If you ever wondered if you need a patent or if it protects you, remember that as an inventor or entrepreneur, you should always patent your inventions to make them commercially viable. Moreover, a patent will protect your invention by allowing you or the group who owns the patent to control who can use this invention. A patent attorney can help you gain and protect your rights to your invention.
What Is a Patent, and Do I Need One?
A patent is an exclusive right to a process or product that typically provides a new method of doing something or offers a technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, you must disclose technical information in a patent application to the public. You may also permit or license other parties to use it on mutually agreed terms.
Separately, you also have the right to sell it to someone else, who will become the new patent owner. If the patent expires, your protection will end. That means your invention will enter the public domain, so anyone can commercially exploit your invention without infringing upon your patent.
While patents are not legally required to sell a product or profit from an idea, a patent might be vital if you want to prevent others from selling, marketing, or importing your invention. Even though patents provide a right to exclude other parties from claiming or using your invention, they will not protect you from claims of infringement by others.
That is why it is best to acquire a “freedom to operate” opinion (FTO) from a patent attorney if similar ideas or products exist in the market. It is vital to remember that if you disclose your invention before you file a patent application, you could severely limit your chances of obtaining patent protection.
What Happens if You Don’t Patent Your Inventions?
If you fail to patent your invention, a competitor might exploit it. They might be tempted to make the same products by using your invention without ever asking for your permission. Moreover, they might produce the same product cheaper, competing at a more favorable market price. That will result in reducing your market share for that invention.
That’s not all. The possibilities to sell, transfer, or license technology will be severely affected if you do not patent your product or idea. Without intellectual property rights, a technology transfer would be complicated, if not impossible.
So, there is certainly a valid reason to patent your inventions. For starters, a patent will protect your exclusive rights. It will provide you with an exclusive right to stop or prevent others from exploiting your invention for 20 years from the date of your patent application.
Furthermore, a patent will protect your return on investments. You must have invested significant time and money in developing innovative products or ideas. You could establish yourself in the market through an exclusive patent, obtaining higher investment returns.
Contact a Patent Attorney Today
Ultimately, it is worth considering why getting a patent is the best choice for your invention. From keeping others to stealing it to generating licensing revenue, preventing or reducing competition, maintaining or acquiring market share, or enhancing company valuation, there are many reasons why you want to get a patent. However, having a patent is no guarantee that your product is not infringing on earlier patents.
As an investor, you should not consider that having a patent will automatically mean you are safe from infringement claims. Having a patent attorney on your side is a wise move, as they can counsel you on the strength of your patent and help you maximize the benefits of your invention.