Protecting Your Inventions and Ideas

If you're an inventor, you need more than copyright protection.
1 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In fact, copyrights only protect actual works in their unique form; they do not protect the ideas behind the work. What you need is patent protection. Patents available to you will vary, based on the type of invention you have and the length of time your invention will be covered. For example, two main patents--plant patents and utility patents--protect your invention for 17 years, at which point they become open for use or reproduction in the public domain. (Actually, an act of Congress can extend a plant patent, but such acts are rare.) Design patents--the most common type--range in protection length from three to 14 years (generally three, seven or 14 years).

Any person who "invents or discovers any new and usable process, machine manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvements thereof, may obtain a patent." Your specific type of patent will depend on your invention.

Excerpted from Starting a Home-based Business

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.