One of the challenges physician inventors face is protecting their ideas/inventions prior to disclosure for funding.
Dr. David Scharp, speaking at the SEAK Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference gave some bullet-point advice on the optimal ways to protect your invention.
Optimal way is to submit a Provisional Patent to USPTO:
- Meets the First to File Requirement (see below)
- Protects the date of filing as submission remains confidential
- Can submit multiple Provisional Patents as studies mature
- Have to convert to actual Patent Application within 12 months
- Thus, provides 12 months of protection while finding funding
- Patent application adds another 18 months of protection prior to publication of the application
For physicians interested in becoming a successful inventor, SEAK Inc. has a streaming course “How to Become a Successful Physician Inventor: Bringing Your Ideas to Market”.