Kickstarter 101 – Protecting Your Idea

Kickstarter 101 – Protecting Your Idea

Kickstarter brings innovation to a new level with support from others through direct funding of their ideas. Started in 2009, Kickstarter is a public Benefit Corporation, resulting in billions of dollars raised to fund new projects. It is a global crowdfunding platform where successful campaigns have been launched through fifteen categories from eight sections on the kickstarter.com site. The inventors or artists gain funds directly from their audiences this way.

Funding is done through Backers on this site. Generous supporters looking for projects to fund can sign up for notifications about projects they like, found through several newsletters on the Kickstarter site. Clicking on Explore brings up the Categories and Sections part of the page. Filters can be added to make specific searches for inventions.

A creator sets a funding goal, in the amount necessary to complete their project. A pledge for a project is only charged if a project reaches this funding goal. For the service, Kickstarter charges a small percentage, but creating an account on Kickstarter is free.

Many of the Technology Projects are tagged Robots. There are even Robots that teach coding and create abstract art. There are items such as wallets created for efficiency, and products that use electrical knowledge to diagnose and fix problems. There are artforms of many mediums including wood, paint, and hand-cut glass. Bikes, cameras, and board games are all tangible
products with the opportunity to be brought to life through this type of funded-creation on Kickstarter.

With Kickstarter, Engineers and Inventors ready to set their projects in motion can get a jump start on the process of bringing their ideas for inventing cool creations through to completion. Inventions are categorized by Newest, Popularity, Most-Funded, Most Backed, End Date, or Magic. There are also projects tagged in the site with the tag Projects We Love.

The top 2017 Kickstarter projects include several varieties of watches, VR, a gravity blanket, and a high-powered telescope. Included in 2016 top projects was the Fidget Cube.

Crowdfunding platforms do not offer any legal protection for intellectual property and the public disclosure of ideas or prototypes can result in an impact on the legal status of any project. If your idea is released unprotected, your patent rights can be affected. An application for a patent must be filed within twelve months of the date an engineer or inventor discloses any item
offered for sale. The need for a U.S. patent filing will come in to play with the timeline and funding goals set forth from the launch of a Kickstarter campaign. Without legal protection this would potentially result in a race with the very campaign donors contributing to reach the U.S. Patent Office. Filing a patent application to protect your rights is an essential part of the inventing process for engineers and creative innovators. A U.S. provisional patent can supplant a formal application for one years time. Working with a patent engineer can provide you with a full-service process and help you protect your invention.

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