What does this mean?
Exclusive rights that are protected in patents, the ones that give the effect of a monopoly, belong to the owner. The owner of a patent the person who files the patent first. This means if you don’t patent your invention you don’t get those rights.
Does this apply to me?
If you have an invention in the form of a process, machine, articles of manufacture, composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement on any of those, then yes.
Why is making this mistake going to harm my business?
If you don’t patent a product and bring it to market, you won’t be able to stop people from reverse engineering it or stealing it altogether.
In addition, you may potentially even be prevented from using, making or selling the invention all together. This will happen if somebody else applies for a patent for it and gets it. That person will not be the owner of the patent who can preclude you from even using the invention.
You could avoid this by:
You can avoid this by determining early on if you should patent your product or not. If you decide that you should, do this promptly and correctly.
Will had an innovative product where a customer would wear the product on their head and it’d make them 10-20% more effective at sales. Will had read in a blog that only “chumps” patented their product and that it set an expiration date on how long your product could be protected. As a result, Will decided unilaterally that keeping his product as a trade secret was the way to go.
Within a year, competitors bought the product and reverse engineered it, then used that technology and created an identical product. Will had no recourse because reverse engineering is permitted if your product is a trade secret, as long as your confidential information wasn’t stolen or obtained illegally.
Will could’ve maintained his product’s value by registering it as a patent.