Can i trademark my business idea [No Fluff]

Last updated : Sept 4, 2022
Written by : Lekisha Bresler
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Can i trademark my business idea

Can you copyright an idea or concept?

Copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something. You may express your ideas in writing or drawings and claim copyright in your description, but be aware that copyright will not protect the idea itself as revealed in your written or artistic work.

How do I make sure no one steals my business idea?

  1. Trade Secrets. Trade secrets are generally the least expensive strategy to keep an idea from being taken.
  2. Copyrights. Copyrights are generally the second least expensive strategy to protect a piece of work.
  3. Trademarks.
  4. Patents.

How can I protect my idea?

The five essential legal tools for protecting ideas are patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade dress unfair competition laws, and trade secrets. Some of these legal tools can also be used creatively as marketing aids, and often more than one form of protection is available for a single design or innovation.

How do I trademark my idea?

  1. Step 1: Search Existing Trademarks.
  2. Step 2: Draw the Trademark.
  3. Step 3: Decide the Basis for Filing.
  4. Step 4: File the Application Online.
  5. Step 5: Track Application Status.
  6. Step 6: Keep Ownership of Your Patent.

How much does it cost to patent an idea?

A patent attorney will usually charge between $8,000 and $10,000 for a patent application, but the cost can be higher. In most cases, you should budget between $15,000 and $20,000 to complete the patenting process for your invention.

Can I sue someone for copying my idea?

Ideas alone are not protected under intellectual property law. There are two primary ways that you would be able to sue the company for stealing your idea. The first is if you did, in fact, reduce the idea to a protectable form before telling the company about it.

Can people steal startup ideas?

In summary, your idea has no intrinsic value, and no one will steal it. But they might execute on their own version of it. Get busy creating intellectual property around the idea. That's how you protect yourself and that's how you cash in on your idea.

How do you protect an idea before sharing it?

The simple answer is: file a provisional patent application before you publicly share, sell, or disclose any details. Provisional patents in particular are a cost-effective, low fidelity (you don't have it all figured out yet) approach to protecting your idea, while securing the earliest possible filing date.

What is a poor man's patent?

A poor man's patent is essentially writing out a description of your invention and then mailing that written description to yourself. This postmarked envelope supposedly acts to create the date of your invention as the date this written description was postmarked.

Should you trademark an idea?

Ideas cannot be trademarked. A person who uses a trademark in commerce has some common law rights. A mark may also be federally registered in the PTO. Some states also offer their own trademark registration systems, although federal registration provides the most protection.

Can someone steal my idea if I have a patent pending?

What Is Patent Pending Infringement? As soon as you file a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), your invention is "Patent Pending." Once your application is submitted, nobody can steal, sell, or use your invention without your permission.

How much is it to trademark a business idea?

When filing an application to trademark your business name on a federal level through the USPTO, you should count on paying between $250 and $750. According to the USPTO website, the trademark fees you'll pay depend on: The number of trademarks you seek. The class of goods and services you intend to trademark.

Which is better trademark or patent?

What's the Difference Between Patents and Trademarks? A patent allows the creator of certain kinds of inventions that contain new ideas to keep others from making commercial use of those ideas without the creator's permission. Trademarks, on the other hand, are not concerned with how a new technology is used.

Should I trademark or copyright my business name?

A trademark can protect your name and logo in case someone else wants to use them for their own purposes. Also, you cannot really copyright a name, since copyright protects artistic works. This is exactly why you need to have a trademark that protects your company's intellectual property, such as your logo.

How do you know if an idea is already patented?

Search the USPTO Check out the official website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and click on the Full Text and Image Database. Search for existing patents, images and patent applications by using words that describe your idea.

Can you patent an idea without a prototype?

Many inventors wonder if they need a prototype prior to patenting an invention. The simple answer is “no'. A prototype is not required prior to filing a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office. While prototypes can be valuable in developing your invention, they can also be costly.

Does a poor man's patent hold up in court?

Even under the old system, i.e., the “first to invent” system, a “poor man's patent” standing alone, i.e, without a patent application, was worthless. You cannot access the court system and ask a judge or a jury to enforce a right that the U.S. Government does not even recognize as a right.

Does my company own my ideas?

Typically, employers are entitled to all intellectual property created at/for their business, unless there exists a contract stating otherwise.

What happens if someone patents your idea?

Can Someone Patent Another Person's Idea? The only way you can sue for patent infringement is if you have a patent through the USPTO. 102(f) states that in order to apply for a patent, you must be the inventor. Proving this can be difficult and costly.

What is it called when someone takes your idea?

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means. • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own • to use (another's production) without crediting the source • to commit literary theft • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

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Can i trademark my business idea

Comment by Paola Cabatu

last week a creator client of mine dm'd me and said i have this idea for a new business that's really going to blow up i responded wow what's the business he told me i can't tell you and i said listen you're my client i'm sworn to secrecy you can tell me what this business is and he did between you and i it can go either way but the upshot from the conversation was this creator wanted to protect his business idea he knew that he was going to have to disclose it to potential employees investors maybe coders and he didn't want those people to take his idea and make a million dollars with it and leave him in the dust the question was how do i protect a business idea from being stolen i'm going to tell you what i told him there are two main ways to protect a business idea the first one is something i'm sure you've heard about we're going to get into that in a moment the second one is not as much talked about and really if you want to protect your business idea you got to understand this second method but let's get to the first first patents trademark and copyright yeah intellectual property law can protect certain components of a business idea now of course you've heard of a patent a patent is a license to use an invention for a specific period of time usually 20 years technically a patent is your right to exclude others from using your invention but really to understand it it's kind of an agreement between you and the government which says that you can use your self-developed product design or process and no one else can use that for 20 years in time so a quick example is apple has 55 different patents on different components of the iphone one is a patent on the process for i guess soldering circuits onto a board the other one is the shape of the iphone glass those are all patents in this particular case a process and a design the key to patents is they only protect your business idea to the extent it's a product it's a process or design what about business branding that's where we move to a discussion about trademark a trademark could be your business name your logo or the way your business name is written trademarks give you the exclusive license to use to sell or to license your trademark to others examples of trademarks are just do it by nike that is a trademark tagline the other i can think of is coca-cola the way coca-cola is written on the side of a can that's trademarked to coca-cola the next of course i've talked about it a lot in my videos is copyright now it's important to understand that copyright does not protect ideas it protects what comes from ideas so those things could be videos images audio music written word a lot of different things are protected by copyright but it's really important to understand that it's derivative of a business idea it's not the business idea itself now as i've discussed patent and trademark and copyright i keep using the word protect and you might say you know what does that mean that basically means you have the right to bring an action in a court of law to force others not to use your intellectual property not to use your patents your copyright and your trademarks when you bring that action if someone has stolen your intellectual property you can recover damages for that and also recover your attorney's fees involved in prosecuting that action so now you understand the intellectual property side of protecting a business idea if you have more questions about it you can always go to and set up a console personally with me by clicking in the upper right hand corner but i know with a lot of you out there the biggest concern is not so much the derivative product of business ideas but you want to be able to protect the business idea itself and the way you do that is through a non-disclosure agreement an nda an nda is a contract with a potential investor an employee or an independent contractor in which that person promises not to reveal confidential information if they do they are in breach of the nda and you can recover damages against them and attorneys fees ndas these days are all over the place there can be personal ndas there can be business ndas there can be employee ndas i think it's very very important that if you're going on with your business and you have trade secrets you have very confidential information about your business that you make sure the people who have access to that information have an nda in place they have signed the nba and they're not going to disclose that information so that you can protect yourself and not get in a situation where your business information that distinguishes you from other businesses is out there for all to see and then they can copy your business model and put you out of business for my creator clients i have a standard nda that they use and then usually they reach out and ask for my help to make custom edits if you'd like to access my standard nda you can go to and go into the template section and you can download that nda and if you'd like to work with me personally to customize a non-disclosure agreement for your business again go to and click on online console you can talk with me personally about how you can customize it to best protect your business going forward now let's move on to discussing how nda's work in the real world i recently made a video about alex rodriguez who got into some big trouble with a bad nda if you'd like to learn more about this story watch the next video that's coming up i'm ian corzine your social media lawyer i'll see you in the next one you

Thanks for your comment Paola Cabatu, have a nice day.
- Lekisha Bresler, Staff Member

Comment by Alphonse

question the day here today when should you trademark your business name or your logo or your brand I'm gonna tell you just a second hey my name is Jim Hart I'm the founding attorney here at Hawthorn law and you might be wondering gem why are you sitting on the floor in front of this couch with the lighting that's awful to be perfectly honest it's because I'm in our land over them at the airport and I made this stupid terrible mistake if you've ever been to the Orlando Airport they have this atrium and you can either get a room that overlooks the atrium or you get a room that overlooks the runway typically I get a room that overlooks the runway they didn't have any available I flew in early this morning I needed a nap I just I was like I need a room fit the bullet I got this room but the lighting is not nearly as good as what I'm used to in the other room check out some my older videos and you'll see how much better the lighting is in those rooms anyway not that you really care you want to know when to trademark your logo or brand hold on a second I was talking to a client yesterday I did a I've still got some spots available for next week but I opened up a consult I greatly reduced my rate from $350 an hour to $200 an hour for a limited time to open up some half-hour slots between now and Christmas so you can get a consult with me if you need to consult for $97 I'll link to the link up here to get more information on that but anyway I was having a consult with somebody who took advantage of this offer earlier this week and one of the questions we were talking about was when they should trademark their brand or their logo or whatever this is a great question the appropriate legal answer is that you should trademark your brand name as soon as you possibly can that's not always practical there's some people that that for whatever reason because the money is tight or whatever they can't do it right away but if you've got a really good idea for a brand and you want to make sure nobody else starts stealing your intellectual property you need to get that trademark as soon as possible get that puppy trademark so that would be my official legal recommendation is to anyone who asks you need to get it done as soon as possible now there's there's a couple ways that you can go about trademarking a brand especially when you're just starting out the first way is if you're actually using it to sell products or services then you can just go ahead and file a trademark application to get a trademark immediately if you're not yet using it to sell products or services but maybe you've got it on your website and you're just kind of starting to build up a business but you haven't actually used it to sell anything yet and you've got a great idea you want to make sure nobody steals it then you can file what's called a notice of use trademark application which is it's it's the same application you just check a different box in the application and basically what happens is you go through the same process then you're given a period of time where you can start using the trademark because the trademark doesn't actually provide you any protection unless you're selling a good or service and so what you get is you get you get extra time to start selling your good or service your goods or services maybe that's a better way to say that anyway you get extra time and then if within that period of time you can either file for an extension or if you start using your trademark you file a notice that you've started using the trademark and then the trademark will register and then you're good to go from there but if not then you get an extension and you've got a couple extensions so in all I'll told you can get a couple of years to basically start using that trademark and if you don't start using the trademark then you can just abandon the application and it goes back out there into the the world is anybody else care plan for that trademark if they wanted to my advice to you is if you're looking to build a business or a brand that you really want to grow and you think that you've got a really great name that that you want to protect then you want to trademark that brand or name as soon as possible I think a great example of this was and I forget her name the woman who created Spanx she didn't tell anybody about her brand for a year for at least a year there was an interview I heard where she was talking about this I'll try and link up down below to the interview with this woman it was on a podcast and she talked about how she went through methodical steps to do everything she could to protect the brand Spanx through she filing her patent application getting the process patented and her trademark and everything else as soon as she possibly could without telling anyone about what she was doing and then when a time came for her to start selling she had it all in place that's a great example of why you need to do it early because she had a great name a great concept and she wanted to make sure it was protected I'll do another a video on all the different reasons why you should trademark your brand but I just wanted to do this video to answer those questions for those of you out that are wondering when you should do it how soon you should do it if you want to do the trademark application yourself I don't recommend it but you can do it yourself if you've got a good name that's easily too tricky I just can't talk today if you've got a good name that's easy to trademark you can probably do it for the cost of the filing fee which is around three hundred dollars if you really want some legal guidance and you want to do a search and you want to figure out if anyone else is using this trademark and you want some help doing all that you've got two choices you can either hire an attorney which this is something that we do to do this for you or you can join our DIY legal program I'll include a link up here where we do a tutorial on how to trademark your brand and how to come up with a good name and all those type of things and that's something that we're going to include in that program so so there are other ways to do it they're a little bit less expensive anyway that's it for today I hope you're having a great day I also have a free training I'm gonna link up up here if you want to watch a replay of the webinar that I did several months ago that has gotten a lot of positive reviews you can go ahead and do that that's it for today folks have a great day don't forget give us a thumbs up comment below if you've got a question you know just type trademark and let me know that you're listening that you understand what I'm saying or if you just have a comment that you want leave a comment below and ask a question that's fine we'll use that for future videos we do not answer illegal questions in YouTube comments that is a big no-no don't forget to subscribe yeah that's down here and hit the little Bell thingy and can get notified whenever we post new videos we're posting videos about once a week going forward for my DIY members I'm looking to do a Q&A call every Friday for them I don't th

Thanks Alphonse your participation is very much appreciated
- Lekisha Bresler

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