How do I protect my idea before obtaining funding on Kickstarter?
Kickstarter or other crowd funding platforms for creative and innovative projections and inventions are great resources for start-ups.
The main resource for crow funding platforms, such as Kickstarter, is to obtain initial funding for your innovations. However, Kickstarter can also be used as a tool to advertise your product, receive comments from others on the online community, and also to determine if there is a market base for your invention.
To have a successful Kickstarter campaign, start-ups should be able to show backers that they have a clear plan for 1) what their project is, and 2) how their project will be completed.
When creating their Kickstarter campaign to show backers what their project includes and how their project will be completed, start-ups are encouraged to share as much information as possible for their innovations so backers can make informed decisions about what projects the wish to support. Therefore to have a successful Kickstarter campaign, start-ups are required to share their innovation.
Yet, how can start-ups share their innovations on a public forum and have protection for their innovation at low cost? The answer is via filing a provisional patent application.
By filing a provisional patent application, start-ups can show backers 1) what their innovation is, 2) what areas of their technology they believe their innovation relates to, and 3) have a priority date on others who try to obtain patent protection for their idea after viewing the public forum. Provisional patent applications written through Pierson Intellectual Property are typically 20-30 page reports with several Figures clearly reciting and depicting the elements of your invention. Through the provisional application, startups have a legal document to present to potential backers, allow inventors to list their idea as “patented pending,” and have the benefits of a full application with the USPTO .
Additionally, because Kickstarter allows start-ups to decide how much money the company will need for a successful project, the start-ups can include the cost of legal fees within their campaign.
The only main downside to filing a provisional patent application with the USPTO before starting your Kickstarter campaign is that patent applications cost money. However, if the company is truly bootstrapped provisional application can be filed by anyone with a mere $130 government filing fee.
If you would be interested in discussing protecting your invention and innovations before filing on Kickstarter, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to discuss patent strategies for your company that makes the most sense for you.