Can you trademark a idea [Must Read]



Last updated : Sept 14, 2022
Written by : Noel Interiano
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Can you trademark a 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.

Can a concept be trademarked?

Though you cannot trademark a business concept, you may be able to trademark the name, logo, or slogan used to brand your business. This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq.

How do I protect an 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 protect an idea without a patent?

If you determine that the invention is probably not patentable, the most effective way to protect yourself is to have prospective licensees sign a nondisclosure agreement before you reveal your invention. This document is sometimes called an "NDA" or a "confidentiality agreement," but the terms are similar.

How do you sell an idea to a company without them stealing it?

You can sell an idea to a company without a patent. You need a way to stop them from stealing the idea from you. One way to do that without a patent is with a nondisclosure agreement, aka NDA. The NDA would limit the company's ability to use your idea without paying you for it.

How much does it cost to trademark an idea?

The basic cost to trademark a business name ranges from $225 to $600 per trademark class. This is the cost to submit your trademark application to the USPTO. The easiest and least expensive way to register your trademark is online, through the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

How do I register an idea?

  1. Register an Idea Patent.
  2. Protecting Ideas.
  3. Filing a Patent Without an Attorney.
  4. Steps to Filing a Patent Application.
  5. Keep a Careful Record of Your Invention.
  6. Make Sure Your Invention Qualifies for Patent Protection.
  7. Assess the Commercial Potential of Your Invention.

Can ideas be owned?

The short answer is no. Unfortunately, despite what you may have heard from late night television commercials, there is no effective way to protect an idea with any form of intellectual property protection. Copyrights protect expression and creativity, not innovation. Patents protect inventions.

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 do I keep my idea from being stolen?

  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.

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.

How do I protect my new business idea?

  1. Register your intellectual property (IP) portfolio.
  2. Monitor for infringements of your protected business ideas.
  3. Enforce IP ownership and take down infringements.
  4. Employ a brand protection software.

Can I sell my invention idea?

If you happen to find a manufacturer that is interested in your invention, there are usually two options. You can sell your invention idea, or you can outright sell the invention itself for one large lump sum as compensation for your idea. The second option is to enter a licensing agreement.

Do companies pay for ideas?

Many inventors choose to sell their ideas to companies for royalties rather than a one-off payment, especially if the concept is especially promising, as royalties can often end up allowing them to earn much more over a longer period (passive income). As a result, many companies offer this as an option to inventors.

Can patent attorney steal your idea?

Non-law firm patent companies may steal your idea while law firms keep your idea protected under the attorney-client privilege. Non-law firm patent companies are under no such duty to keep your idea confidential.

How do I turn my idea into a product?

  1. Step 1: Document It. Simply having an "idea" is worthless — you need to have proof of when you came up with the invention ideas.
  2. Step 2: Research It.
  3. Step 3: Make a Prototype.
  4. Step 4: File a Patent.
  5. Step 5: Market Your Invention.

Is it better to trademark or copyright a 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 long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

How do I copyright my name and idea?

  1. Common law usage: just start using the name in commerce. Once used, you've established common law rights.
  2. State trademark registration: you'll need to apply through your state's Secretary of State Office.
  3. Federal trademark registration: Simply the best.

Can someone steal your business 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.


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Can you trademark a idea


Comment by Sol Graff

how do i trademark an idea the simplest explanation for how to trademark an idea is that you cannot do so trademarks provide protection for names logos and other types of identifiers that indicate which business has made a product or provided a service for customers and clients this type of protection is extended to actual things that can be seen or read which are used to identify one business from another and avoid customer confusion while providing protection of intellectual property since an idea is not typically considered a real form of intellectual property you cannot trademark an idea even though you cannot trademark an idea there are three major ways in which you can protect a given form of intellectual property all of these methods protect something that is real or at least visible something that has gone from being an idea to being a reality copyrights protect works of Arts and artistic creations including everything from drawings and poems to pieces of music and architectural designs patents are used to protect inventions and machines those that establish new ways of doing things were new versions of an established concept a trademark is established to protect intellectual property that serves to identify a product or service provided by a business and you cannot trademark an idea because it does not serve as such an identifier intellectual property protection extended through these types of marks protect only an actual product or realized creation you cannot trademark an idea simply because as a concept ideas do not constitute actual property this would be similar to someone attempting to declare ownership of a hypothetical landmass that may arise at a future date due to volcanic activity beneath the Earth's oceans you cannot trademark an idea because you cannot trademark the potential or concept of something only an actual thing that serves to identify your business or services when you register a trademark you must also provide a drawing of your trademark and you will usually need to provide a sample of the trademark in use since an idea exists in an ephemeral sort of way you could not provide a drawing of an idea and so you could not trade market being able to trademark an idea would also create great potential for abuse as various businesses and individuals could lay claim to entire concepts thereby eliminating any risk of competition since the very idea of a particular product or service would be protected by trademark


Thanks for your comment Sol Graff, have a nice day.
- Noel Interiano, Staff Member


Comment by oscittindl

hey this is attorney elizabeth potts weinstein and today we're going to talk about how to trademark an idea when we're looking at how to trademark an idea we first have to look at what do we mean by an idea that could be the name of a business the name of a product or service it could be a system that you've come up with it could be a recipe a plan a project some kind of invention there are all kinds of things that you might consider an idea and how you protect them depends upon what kind of idea it is and how far along you are in the process an idea by itself isn't protectable it has to have something else with it so if it's an idea that's secret it might be protected under trade secret law if it's an idea that's a useful invention it might be protected under patent law if it's an idea that is creative it might be protected under copyright law and if it's idea that's kind of a branding for something that might be protectable under trademark law so if you want to protect an idea under trademark law it needs to be a word or a phrase or a logo that you are using in conjunction with the sale of a product or service to identify you as the source of that product or service so obviously that's not going to be every idea but there are certain ideas that typically are the names of a business the names of a program a service that you're providing it could be the name of your product it could be the branding that's on the top of your website that you might be able to protect under trademark law so under trademark law in the united states if you have an idea that you might want to protect under trademark law typically if you're calling in an idea you haven't actually launched the business yet and you haven't made any sales so if you're not using it in conjunction with the sale of a product or service how do you protect it well what you do in the united states is you can file an intent to use trademark application and that is an application for something that you intend to use and you will say under penalty of perjury that you intend to use this in commerce but you're not quite using it yet so the benefits of an intent to use trademark application is number one you get to find out if you're gonna get the trademark maybe it seems like a great idea and it seems like no one else is using it but you can't get it through the patent and trademark office to get approved and you'd much rather know that now than after you've already created a website and done all the branding and started making sales there are two problems with intent to use applications number one is there are a little bit more fees and that can be an issue for some people who are on a tiny tiny budget because the initial fee is the same but when you file some other documents such as your statement of use proving that you actually use this trademark in commerce eventually and also any extensions you need for more time that's going to cost you more money every time you do it the second issue is if you intend to use a trademark and you're not using it already and it's just an idea it's not set in stone you might change your mind and be tweaking it a bit before you actually use it in commerce the danger is if you change the design of that logo if you change the words that you're using in your branding then your trademark application doesn't count because you applied for a trademark under one thing and now you're using something else even if it's just a tiny bit different and when i say a tiny bit different i'm talking about very tiny changes like let's say you decide instead of having two words to smash the words together with no space that's too much of a change let's say you use a dash in between let's say you change the spelling of the words all those things all those changes to your branding means that you're not going to be able to declare that you use it in commerce because you use something different than your initial application the bottom line is if you have an idea that you want to protect under trademark law the first thing you need to do is a search you need to search on google you need to search the trademark database you can look for other domain names search on amazon all kinds of places to see is anyone else using that exact trademark and also other things like it and i talk in another video that i'm going to link above more details about the kind of search that you need to do you want to know if someone else out there is using that trademark so you don't waste your time and money in developing it and also so you don't get a cease and desist letter from some person who already had dibs on that idea again this is elizabeth potts weinstein if you have any questions about protecting your ideas feel free to go ahead and ask them below and i'll try to point you in the right direction if you found this video helpful hit that like button and subscribe for more tips about trademark law and business law generally thanks a lot for watching bye


Thanks oscittindl your participation is very much appreciated
- Noel Interiano


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