What should we do before we reveal our software to the public? 2 Answers as of October 15, 2010

I work in a very small tech startup company. We are new and we have no experience with intellectual property law. We have developed our own web based software that we plan on revealing to the public. What are the steps that we should take before doing so? We believe that our product may be patentable but do not want to go through the costly process if we do not have to.

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Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
You should speak with a patent attorney and he can advise you whether or not to seek patent protection for your invention. In the alternative, you can file for a provisional patent application, and protect yourself for a year for a low cost.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/15/2010
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to protect your patent rights once you release it to the public except file a patent within 1 year. After one year has passed from public disclosure (publication) you lose all rights to file a patent on that invention. The government gives you a patent for reveling your invention to the world so that progress toward new developments of such an invention can spring forth. Once you show everyone there is no need for the government to give you a patent.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/11/2010
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