Rich Goldstein is an expert in the field of patents and the go-to man for entrepreneurs to help protect their brand with trademarks. Rich discusses the best time to set up a trademark to save money and we get an inside scoop on being strategic with patents before releasing the product to consumers.
In our ‘no pitch zone’ this week, we spoke to Rich Goldstein, the man in demand for his knowledge, guidance, and expertise that he provides as a service for entrepreneurs. Rich has helped create over 2000 patents for entrepreneurs, in order to protect their ideas. Rich is all about strategy, a man with a clear plan and he’s here to teach us all…
So what is a patent?
A patent is basically a license that covers your product as a ‘new’ invention from those who wish to copy or steal your product design or idea. Cool huh?
Types of patents
There are two types of patents, the ‘Utility patent’, and the ‘Design patent’ and you don’t want to trip up and get the wrong one because this could seriously impact your business and your ability to protect your product.
Let’s break it down:
- Utility patent: A new and improved, structural invention with new features. Does it have add ons, new features? Extras that make your product NEW? The Utility patent is functionally different and is the more expensive type. If no one has ever done this concept of your product, you can protect it! But be careful, it is very rare to find a ‘new’ product that hasn’t been done before.
- Design patent: A ‘Design patent’ protects the appearance and overall look of the product. If you have a distinctive looking product, get a design patent to prevent copy-cats.
So how much do we need to change a product to get a ‘new’ design? It has to be a non-obvious design. Here’s an example, think of a microwave, a rectangular microwave oven with a curved door and keypad buttons, it has been done before, however, if your microwave has a special window glass design that no other microwaves obtain, then you’re qualified for a Design patent.
Are you covered by the correct patent? If not, listen carefully on how to get yourself covered…
2. When you cannot enforce a patent
Before designing your own, Rich said it is important to “do your research,” find out what is already on the market, and “don’t copy!” Do your research and scan the market for what is already available to consumers. Is there something already on the market that is similar to your product? It is difficult to get a product with distinguishing differences, meaning that gaining a patent is more difficult to attain because it is more difficult to infringe.
3. Use your imagination
Once you’ve gathered your research, it’s time to get your notepad and pencil out and draw your own ideas! Get your creativity on and design your own product in a way that can be considered different from what is already on the market; consider how unique your product is, and whether it is “too close” to another product. It is important to acknowledge, shape, texture, and the product’s features.
Now you’re ready to pick the correct patent for you and your product.
Do not launch your product to the public before seeking a patent. It is important to get your patent first! The US has a one-year timeline before you are unable to seek patent protection. However, the one-year time zone isn’t granted outside of the US, so it is important to do your research.
For more information tune into the session, and if you want a copy of Rich’s book head to Patenting.club.