Patent An Invention
I emphasize in other parts of this site that I do not automatically recommend to clients that they should patent an invention. There are many small business and legal considerations that might point to another approach such as, for example, trade secret protection.
I really believe that. But there are many factors that might drive a decision to patent. Here I want to focus on some of the best reasons why you might want to consider getting a patent. And I have seen all of these play out in real businesses.
Here are some of the factors:
A good patent can create a market entry barrier for competitors. This is because of the basic patent right - the right to exclude. This means you can have the exclusive right to prevent or stop others from making, selling, or using the patented invention without your permission.
Higher Returns on Investment
The presence of patent protection can help in recovering costs and obtaining higher returns on investments by ensuring higher prices on your product. This can be especially important if you have invested a significant amount of time and money in research, development, and commercialization of our product.
Additional Income from Licensing
As a patent owner you may license your rights over the invention to others in exchange for lump-sum payments and/or royalties, in order to generate additional income for the company. Licenses can be exclusive or non-exclusive.
Access to technology through cross-licensing.
If your company is interested in technology owned by others you may use your company’s own patents to negotiate cross-licensing agreements, by which your company and the other party agree to authorize each other to use one or more of your respective patents under conditions specified in the agreement.
Positive image for your business.
Business partners, investors, shareholders and customers may perceive patent coverage as a demonstration of the high level of expertise, specialization and technological capacity of your company. This may prove useful for raising funds, finding business partners and raising your company’s profile and market value. Companies often mention or list their patents in advertisements to project an innovative image to the public.
All of this comes at a price. You not only must spend to get patent coverage,spend again to pay maintenance fees on the patent, but also be prepared to pay to defend the patent in court. Frankly, percentage wise , few patents get involved in patent litigation, but when they do - it can be very expensive.
Having said that, clearly many companies have done their homework on this issue and decided to patent important inventions.
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The Business of Patents Home Page
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Steps for Getting a Patent
What are the Steps for Getting a Patent? If you want to patent an idea - what are the steps?
Invention Ideas. How do you manage inventions and ideas in your business?
Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.
If you have any questions on on this site - please feel free to contact me.