Are there other ways to protect an idea other than getting a patent? 3 Answers as of April 27, 2011

Are there any other ways to protect an Idea, other than getting a patent?

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DANIEL NESBITT
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
You can consider trademarks and copyrights, but their scope is limited to product or brand names, and artistic expression. Design patent protection can be effective and less expensive than utility patents, though limited to the novel, ornamental appearance of the object (product, screen shot, device, etc.). Trade secret protection is highly restrictive, but may be an option. Exclusive and restrictive contracting of supply, etc. might be useful. I suggest you engage a patent attorney and work out some arrangement that best meets your business need.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/27/2011
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
Sure trade secret protection (if reverse engineering would be difficult), design patents, copyrights, trademarks, and NDA agreements. All have advantages and disadvantages. Discuss the alternatives with your attorney.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/26/2011
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
You can protect an invention/idea by keeping it as a trade secret. However, the downside is that it can be (1) inadvertently disclosed, (2) reverse engineered or (3) independently thought of by someone else.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/8/2010
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