If I can’t afford a patent, can I just sell my idea?

Frequently Asked Questions about Patents

If I can’t afford a patent, can I just sell my idea?

  • Yes, it is possible to sell the idea without having a patent or even a patent pending, however, it is difficult and risky. It is similar to trying to sell a car to which you do not have the title. Just how are you going to convince someone to pay you money for it? Why should they pay you anything for your idea when they can just take it? If someone does take your idea, now you are the one that must prove it was your idea and the other party knew you wanted money for it.
  • A very useful tool for presenting your idea to potential buyers is called a non-disclosure or secrecy agreement. Consult an attorney to have a non-disclosure agreement drafted.
  • As a manufacturer, do not even look at an inventor’s idea unless the inventor agrees in writing to hold you harmless if you already had the idea in research and development.
  • Some manufacturers will not even talk to independent inventors unless the inventor’s invention has patent pending status. This is because they do not want to be sued by the inventor for stealing his idea if they had already thought of the same idea.

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