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A patent is an intellectual property right granted to an individual to protect his/her own invention. It gives the inventor exclusive rights to hold and transfer his own invention. The inventor remains the sole owner and has the right to sell his/her invention in a particular country for a certain period of time.
Before acquiring a patent, one must research on that patent to ensure he gets the best coverage. You should analyze the pros and cons of each patent before registering to know which is best for you.
1. Protects invention: Once you patent the invention, no one can reproduce, manufacture or even sell without your permission.
2. Promote discoveries: A patent can encourage further discoveries and the inventor can look for ways to add value to his invention or come up with more ideas.
3. Control over invention: The inventor has control of the market and his own invention. You can invest more in the product design or production without worrying about others copying your ideas.
4. Revenues from licenses or sales: Patenting your ideas gives you the opportunity to increase profits. You can license the patented product or idea to other companies that pay loyalty fee earning you more profits.
5. Valuable asset: When looking for investors or partners, a patent can act as a valuable asset increasing your company’s bargaining power and value.
6. Reduce competition: Patenting your own idea, design or product helps in reducing competition. It enables you to gain more market share and weed out the competition.
7. Retain the right to practice invention: The inventor has the right to practice his invention. He can publicly disclose the idea or technology to prevent others from obtaining patents on the same idea.
8. Market yourself: Patenting an idea or product is one way of marketing yourself to prosperous partners or employers.
9. Product credibility: Acquiring a patent for a particular product or process promotes the credibility of your product to the public.
10. Legal monopoly: The inventor receives a legal monopoly to sell, distribute, and restrict other from recreating their ideas. This enables them to sell the product at higher prices gaining more profits.
1. Complex process: Applying for the patent is a complex process and it may take more than a year going through various stages of review and approval before you receive the patent.
2. Limited coverage: A patent only offers exclusive rights in the region or area you have filed the patent. There is no protection in countries you haven’t patented your invention.
3. Expensive: To acquire a patent is very expensive. There are several upfront expenses for the application process, hiring a patent attorney, and the patent fee.
4. Subject to renewal: Depending on the type of patent applied, most of them last for a period of 14 years and others 20 years from the date the patent is filed. You have to renew the patent after the expiry date.
5. Public disclosure: To receive the patent, you have to disclose all the detailed information about your invention including how it works and anybody can view this information.
6. Infringement: You have to prepare an infringement budget to defend your patent in case someone infringes it. It is costly and time consuming to prepare the budget, monitor, and bring someone to judgment for violation of your exclusive rights.
7. Put invention to commercial use: Some countries require you to put the invention to commercial use for a limited time frame.
8. Technological changes: Technological and market changes can affect a particular patent acquired, therefore, you need to seek patent flexible enough to cover future changes.
9. Maintenance: Patent has to be maintained and you have to pay fees for maintaining the legal rights of the invention otherwise you will lose the protected rights.
10. Risk of lawsuits: When you patent the idea, competitors can file for a lawsuit to invalidate the patent if they think they will benefit from it.