It’s a wrong to believe that only large companies can create patents. Patents are intellectual properties that can be held by even individuals not related to a big corporate business. If you have an amazing invention or great idea and want to file a patent for it, the following may be of interest. There are so many silly patents that have been filed and recorded in history. Here are 20 patent facts you must know.
1. Filing a patent is much more expensive than you think. Think of it as inventing in an actual property. Holding a patent can also make money for you as you file cases against people who copy your patented idea and try to sell them as their original creation.
2. Drafting a patent is also not an easy task. Non-attorneys and non-agents are not well-versed and they do not have a full comprehension of the law.
3. A patent broker is needed to be hired to bring legal action and pursue the case to generate a payment. This is a person who should have a license to settle deals and handle litigation. Patent holders should be ready for legal expenses for the dispute.
4. Patents are assets you need to protect. If other companies want to buy your patented work, you may be open to make a business transaction out of it.
5. Technology is one of the hardest things to distinguish as patented work.
6. As there are several products and services existing today, it is challenging to determine which company is facing patent risk. Businesses who use patented products without the owner’s permission or knowledge may already be accused of infringement.
7. Researching and overall strategic planning help to mitigate patent risks. In terms of publishing content, whether it be by means of mobile content delivery or content syndication, content providers must take the opportunity to search the patent landscape first before posting.
8. Patents have an expiration date. The limited duration is usually up to 20 years.
9. In some countries, there is a given grace period of up to a year for inventors or people who file a patent to disclose the work or idea before filing a patent in a non-confidential basis. This is for them to reserve industrial exploitation of the invention.
10. The patent is only valid for a certain single location, but there are also patents that may be applied to a group of location or multiple countries.
11. A patent is not a way to ensure that the holder owns the operating right. Rather, it gives the patent holder only the power to disallow the use of the invention by a third party.
12. A patented work must always be disclosed to the public, especially in the global economy. Otherwise, when remained secret, this will be bias to the holder to file charges against those who try to use the idea for their advantage.
13. Even Fortune 500 companies, with their R&D teams, have been accused of patent infringement at least once in the last decade.
14. Not all works can be patented. One of the essential criteria is that it must have an industrial application. This means that it can be used by any kind of industry.
15. If the work meets all the criteria, another thing to be considered is that if the industry allows it to be published as a patent. Non-patenting is sued by the chemical industry and some others that find that the idea should be used by the majority in their practices. Therefore, no one in the same industry should be prohibited of using the invention.
16. Business processes, and not only ideas or technology, science, and art can be patented. This is true especially in manufacturing.
17. Inventions, though not fully completed, can be patented as well. This is in fact one of the more important uses of provisioning a patent application. This is a solid guard for others not to copy the work or the process for the actual product or output that is concrete enough to be a regarded as a complete invention.
18. Patents generate a positive influence and that is to force companies to think differently. This pushes the competition to work hard and innovate so they would not end up with the same idea and accomplish the same result to offer to people.
19. On the other hand, the negative implication of publishing patents is that they restrict and discourage companies to operate with the same ideas or published works. This tends to slow down the rate of advances we have in the society.
20. At the end of the day, holding a patent will not stop other people from infringement. It is still up to the patent holder to take the case to court. Else, others will persist in infringing on the idea.
Patents on the market are growing every day. For some inventors, the right to holding a patented work gives them a special prestige. People can argue about the pros and cons of having a patent. To date, only 1% of the products in the market are patented. This goes to show that not all businesses think that a patent is of significant value and worth the investment. True enough, being first on the market does not guarantee considerable advantages for profitability.
Randolph Hoover and his family were originally from San Diego California but he is currently studying Business Administration in Umea University in Sweden. Aside from being a student, He also helps his parents with their home maintenance business in their home in Umea. He is also one of the marketing guy for SPi Global.