1. How do I know when and what to publish and what to protect?
It is indeed a difficult question. You should think if your invention is detectable on your final product, what your competitors are doing, based on their products and publications, and what you may gain by protecting it.
Usually, inventions that can be detected on the final product, or if someone with relative knowledge may derive them, or inventions in the technical fields that your competitors are working on are preferred to be protected.
The correct time to file for a patent depends on the maturity of the invention, whether it is a breakthrough, or a continuation of existing knowledge and a possible product launch.
2. Is it expensive to protect my Intellectual Property?
There is no fixed cost. It depends on the geography where you wish to protect it and your strategy. The costs are not related only to the various Patent Offices, but they also depend on the need for translation and attorney fees. For example, a simple application in the Greek region may cost a few hundred euros, while a global application could cost a few thousands. Safeguarding your rights in major European countries, USA, Japan or China for a period of 20 years might cost hundreds of thousands of euros. Our goal is to recommend the direction towards the maximum profit, with the minimum cost.
3. Do I really need to sign NDAs?
Definitely yes. Even if you are talking to a trusted person, an employee, a customer/supplier, a consultant or a friend, it is better to have put an NDA in place before revealing any valuable information.
4. How do I make sure that my trade secrets are actually kept?
Having an NDA signed works in your favor. Usually, NDAs involve non-compliance clauses that would prevent someone from revealing your trade secret. When signing an NDA with another company, it is better to have done a background check and know if they have a good reputation and possess assets, so that you can be compensated in case of an NDA breaching.