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Top 3 Rookie IP Mistakes
In my 20+ years of experience of being an inventor and helping other inventors, here's what I've noticed are the top 3 mistakes people make:

1. Spending lots of your own money on invention submission companies who promise to do all of the work for you.  No one company can do it all, and if they want to charge you $10,000 to create some virtual prototypes and submit a couple dozen letters to potential manufacturers, don't count on seeing that money ever again.  You need to do the work... you're the one most motivated.  So do everything that you can yourself.

2. Thinking your idea is really great.  Get over yourself... it will save you money!  You need to quickly and honestly arrive at the point where you know if this is a "go" project or not.  To do that you will need feedback from many people, not just your family and friends and one patent practitioner!  Be open to the idea that this first invention sucks, and you should quickly learn that so you can get to the invention idea that is genuinely good!  It's easy to take advantage of people's enthusiasm for their own idea... be careful!

3. Publicly disclosing the idea before it's protected.  Since 2013 the United States has joined most of the rest of the world in granting patent rights to the person who files the patent first ("first-to-file") instead of the person who invented the product first.  That means you have to file at least a provisional patent quickly, since you want to be first in line at the Patent & Trademark Office (PTO).  You no longer get anything for being second in line.  Even if you file your own provisional patent application (PPA), that's better than nothing.  I say file your own PPA, but then don't rely on it... take it to a patent practitioner to see if it does the job it's supposed to do (fully disclose how to make and use your invention).  

I'm happy to help you with #2 above, or even #3 if you don't want to write your own PPA.  Book a free half-hour chat with me at  

--Kevin Prince, Reg. Patent Agent USPTO

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