Simple explanation of Patent
By Dennis Crouch
Stuart Graham (USPTO's Chief Economist) and Saurabh Vishnubhakat recently published an interesting short paper entitled Of Smart Phone Wars and Software Patents.The paper largely defends the USPTO's examination of software patenting by showing that its approach in the software arts is essentially the same as in other fields.
The two charts below come from the article.The first shows the percentage of first office actions that are first-action allowances.This is calculated for each fiscal year as the (# of first action allowances) / (# of first actions). The second chart looks at the first "final" action in a case. For their study,a final action is either (1) a final rejection or (2) an allowance.And,the first final is whichever one of those came first.
The point of the article was to show that software patents have been treated approximately the same as other patent applications.That is an important take-away. However,what is amazing to me is the dramatic change in practice that we have seen over the past few years.
Source: Patent Law Blog (Patently-O)
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You should executae a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). This will give you some legal recourse if they steal your ideas/
Patents are but one way to protect your Intellectual Property (IP). You could also use what's known as a trade secret, such as Coca Cola does. Compan... to procure, and to be done right, require an attorney. As expensive as they are, patents can be even more expensive to defend. You might be better off selling your idea to a larger company which has deep pockets if you can't afford to patent your IP, or, you might want to pitch your idea to investors to obtain the necessary funds to patent your ideas and bring them to fruition.
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