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Initial Idea Protection -
Without A Patent

Using the U.S. "First-to-Invent" Patent System


By Stephen Paul Gnass

1. Start your logbook. Have 2 witnesses sign each entry. Periodically have your log book notarized, about every 3-4 weeks. Investment: Under $5 for a mead-type composition book, or about $20-30 for a professional hardback, stitched and formatted laboratory notebook. About $10-20 every month for notarizing your log book.
2. Create an Official Date of Conception document and have it notarized to establish the date of your idea's conception. Investment: $10.00 to $20.00
3. Send yourself and/or a friend a full description of your idea by certified or registered mail as "back-up insurance" only. Investment: under $5.00
4. Use a Non-Disclosure Agreement only if you have decided to work with a specific company that "absolutely needs it" in order to perform their work.

So, for an initial investment of under $50.00 and $10-20 for notarizing your log book, you're protected under the U.S. "First-to-Invent" patent system. And, you're keeping your costs at the bare minimum while you do the preliminary research and development steps to test and proceed with your idea.

But let's not forget your education! If you're on a really tight budget, go check out the books that are listed on NCIO's bookstore and see if they're available from your local library for free. But if you can afford to purchase a few books, we ask that you buy them from NCIO's bookstore (in association with which not only gives you a 10-40% discount, but additionally helps support NCIO's education efforts through a small commission that pays NCIO.

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