Choosing to patent your invention is an important step. It is a decision not to be taken lightly, since the patent procedure can be time-consuming and costly. But it is also often the best way to fully protect your invention and ensure it will be profitable for you in the future. Here are some of the reasons why patents are useful for novel and innovative inventions.
1. Stops Invention Theft
Probably the most obvious reason for taking out a patent on an invention is to prevent the theft of the invention by someone else for their own gain. It is often essential for an inventor or a start-up company to share their idea with investors or licensees in order to get capital for developing the product. If no patent has been filed, there is not much to stop the investors filing one themselves, and if this patent is successful then the invention will become the property of the investors and not the original inventor.
2. Increases Demand
Once a patent has been granted, the development of the product by others is not permitted. Therefore, there will be less of the product in the marketplace and more demand – considering that the invention has a demand. The inventor will be able to command more money for the sale of the product.
3. Cuts Competition
Getting a patent on a product may also prevent other people from entering the market with similar products. They may not want to get involved in potential legal cases if their product is too similar to the one already patented. This cuts competition in the marketplace and therefore makes the original patented product more valuable.
4. Enables Legal Settlements
If there is a dispute then two different companies with patented products can choose to avoid litigation by cross-licensing their technologies to one another, therefore avoiding the need for a costly legal battle.
5. Expansion Globally or Nationally
With a patent you can more easily expand your sales outside of your normal geographic region by licensing the technology or product to other companies who have a market in another region. You do not need to enter the new market yourself, and you also get regular payments from the licensee when this procedure is followed.
The process of patent application differs in various parts of the world. If you intend to market your invention within Europe, it is best to seek specific European patent advice, and it is important to consult a European patent attorney. Patent filing can be complicated, and since it is a legal process you benefit greatly from the help of a legal representative who knows how the procedure is best completed.
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