Having invention ideas protected by a patent gives the patent owner definite legal rights. A patent agent or lawyer can inform you of those patent invention rights. Invention ideas that are not protected by a patent or that are not patentable may be used liberally by anyone. This may decrease the invention commercial value. For this one reason some companies view patent protection key for their own invention ideas and for invention ideas submitted to them. Therefore, those companies may expect inventors submitting inventions to them to seek invention patent rights issued by a patent just as any company would be required to protect their own invention ideas.

There may be complex legal issues connected to invention ideas submitted to big companies. Those issues can involve joint development of the same invention. Another example could be two inventors that developed the invention together, including trade secret ownership and confidential rights. A patent agent or lawyer can help you with those issues before applying for an invention patent.

Your patent agent or lawyer may advise or recommend that you obtain an issued patent before submitting your ideas to a big company. However, some companies may allow you to disclose and discuss your idea after an invention patent application has been filled. Keep in mind that the companies that you submit your ideas to before an invention patent has been issued could be under no obligation to keep your idea a secret. They may also be under no obligation to neither pay anything nor refrain from using your idea while the invention idea is being evaluated unless a written agreement has been completed.


Following the invention idea evaluation, the company may be under no obligation to keep your invention idea a secret or may not refrain from using your invention ideas unless an agreement in writing is completed. The benefit of having an issued invention patent is that it entitles you to rights as defined by the invention patent claims. Depending on the company that you are submitting your ideas to, a patent agent may urge you to acquire an issued invention patent before submitting your inventions to a company for evaluation.InventHelp

However, there are several other companies that will review your invention ideas before an invention patent application is in progress. Or, before an invention patent has been issued. For example, the company Plaid will accept invention ideas before an invention patent has been issued. The company Plaid does agree to keep your invention idea submission confidential and will not use or disclose the invention idea to any third parties or employees of Plaid, other than those Plaid employees who participate in the review of the idea submission, unless such disclosure is required by law or unless Plaid acquires knowledge of the submissions prior to your disclosure thereof.

Sears is an exception, and may accept invention ideas prior to an invention patent have been issued or an invention patent application is in process. However, by considering a submitted idea, Sears may not obligate itself to pay any compensation whatsoever for its use of un-patentable ideas. Also, Sears may make no commitment that your submitted invention ideas shall be kept a secret or confidential. It may be necessary for a large company like Sears to refer your invention idea submission to a number of persons at Sears or at third parties, such as vendors and manufacturers, who have business dealings with Sears. Consider this when submitting your invention to large companies, because this may be necessary to thoroughly evaluate your invention idea submission. You may want to consider including a period of limiting time for the company that you are submitting you invention idea to evaluate your invention idea. An appropriate amount of time may be 45 to 60 days to evaluate an invention submission.

Always be sure to establish contact with the company that you are submitting your idea to before sending any material or detailed descriptions of your invention idea. Confirm if the company accepts outside idea submission and what the company’s submission rules and guidelines are. Remember, until a contract is signed and completed, your only legal rights in and to the submissions remain with you.