I have an idea about possible creation of a product that in my opinion would be on demand among smartphone users. I have found a potential company In Switzerland and I think about offering them my idea.

I am planning to patent my project before presenting it to them, however it seems like it would cost me a lot of money to apply for a patent in Switzerland due to my financial capabilities and considering that I am from a different country it is impossible for me to apply for a patent, but I really need to somehow protect my project before showing it!

Do you know another way to do it? I would be glad to hear your opinion about this issue!

  • Ideas are not patentable, in any event. – phoog Jan 28 '16 at 17:31
  • I know it!!! In my case I mean the patent for a device or a product that i want to make real. I can easily apply for a patent of my invention, but I dont have such amounts, that's the problem. – alpha69 Jan 28 '16 at 20:30
  • The United States provides for a one-year grace period in which inventors are allowed to publicize their invention without having to file for a patent. You could see if Swiss law has similar provisions. – Justin Lardinois Jan 30 '16 at 0:31

You can file a U.S. provisional patent application now, which you can then convert into a regular ("nonprovisional") application within a year. The provisional application is relatively simple and inexpensive, and it will give you an opportunity to explore your business possibilities and assess whether you want to spend more money on patent work later. It will also leave your options open for filing a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application that can be the basis of a later application in Switzerland (and many other countries as well, if you so choose). This way, you won't have to pursue the expensive translation and European filing fees until much farther down the road, but you'll still have the benefit of the original filing date of the provisional application.

Another benefit of the provisional application: if you aren't ready to convert it within a year, you can simply abandon it and it will go unpublished, keeping all the information in it secret.

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