You should probably get a patent, without one there's almost a gaurentee that someone will claim it as their own or duplicate it. And you won't have any proof saying the invention is your own, but if you really want to take the chance, why not?
2 years ago
Last edited at 12:24AM on 7/2/2011
I know of a way to do a temporary copyright for any written works, but I do not know if this applies to patent ideas or inventions.
If you write a story or anything at all, you can mail it to yourself and label the envelope with what it is and write on the envelope,"Do not open". You do not ever open it or it will become voided.
According to the US government, once the post office has stamped the envelope and it becomes marked by the post office which is a federal agency, it is considered a legal document, admissible in a court of law concerning copyright infringements.
You could check to see if this applies to inventions and patents as well. It might save your inventions from being stolen or if they were, you would at least have a legal leg to stand on.
A patent is the only way to stop someone from using your invention, if your invention is readily understood and/or reversed engineered. If it is not, it can be kept as a trade secret -think of the recipe for coca-cola. My advice: talk to a patent attorney. The initial consultation should be free. Disclaimer: While I am a patent attorney, I am NOT your attorney.