Why is a Patent Important for your Invention
Inventors are encouraged to patent their inventions, but the patent process can take time and resources to execute properly. As a result of this, a lot of inventors may come up with the wrong idea that the cost is not worth the effort, and refrain from the process without appreciating the immense advantages that patenting their invention can bring.
This makes securing your intellectual property one of the most important tasks inventors may embark on. A close look at global companies such as Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft will reveal that intellectual property protection is at the heart of daily business activities and commercial success.
Here are some reasons why a patent is important for your invention.
Transform your ideas to property – A patent transforms your ideas to “property” which could be a source of revenue. A lot of patent holders even license the rights to their invention to third parties in exchange for a royalty fee or outrightly sell their patent for a lump sum.
Guarantees exclusive rights – A patent, when granted, provides the patentee with the exclusive right to make, lend, and sell the claimed invention. The duration of a Patent could range from 8 years for an innovation patent to 20 years for a standard patent.
Strong market position deterrent value – Another benefit of patenting an invention is that it enables you to promote your invention as patented and this prevents others individuals or groups from copying your invention. It also enables you to develop and maintain a protected market share for your invention.
Higher returns on investments – In the majority of cases, it is advised to expect to invest about $5,000 to $10,000 to secure a granted patent. However, this investment is usually spread over a number of years. Considering that this investment fetches you a 20-year legal monopoly right over tens of millions of consumers, the expenses incurred in patent protection is dwarfed by the potential revenue that could be generated over the lifespan of the patent.
Secure investment & government grants – Many inventors or startup companies are looking to secure investment or government grants to assist with commercialization of an invention. However, if you don’t own your intellectual property, you typically can’t offer any security to your potential investors and it may be difficult for you to secure investment.
Positive image for your enterprise – Investors, shareholders and business partners may construe patent portfolios as an expression of a high degree of expertise, innovation and specialization within a company. This can be an advantage for raising a company’s value and finding investors.
Negotiation leverage – An enterprise that intends acquiring the rights to use the patents of another company, through a licensing contract will enhance its bargaining power if it has a credible patent portfolio. This means that your patents may be of significant interest to the company with whom you are negotiating and you could possibly enter into a cross-licensing arrangement where the patent rights could be exchanged between your company and that other enterprise.
Investors are encouraged to look through patent databases to find out possible existing technologies, take note of licensing partners in case a technology already exists and avoid duplicating research activities.