I have several ideas I want to develop prototypes on, get patent then pitch (license) idea to a manufacturer who has the manufacturing capabilities and distribution to bring product to market. My question is how do i properly protect my idea. Do I need a utility patent? Patent pending what is that? Provisional patent? I am ignorant to this subject matter. I don't think I need a fully blow patent in this case and I don't think I need to wait for one to be issued but I could be wrong. Anyone out there that can explain the different patents and what your recommendations would be for this case would be much appreciated. I'm looking for an inexpensive way to get my idea protected then sell to an existing organization to bring to market.

1 Answer 1


I think you are asking what kind of patent application do you need. The full name of a provisional patent application is a provisional utility application. Besides utility patents there are design patents that protect the appearance of a product, not the function. "Patent Pending" means there is some patent application of some type on file.

It can take years for a patent application to be allowed and turn into an issued patent, if ever, and most products are launched in a patent pending state.

Beyond that we enter an area that is opinion. Some would recommend that a professionally done, fully fleshed out, application (either provisional or nonprovisional) be filed before exposing the product to anyone outside your team. Others suggest that the perception of ownership is all that is needed and that might be achieved with a self-written provisional application.

"Protection" can come in the form of copyrights as well as patents.

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