Intellectual Property
Copyright Law

If someone has an idea for a product can they copyright or patent just the idea when they have not made the product yet?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2007-03-31 14:00:32

It has been stated that you should: "write it all done seal in a

envelope and send it in the mail certified to yourself. that way

once you get the product made you have dated proof that the idea

was yours and no one can steal your idea. also that way if it takes

a long time to get the copyright you will already have a legal

certied proof that the idea was originall your." However, certified

mail is NOT a substitute for a patent or copyright. It may provide

evidence of a date before which the idea was developed, but is not

proof of origin. Furthermore, copyright does not protect ideas in

the slightest. In most places, there is no requirement that you

build a prototype or 'reduce the item to practice' before you may

file for a patent. The initial patent application description of

the invention must be complete enough so that a person with

ordinary skill in the area of the invention could make and use the

item -- things they may not do without your permission, once your

patent is issued. The best thing to do is to contact a qualified

patent attorney immediately upon conceiving a new invention that

may be valuable. There are mistakes that can easily impair

protection of your invention permanently. See related answers on

obtaining patents. "Certified mail" is unlikely to provide the type

of protection required for a valuable product idea. Keeping

something secret in an envelope does not prevent anyone else from

independently developing and patenting the same invention before

you do. Trying to sell the product before you file a patent

application could be a big mistake.

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.