‘Shall I file for patent application first or develop a prototype of my invention first?’

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Most of our clients who meet us for the first meeting ask us this question: What should they do first- file a patent application or develop a prototype before filing a patent application? There is no correct answer to the question as there can be arguments in favour of both options.

File patent before prototyping

Let us now look at the point of filing a patent application before prototyping. Generally a prototype is fabricated by third party companies. There are inventors who have the capabilities to fabricate the prototype in their premise. The inventor could ask the third party company to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before disclosing the inventor’s idea to the third party.

Having said that, not all the third party companies would agree to sign the NDA since they might be involved in similar technology. Therefore to avoid such circumstances it would advisable to file the patent application to obtain protection before embarking in the manufacturing of the prototype.

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The Petri Dish is malaysia’s first dedicated science newspaper. Through The Petri Dish we aim to engage the public on the latest developments on biotechnology.