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Protecting products with patents

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2018 | Business Formation & Planning

When Florida residents form their own business, they may sometimes realize they need to protect their idea. In this situation, it is important for people to understand what exactly can be patented and what they can do to protect this idea. 

While some people may think they can patent any idea which is unique to their company, this is not necessarily the case. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, people usually cannot get a patent for their business idea. Instead, people can patent a machine they have invented or the way their product is manufactured. This means that someone can get a patent on the ingredients they put in a product and the step-by-step process for making the product. Sometimes a company’s timeline is an important factor. If a company is already selling their product when they apply for a patent or if they have described the product in a magazine or trade journal, they may not be able to receive a patent.

If people realize they cannot get a patent for their product, it is important for them to take steps to protect their product. Entrepreneur magazine says that it is a good idea for people to reach out to their competitors. Some people may want to start a relationship which is good for both companies. Additionally, it is a good idea to do research on anyone who might work with the company. If people realize that another company has questionable business practices, they may want to make sure they do not work with this company.

People can also make sure their company uses a non-compete agreement. This means that employees could not start a business based on the unique product. Additionally, some people might want to have their employees sign a non-disclosure agreement. Employees who sign this agreement typically confirm that they will not share any information about the company’s product.