Invention Patents: Everything You Need to Know
Getting invention patents will help you secure the investment you made in creating the invention.3 min read
Why Get Invention Patents?
Getting invention patents will help you secure the investment you made in creating the invention. By getting a patent, you will have exclusive economic rights to the patented invention for a period of time.
It is worthwhile to only file for the patent once the invention has reached some level of completion.
An alternative to patenting an invention is to protect it as a trade secret, but there are advantages and disadvantages to each.
Advantages of Getting a Patent
There are many benefits of getting a patent. First and foremost you will be able to legally enforce your exclusive right to the patent, as others will not be able to use your patent without your consent or licensing.
The patent also demonstrates credibility. A patent signifies that the USPTO believes the invention is a unique development. It may be helpful when negotiating with investors in demonstrating you have a worthwhile product.
Having a patent will also open up economic opportunities, such as licensing the patent to others. Patents have only been increasing in recent years as more inventors seek to gain a patent’s benefits. Below are patent applications by year:
- 2015: 629,647
- 2014: 615,243
- 2010: 520,277
- 2000: 315,015
Why Is It Important to Act Quickly?
The USPTO has determined that when two owners are trying to patent the same invention, even if one actually invented the invention first, the owner of the patent will be the one who was the first to file their patent application. This demonstrates why you should not delay in filing your patent application once ready.
Moving from Idea to Patent
Filing a successful patent application can be a complicated process. It likely will be worthwhile to look to various professional services to help you prepare your patent application. These services include patent search services as well as patent attorneys.
During this process you ought to keep in mind that patents are protections for specific configurations and designs. They do not cover general concepts, but rather specific inventions.
Patents can vary wildly. If the invention is described thoroughly enough, it may very well be patentable. It is also important though to remember that the patent should be worthwhile to have, as otherwise it can be a very expensive and time-consuming process for little gain.
You should submit a patent for an invention that has achieved the highest potential return and output in its current form. If you are planning to make significant upgrades to the patented device, it may not be worthwhile to patent it immediately as the new upgraded invention may be a new patentable invention anyway.
Patent law is quite complex and the process of acquiring a patent can be daunting. It is important to understand the process of acquiring a patent, what rights and protections a patent gives, and if a patent is worth pursuing. Early planning and analysis can save a lot of wasted effort and money later on.
Remember that concepts and thoughts are not patentable, but only specific detailed inventions that are thoroughly pictured and drawn out.
Nonetheless, patents are rooted in ideas. A patentable invention is created when these ideas manifest themselves into a tangible device, machine, or process. The process of turning ideas into inventions is difficult and requires significant innovative creativity and knowledge. The difficulty of this step is precisely why patents are granted by the government in the first place, as it spurs investment in research and development.
Once the idea is detailed enough that it can be described as a tangible process, then it can be considered an invention. These ideas may eventually build up until they cross the line into an invention. It is worth keeping detailed records as you build up your invention.
After your invention is complete, it is then time to begin thinking about patenting the invention.
If you need help with filing your invention patents, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.