Which legal form should I use to protect my invention idea? How? 4 Answers as of May 26, 2015

I would like to know which form I would use to protect my idea, If I decided to talk with the marketing department of a company, (to sell my idea) instead of going the patent route to start. Thanks.

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Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
You must first go the patent route. The patent office operates on a first-to-file basis. If you present your invention to a marketing company they can file for the invention before you even if you were the first-to-invent. You should file a provisional patent application. You can obtain the information from the US patent office at www.uspto.gov. Read a book on patenting your invention or hire a patent law firm to prepare and file the application.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/26/2015
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
You need to have the company sign a nondisclosure form before you present your idea. Any IP or business law attorney can draft the form for you.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 5/26/2015
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
You should have a Non Disclosure Agreement, commonly referred to as NDA. Most reputable companies have their own NDA for you to sign before they accept to talk to you about your invention. This is so that they are protected from potential lawsuit in case of disclosure of your invention to others in the future. You must, however, be careful about the language of the NDA and it would be a good idea to have a professional review the NDA before you sign it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/26/2015
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
You would need a confidentiality agreement - also known as a non-disclosure agreement. Check GOOGLE for samples. Unfortunately - many companies will NOT sigh such an agreement - so check first before you disclose anything. Better - file a provisional patent application - teach how to make and use your invention on paper. That way you will be "patent pending" when you go to see the company. Good Luck!
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 5/26/2015
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