I recently responded to the question: How will Patent Reform Act influence R&D Innovation? No matter if it’s good or bad, but what outcomes it may bring to R&D departments.

My answer:
Confusion on protection.
It becomes a roll of the die for the R&D department or inventor to decide if his idea has landed somewhere else. They may file a provisional and then not complete the full in time. I have had vendors pick my pocket.
So NDA the crap out of everyone and anyone in shouting distance of your idea.

In my experience the small business 10M a year and less don’t have the infrastructure to “keep their secrets, secret”. This also applies to the sole inventor. They tend to lack the discipline and funds that mid to large companies have in their R&D departments.

My first reaction (see my inventors blog http://upworldlymobileinventor s.wordpress.com/ ) was to scream and shout that this new law, would hurt the little guy. Those that will take years to go from idea to product, used prior art to protect themselves. That has been tossed out the window now, in the guise of quicker turnarounds and fewer disputes surrounding patent approval. It will take years to prove this to be true (5-8).

I advise my clients to instill a discipline and institute a SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) around new product ideas. The first being that 100% of employees and vendors sign strong and lasting NDA’s. This includes the trucking companies, soda pop, and office supply vendors. Any 1099 that comes into your company as well.

We have to understand that brainstorming sessions are not protected under prior art, anymore.

Medium to large corporations have already implemented steps to protect. One being to file quickly or hide their ideas strongly. I advise them as well as my smaller clients to keep potentially patentable ideas close to their “collective chests”

I advise my clients to not wait until they have “all their ducks in a row” before filing. You cannot hesitate as we could with prior art. Our engineering books are now to be used to help with the filing process; instead of the traditional prior art log. The filing date should now set the priority for R&D projects. I also strongly urge, demand, and beg that their legal and marketing people are on the same schedule.

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