Table of Contents for 20 Questions to Ask If You Have a Great Idea or Invention


Introduction 17(2)
Question 1: Will My Idea or Invention Sell? 19(6)
Pursuing Your Dream
19(1)
Financial Reward
20(1)
Need
20(1)
Potential Market
21(1)
Sales Volume
22(1)
Price
22(2)
Market Research
24(1)
Warning
24(1)
Question 2: Can My Idea or Invention Be Legally Protected? 25(8)
Intellectual Property
26(1)
Patents
26(2)
Trademarks and Service Marks
28(1)
Copyrights
29(1)
Mask Works
29(1)
Trade Secrets
29(1)
Overlapping Legal Protection
30(1)
Dippin' Dots
30(3)
Question 3: Is It Patentable Subject Matter? 33(8)
Utility
33(2)
Novelty
35(2)
Non-obviousness
37(4)
Question 4: Is It Subject to Copyright Protection? 41(8)
Software Is Protected by Copyright
41(1)
Utilitarian Aspects Cannot Be Protected
42(1)
Expression Versus Idea
42(1)
Fair Use
43(1)
Original and Fixed
43(1)
Foreign Copyright
43(1)
Securing Copyright Rights
44(1)
Digital Millenium Copyright Act
45(1)
Sample Copyright Registration Form
45(1)
More on Copyright
45(4)
Question 5: Is It a Trade Secret? 49(6)
Reverse Engineering
50(1)
File a Request for Non-publication
50(1)
Confidential Disclosure to Third Parties
51(1)
Confidential Disclosure Agreement
51(4)
Question 6: Should I Bother to Get a Patent on My Invention? 55(8)
Historical Perspective
55(2)
Public Policy
57(1)
Profit
57(1)
Sometimes Secrecy Is Not Practical
58(1)
Deter Copying
58(1)
Companies Only Evaluate Patent Protected Inventions
59(1)
Cross-licensing Advantages From Patenting
60(1)
Patents Are Defensive
61(1)
Patents Enhance the Prestige of Your Company
61(1)
Patents Add Asset Value to Your Company
61(1)
Patents Have Tax Advantages
62(1)
More on Patents
62(1)
Question 7: Has It Already Been Invented? 63(6)
Keyword Searches
64(1)
Limitations on Reliability of Computerized Searches
64(1)
Searching by Classification
65(1)
Unpublished Applications
65(1)
Searching Literature
66(1)
Benefits of Searching
66(3)
Question 8: Will Someone Steal My Invention? 69(8)
Use Non-disclosure Agreements
69(1)
Disclosure to Patent Attorneys
70(1)
Patent Infringement
71(1)
Copyright Infringement
72(1)
Trade Secret Misappropriation
73(4)
Question 9: Have I Tested My Invention and Is It Practical? 77(6)
Conception and Reduction to Practice
77(1)
Grace Period
78(1)
Priority of Invention
78(1)
Preserving Evidence of Priority
79(4)
Question 10: Should I Retain an Invention Promotion Company? 83(6)
Regulation of Invention Promoters
83(1)
Published Complaints Regarding Invention Promotion Firms
84(1)
Spotting Fraudulent Invention Promotion Firms
85(1)
Post Grant Assault by Invention Promotion Firms
86(3)
Question 11: How Do I Start a Business Based on My Idea or Invention? 89(8)
Select and Form the Appropriate Business Entity
90(1)
Select and Secure a Tradename and Trademark
90(1)
Write a Business Plan
91(1)
Sample Business Plan
91(2)
Find the Money
93(1)
eHarmony.com
93(1)
More Help
94(3)
Question 12: How Do I License My Rights to a Company? 97(6)
Copyright Licenses
97(1)
Trade Secret Licenses
98(1)
Patent Licenses
98(1)
In Writing
98(1)
Patent License Royalties
99(1)
Exclusive Versus Non-exclusive
100(1)
Record Keeping Regarding Sales
101(1)
Standard Provisions in a Patent License Agreement
101(2)
Question 13: What Steps Are Involved in Getting a Patent? 103(6)
Contents of a Patent Application
103(1)
Patent Claims
104(2)
Patent Prosecution
106(1)
Office Actions and Responses
107(1)
More Information
108(1)
Question 14: How Much Will I Have to Spend in Fees to Get a Patent? 109(6)
U.S. Government Fees
109(1)
Hourly Rates Charged by Patent Attorneys
110(1)
Patent Agents
111(1)
Typical Fees for Preparing and Prosecuting a U.S. Patent Application
111(4)
Question 15: Do I Have to Use a Patent Attorney or Can I Patent It Myself? 115(6)
USPTO Examiner Assistance
115(1)
Extensive Training Is Required
116(1)
Qualifications of Registered Patent Attorneys
117(1)
Patent Agents
118(3)
Question 16: Will I Have to Defend My Patent? 121(10)
The Right to Exclude
121(1)
Licensing Instead of Suing for Infringement
122(1)
Wars of Attrition
122(1)
The Cease and Desist Letter
123(1)
Remedies for Patent Infringement
123(1)
The Issues in a Patent Infringement Lawsuit
124(1)
The Presumption of Patent Validity
125(1)
The Burden of Proving Infringement
125(1)
Contingent Fee Patent Litigation
126(1)
Re-examination of Patents
127(1)
The eBay Patent Wars
128(3)
Question 17: Is It Easy for Competitors to Avoid a Patent? 131(10)
The "Design Around" May Have Little Market Potential
131(1)
The "All Elements" Rule
132(1)
Focus on the Independent Claims
133(1)
Design Patent Infringement
133(1)
The Degree of Alteration Required to Avoid Literal Infringement of a Utility Patent Claim
133(1)
The Doctrine of Equivalents
134(7)
Question 18: Can I Get an International Patent? 141(8)
The Paris Convention Treaty and Absolute Novelty
141(1)
It Can Be a Crime to File Overseas Without a License
142(1)
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
143(1)
The European Patent Office (EPO)
144(1)
Other Foreign Patent Treaties
144(2)
Foreign Patent Prosecution
146(1)
The Cost of Seeking and Maintaining Foreign Patent Protection
147(1)
Whether to File Foreign Patent Applications and Where to File Them
148(1)
Question 19: How Much Money Can I Expect to Make From My Idea or Invention? 149(6)
The Inventive Process Is a Key Indicator of Potential Profitability
149(1)
An Example: The Fishing Pole Holster
150(5)
Question 20: Where Can I Get More Information? 155
Books
155(1)
Websites
156