Have You Identified and Protected Your IP?

traklight_shieldIntellectual Property (IP) isn’t just for the engineers – every business has IP. Have you identified and protected yours? This doesn’t have to be an expensive, lengthy process. Traklight makes it easy to identify and protect your IP today.  Traklight understands that every dollar counts when you are launching a start up.

ID your IP is an easy to use, cost effective program designed by a team of legal professionals specializing in IP identification. The result: A report unique to your business that outlines your potential intellectual property and what you need to do to protect it.

The IP Vault is used to store, organize and verify your IP.  Simply upload to Traklight’s secure site and we’ll time-stamp, store and protect your documents.  A perfect tool, giving you easy access and peace of mind that your ideas are safe and critical dates can be verified by the click of a button.

As inventors, you may ask if the AIA makes inventorship and some of the record keeping and dates obsolete? Traklight’s Chief Product Officer Eric Menkhus shares the following insights:

  • The US patent system is about to undergo one of the most extensive changes in its history, moving away from “first to invent” system that has been the backbone of the US patent system for as long as any of us can remember.
  • The America Invent Act (AIA) will start being phased in starting in March 2013, implementing many changes that will move the US patent system closer to the systems of many foreign countries.

Will the change make inventorship obsolete in the US? After all, most foreign jurisdictions operate on a “first to file” system that rewards those that file a patent application first and not those who invent first.  The short answer to whether inventorship will still matter in the United States is YES!

The AIA will not move the US to a pure “first to file” system. The AIA implements a system that rewards the first INVENTOR to file. So, proving inventorship of the patentable subject matter will still be an important step to obtaining and/or defending a patent.

Date of invention will still matter, although in a different manner than under the old system.  In the “first to invent” system, the person that invented first received priority when to applications were filed on the same invention, so proving an invention date was critical.  Under the new system, the date of invention can still be important in situations in which one party is trying to prove that the other merely copied their invention and are not inventors and cannot, therefore, obtain a patent on the invention. Being able to show when an invention was made and other important dates such as publication, etc. can greatly assist an inventor in proving that someone else filed an application based on learning about the inventor’s idea.

So what does this mean? This means that keeping updated notes and dates will still be important under the AIA.  Don’t throw away those inventors’ notebooks! Or, of course, you can migrate your inventors’ notebook and other records online using Traklight’s IP Vault so you can have third party verification of dates, times, etc.

Visit www.traklight.com to learn more about identifying and protecting your IP. Before you disclose your IP, before you raise capital, before you go to market.

By Mary Juetten, Founder of Traklight (Version of the article first appeared on Womentorz)

Disclosure:  I, Jamie Glass, serve on the Advisory Board for Traklight.

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