Where”
tells you where you need it protected. Forget about protecting it in
the rip off capitals of the world (think communist dictatorships,
for example.) You really only need it protect it where the market
is, not where it is going to be made or knocked off!
Copyright 2008 Nevin Shaffer. Licensed Patent Attorney-Florida
Bar Board Certified Intellectual Property Law Specialist. All rights
reserved and I have a big dog that will chew your arm off if you
copy this! Contact Nevin at 850-934-4124,
email@example.com or visit his web
site at www.nevinshaffer.com.