Q: I want to know what I could do to make my Idea safe? It’s Build a Bong, similar to today’s Build a Bear but this is 420.

Do I need patent?

3 Lawyer Answers

A: Generally speaking, "patent" applies to inventions; "trademark" applies to names, taglines, logos, and other things that identify the source of a specific product or service; "copyright" applies to original works of authorship; and "trade secret" applies to things that provide an advantage in commerce and, therefore, need to remain secret. You could have, need, or be eligible for all, some, or none. But an attorney would need more information in order to be able to point you in the right direction.

With that being said, you might want to avoid publicly disclosing the specifics of your ideas until you've spoken to an attorney about how to protect them.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: Protecting your idea for "Build a Bong" can be done through various means, including filing for a patent or trademark, or keeping it as a trade secret.

If you want to prevent others from making, using, selling or importing your invention, then you may consider applying for a utility patent. This will give you exclusive rights to your invention for up to 20 years from the date of filing the patent application. However, obtaining a patent can be a complex and costly process that requires a thorough search and examination by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to determine if the invention is new, useful, and non-obvious.

Another option is to register your trademark to protect the name or logo associated with your product. A trademark gives you the exclusive right to use the registered name, logo, or phrase in connection with your product, and can help prevent others from using or copying your brand identity.

Alternatively, you can keep your idea as a trade secret. This involves taking steps to protect confidential information about your invention, such as keeping it confidential, restricting access to it, and having non-disclosure agreements with anyone who has access to it.

It's important to consult with a qualified attorney who can help you determine the best approach for protecting your idea and guide you through the necessary steps to obtain a patent or trademark.

Marin Cionca
Marin Cionca
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Irvine, CA

A: Hello,

You could apply for a patent, such as via a provisional application for patent, but please note that your idea has to be (1) new and (2) non-obvious, in order to be patentable.

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