Patent Primer

Why should I apply for patent protection?

Patents are potentially valuable assets. If you have come up with a new invention that has features your competitors may want to copy, you should consider applying for patent protection. A patent prevents others from making, using or selling a product that has the features claimed in your patent. Thus, a patent can prevent your competitors from copying your new invention. Without patent protection, your competitors are free to copy and benefit from your invention, even though they did not incur the costs of creating or developing that invention.

If you are seeking investment from other people to fund the development of your invention, you will likely find that potential investors are very concerned about your potential patent position. This is because having good patent protection in place can be key to recouping investment in and profiting from the development of an invention. Without a good patenting strategy, the chance that your investors will obtain a good return on their investment is decreased, because your competitors can freely copy the invention, without incurring all of the development costs funded by your investors.

In addition to preventing your competitors from benefiting from your invention, a patent can also provide you the option of selling or licensing the patent rights to interested parties. This may allow you to benefit financially from the invention even in countries or markets where you are not able to manufacture the product yourself.

In the circumstance that you find you may be infringing on a patent owned by another party, having your own patent in place may allow for settlement of a patent dispute through a cross-licensing arrangement if a device sold by that other party may also infringe your patent. Without your own patent protection in place, your options for dealing with such a dispute are considerably reduced.

Development of a strong patent portfolio requires careful consideration. You may want to consider carefully what countries your patent application can be filed in, and you may want to file subsequent patent applications as you make significant changes or improvements to your original design in circumstances where this is possible. We can work with you to develop strategies for building your patent portfolio based on your business goals and situation.