Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chats with intellectual property lawyers

In celebration of World Intellectual Property Day, YII held office hours in its chatrooms with intellectual patent attorneys. Below are two excerpts from each of the office hours. To read the full transcripts, visit the YII community. We also chatted about the first steps to take to protect your idea, when to apply for intellectual property protection, how to deal with trade secrets, and what to have ready for your first meeting with a patent lawyer.

From Suvashis Bhattacharya, Thelen Reid:

Q: Is there such a thing as a "worldwide" patent?
A: Patents are country or region based, so there is no worldwide patent. If the inventor is interested in pursuing patent protection outside their own country, it is important to identify which countries have a potential market for selling or manufacturing the product. It is also important to identify the countries where there may be competitors, joint venture partners and/or potential licensees. Upon identifying these countries, you will have a good idea where to obtain protection. One note: foreign patents are expensive, so choosing wisely which countries to pursue is important.

From Ebad Rahman, Bereskin & Parr:

Q: If you need to speak to someone (for example, a supplier) about your invention, how can you do so before you get the patent?
A: You should always try to disclose something only after a non disclosure agreement has been signed. The non disclosure agreement provides that the party receiving the information (i.e. the supplier) will not disclose the information to anyone - except as specified in the agreement.