A patent is a right, granted by the United States to an inventor, to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing an invention throughout the United States without the inventor’s consent. The inventor may license or sell the rights defined by the claims of the patent. An inventor can also use “patent pending” on their products and marketing materials after a patent application is filed. There are currently over 7 million United States patents issued to inventors. Without a patent, anyone can make and sell your invention without your permission and without compensating you. Learning how to patent an idea can be the difference between success and failure.
Patent protection should always be considered by an inventor during the initial stages of their invention. Anyone who says an inventor does not need a patent in today’s market does not know the current marketplace. Prior to 1980, it was possible for the “little guy” to start up his own company to manufacture a new product he invented without patent protection. Back then, the company who built a better mousetrap was the company that survived.