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Why do patents matter?

It's always a little difficult to protect your ideas, because ideas come and go from person to person. If you're the first person who has an idea, it's your right to protect that idea from use by others. It's easy for people to copy what you do, whether it's written material or creating a similar product. They need to have the idea first, though, which is where protecting your property and ideas comes into play.

Some people protect their ideas with patents, which is an excellent choice for inventions. For example, Segway is protected by a patent, which is why there are no devices quite like it on the market. On the other hand, if a new device comes out without a patent, others may quickly copy it.

Patents have a singular goal of protecting inventions of a novel nature. They're most commonly used for physical devices and can also be used to protect software algorithms and processes businesses use. You may wish to obtain a patent if you create a new algorithm for an application, for instance, or you may choose to get one to protect a new physical invention.

Whatever you do, it's vital that you understand the importance of protecting your ideas before you tell others about them. If they leak too soon, you'll have little in the way of legal protection.

Your attorney can help you take steps to protect your intellectual property, so you don't allow others to take away your business idea or rights. The right protective matters make a difference and give you rights over your ideas.

Source: The Balance, "Intellectual Property 101: Patents and Trademarks," accessed April 18, 2018

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