If you have invented something, what you will want to do immediately is to patent it. Patenting the invention is a way to prove that the idea is truly yours and that you were the one that came up with it. This way, the inventor really owns the idea, if the notion of owning the idea is anyhow possible.
When talking about ideas and inventions that you plan to make money off, patenting those ideas and inventions is absolutely crucial for your success, since these ideas can be worth quite an amount of money if they are properly guarded, or nothing, if you do not protect them adequately.
But firstly, in order to know how to protect the patents, we must see what the patents are.
What is a patent?
A patent is a right to use a certain invention. Furthermore, it is an exclusive right, which means that only the person (or persons) that have the patent can use it, and no one else. This right is protected by the government and the law and it can last up to twenty years. If someone else is using your invention without your permission you then have the right to sue them in the court of law and get paid the money in reparations.
Also, patenting an invention allows you to later sell it, license it, or, if you are in a need of a certain patent, you can buy it or hire it. Basically, the patent is a physical and legal representation of a novel and innovative idea which can bring substantial economic profit for its owner.
What inventions can be patented?
It’s not enough that you only “invent” something for it to be worthy of patenting. Instead, there are certain strict conditions that need to be met in order for the patent application to even be considered.
- Firstly, it is important the invention applying for the patent has a practical use. Impractical inventions are instantly rejected.
- Secondly, it has to be novel. This means that there are no existing patents for that particular invention and that this invention serves a new purpose.
- Lastly, the invention must not be of the type that is specifically excluded from the intellectual protection.
There are certain types of inventions that cannot be patented and if your invention is of that type, it will not be possible to get patent protection for it.
What are the benefits of invention patenting?
Well, the most important benefit of patenting is that you get the exclusive right to your invention. This means that you, and only you, can do with it what you like. Whether you want to start producing that invention and sell it for profit, license the patent to other companies that will produce it and give you the portion of the money or sell the patent to someone else for quick cash.
The most important thing is that even though everyone will know about your invention, no one (except the people you license it to) will have the right to use that invention. If the invention is good and is worth a lot of money, this will give you a sort of a ‘monopoly’ on the production of that product and can earn you quite a lot of money.
That money could be lost if you don’t patent your invention, as then other companies might use it as well and earn a lot more than you do off that same invention.
Applying for a patent
Applying for a patent is a slow, tiresome and costly venture, but it is usually worth it in the end. First it is necessary that you fill out the patent application form, in which you will state the full description of the invention, include any drawings and plans for the invention, invention claims and an abstract.
This form is then sent to the IPO (Intellectual Property Office) and upon receival of the application form, you get a receipt which confirms that your application has been received. From then on, you can advertise your invention by adding “patent pending” to the advertisements. Within the next 12 months you must send a request for a search and fee sheet.
If your application is rejected the first time, it should not worry you, as most of the inventions are. The examiner of your application will make comments on the application, thus you will know what to do better next time.
In this article we have tried to explain the purpose of the patents and the process of applying for one. It should be noted, however, that it is always advisable to contact a patent lawyer, since they are experts in this area of expertise and they can generally help you with anything that is related to your invention.
Damian is a blogger and online marketing strategist. He currently works on advanced marketing strategy for http://www.phoenixip.com.au.