How do I get a patent on a advertisement design I wish to sell to a company?

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How do I get a patent on a advertisement design I wish to sell to a company?

I want to create a design, to be used for billboards, and sell it to a company. How do I get a patent on it so they will not steal the idea when I present it to them if they decline my poster?

Asked on August 9, 2010 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an intellectual property attorney. You have several options:

1) IF it would qualify for a design patent--which is not a given; the criteria are fairly stringent--you could patent it. Note that a patent can take several months and cost $1,500 and up (possibly substantially up; patents can be expensive). The IP attorney can evaluate whether  you could obtain this sort of protection, the cost, and the process.

2) Depending on circumstances, copyright and/or trademark (which are less expensive) may also be helpful; again, an attorney can evaluate your design and how it's to be used and whether this would be useful.

3) You can and should create a nondisclosure/confidentialy agreement with other parties will sign before you disclose your design; you can then enforce their not taking, using, etc. your design as you would enforce any contract. You attorney can draft such an agreement for  you.


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