Many individuals have ideas and have obtained patents on their ideas. To increase your chances for obtaining financial success from your patent venture, we believe that it is important that you, as an individual, have (1) a marketable product (one that will sell), (2) one that works, (i.e., is feasible from an engineering standpoint), and (3) one that is not too expensive to make(i.e., has a cost of manufacture which will allow competitive pricing of the product relative to the price of competing products and relative to the effectiveness/advantages of your product over competing products). It is often difficult to sell an idea to a company and your chances for a successful financial outcome may require that you be prepared to market your new idea yourself or with financial partners.
The situation is much different for a business which has a developed product or service to sell and where protection is desirable. In this case, the cost for obtaining protection over the idea embodied or expressed in the product is very low relative to (1) the loss of sales you could encounter when a competitor copies and sells your unprotected product and/or relative to (2) your investment in the product, its manufacture and marketing thereof.
An inventor must understand that there are patent expenses that occur after a patent application has been filed. There may be additional patent prosecution costs. There will always be final charges for issuing your patent application into patent. Maintenance fees must be paid periodically after a patent issues so your patent can continue to exist in an enforceable state. The first Maintenance Fee is due 3 1/2 years after a utility patent is issued.
The U.S.P.T.O. and the Federal Congress are regularly revising U.S. Patent and Trademark laws and therefore these laws must be reviewed periodically for any changes in the law.
Hopefully, the above remarks answer many of your questions relating to the requirements for Trademark, and Patent. Of course, for answers to specific questions or protecting your particular property right or for assistance in perfecting your rights by way of obtaining a Trademark Registration, a U.S. or foreign Letters Patent, please contact us.
We look forward to hearing from you as to your decision in these matters. Remember, anything you tell us or submit to us is held strictly confidential and cannot and will not be disclosed to the public without your express written approval to do so.
We look forward to assisting you.
Charles F. Meroni, Jr.