uspto.gov says "It (a provisional patent)can be filed up to 12 months following the date of first sale, offer for sale, public use, or publication of the invention, whichever occurs first." But I have always heard that if you sell your invention without a patent or post about it online, it immediately becomes part of the public domain, and hence I lose patent rights. Hopefully someone can clear up my confusion?
The answer is yes, but it always depends. Let me begin by saying that the more knowhow, etc. involved, the easier it is to sell something without any patent protection. Otherwise, you are trying to sell something without protection and you get no protection until the patent issues, which may take years.
The acquirer may just run with it (I would) without licensing knowing there is no cost until your patent issues. Then, when you file, they will see your claims and try to modify their product around your claims. It is slightly vicious in nature. That said, I may not act much different if you file first, unless I can buy your patent or the license costs are very inexpensive.
Secondly, many countries have absolute novelty and you will not be able to protect your invention there ever, even if a licensee arises and wants to enter those markets. This too, is a serious limitation for licensing.
My conclusion would be that you are underfunded to address your IP and that I can get away with murder. Filing the application is your way of telling people that you are serious. That said, it is not necessary and I have a lot of clients that file later or never file.
many companies do only what you had raised as a question, the thing is, a patent takes far more time to be granted than you can afford to wait to go to market and start selling.
Here, you might find something interesting on this video http://videosift.com/video/How-I-Beat-A-Patent-Troll-Drew-Curtis-TED-Talk
When you want discuss go to market strategies and selling world over, I will be interested in hearing you out (will all due deligence and Non Disclosures)
if someone else gets the patent before you do then you will be in trouble won't you? I think a the laws allows it however it specifically mentions that "Provisional applications for patent cannot claim the benefit of a previously-filed application, either foreign or domestic."... so its safer to keep your inventions with you before you patent it, its just common sense. If you want to show it to someone then sign a non-disclosure agreement. If you share the details with me, i will be in a better position to guide you. thanks.
Yes, you can sell an idea to a company without a patent. However, the company needs to enter into a contract such as a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). Otherwise, they can steal your idea. Unfortunately, many companies will not enter an NDA. As such, you may need to get at least a patent application on file to pitch your idea. You can sell an idea to a company without a patent. You need a way to stop them from stealing the idea from you. One way to do that without a patent is with a nondisclosure agreement, aka NDA. The NDA would limit the company’s ability to use your idea without paying you for it. Here is a simplified version of how that would work. You approach the company and ask them to enter into a nondisclosure agreement with you. If they sign the NDA, they cannot tell others about the idea. Otherwise, they will breach the contract. If they do tell others without your consent, you can sue them for breach of contract. The NDA stops the company from using your idea without paying you for it. Unfortunately, most sophisticated companies will not enter an NDA with you. For example, Under Armor, New Balance and Coca Cola all take idea submissions from people like you. However, they will not enter an NDA with you. An NDA is an invitation to a lawsuit. Nondisclosure agreements require them to keep things secret. If it even looks like they stole your idea or invention, then they might have a lawsuit on their hands. Because most ideas are not worthwhile, you are required to make your disclosure on a non-confidential basis. You must protect it with a patent or trademark. Fortunately, some companies will sign nondisclosure agreements to hear you out. You can find out by searching for any webpage on their website that describes the idea submission policy like Under Armor. If you cannot find the webpage, do not give up. Lookup people on LinkedIn, etc. who work for the company. Ask them if they can sign a nondisclosure agreement to hear out your idea.
The bottom line is that some companies will sign a nondisclosure agreement, but many will not. So, you are limiting the number of potential buyers of your idea if you do not get a patent or patent-pending status. However, it is possible. If you do not have money for a patent, then your options are limited. You may have to pitch your ideas only to potential buyers that will sign the nondisclosure agreement.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath