Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Florida


I have a basic invention. I made

sketches and wrote a description.

I notarized the page and then

sealed it in an envelope and

mailed it to myself.

Question: Will this protect my

invention as I am fishing for people

to help manufacture the product?

Asked on 5/05/09, 6:51 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Quinn Johnson, Esq. Johnson PC, Attorneys at Law
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Re: pattent

No, mailing yourself a notarized copy of sketches and descriptions of your invention will not protect your invention.

Generally, a patent protects the functional aspects of an invention and provides the inventor a temporary monopoly (20 years) in exchange for a full description of how to perform the invention. A patent for an invention is the grant of an exclusive right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the US. A patent for an invention may be granted to whomever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.

The only way to gain patent protection for an invention is to file a patent application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).

Please feel free to contact our office with your specific Intellectual Property Law concerns.


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Answered on 7/15/09, 8:57 pm
Mark Torche Patwrite Law
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Re: pattent

The method you describe while often called “a poor man’s patent” is really nothing of the sort. If you ever got involved in a dispute over who invented first, then you could introduce your envelope as evidence of when you invented it. It will not stop someone else from practicing your invention nor could you sue them for royalties, etc. Only an issued patent will allow that. While it does not hurt to have a date on your invention, the mailing scheme will in no way give you anything close to patent rights. Additionally, it is very possible the US will abandon the “first to invent” rule that we as a nation have always followed in favor of the global “first to file” rule which will make the mailed envelope almost meaningless. The bill to change is being considered by Congress right now.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

Mark Torche, Esq.

Patwrite LLC

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Answered on 5/05/09, 7:06 pm
Alan Wagner Wagner, Vaughan & McLaughlin, P.A.
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Re: pattent


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Answered on 5/05/09, 8:14 pm

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