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  #1 (permalink)
: My cousin came up with an invention with one of her friends but they broke appart as partners and now she wants to get the Patent Idea legally hers. Is a Notarized statement good enough or should she see a lawyer or what is the best course of action?

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  #2 (permalink)
: A notary just witnesses a signature. NO MORE. If she wants to patent an invention she will have to go through the process with the Patent and Trademarks Office. And yes she will likely need a patent lawyer.
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  #3 (permalink)
: Lawyer, if you already have it patented and are working with a manufacturer, otherwise, you should really think about it, it cost a lot of money to patent and get your product actually into the market. I've heard of people spending nearly a million just coming up with prototypes and meeting with potential producers, many times it doesn't work out.
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  #4 (permalink)
: A Notary's function is to provide independent verification that the signature at the bottom of the document was made by the person the document claims has signed. They do this by requiring the person to present a valid form of identification before signing, and then sign in the presence of the Notary. As you can imagine, this is far from fool proof, as a good quality false identification would allow someone other than the real person named to sign instead of them.

A Notary has no role in verifying the contents of the document itself. They only attest to having witnessed a person with identification sign in their presence.

But, the Notary also provides the date of the signature. So if the document contains an idea and the date establishes the idea as the first recording of that idea, it may be relevant to your ability to claim a patent or defend against a challenge to your patent.

But there are many more issues involved. So yes, if the invention is a serious one with real value, engage a reputable patent attorney. Check with the bar association and the department of licensing to be sure the attorney has a good reputation and no allegations of improper or ineffective counsel on their record before you hire them.
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  #5 (permalink)
: She needs to see a lawyer.

Documents don't get notarized. Signatures get notarized. What happens is that someone takes a document to a notary public, and shows the NP proof of identity (a driver's license or such) and then signs the document while the NP watches. The NP affixes his/her seal to the signature, and makes a notation in the notary log, and then collects the fee (if the NP charges a fee, many don't). All that the NP does is be an official witness to a signature. The NP doesn't offer legal advice, and certainly doesn't look over the document to see if it's legally valid, unless s/he's also a lawyer and is acting like one.

I can print up a document that says that I'm the official ambassador to the UN from the planet Mars, and go and get that document notarized. The NP won't blink an eyelash, s/he will just look at my driver's license and watch me sign and do all the other stuff. The document would be properly notarized, but it would not be legally valid.
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  #6 (permalink)
: She can file a provisional patent application. If her former partner really is a co-inventor as you say, then she will have to acknowledge that person on the application.
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