I have an invention that I don't want to patent because of the cost. Will I be safe to manufacture the product myself and sell it online?
The invention is a new hair extension applicator. I have researched my invention and there is nothing like it currently on the market. From what I understand, it is not a good idea to try to sell the invention to an existing company.
I don't have the money to patent it, but I do not want to get sued later on by someone if my product becomes very popular. Is there a way I can protect my invention before I begin to manufacture it and sell it on the internet?
Selling your idea to an existing company means selling your right to profit off your invention, so if you want to manufacture and sell your invention yourself and keep the profits, you'll need to start by making sure you have a legal "paper trail" that documents that this is your brainchild.
Even before you patent, documenting that your invention is strictly your own is an essential prerequisite. Speak with a patent attorney before you make any final decisions, but before, while, and after you do, keep documenting.
At the end of the day, even a patent isn't a fix-all--it's always up to you to defend your intellectual property rights in court.
Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.