Earn ‘The Name, Fame, and Money’ from your Patent: Learn How
Patents are the exclusive rights given to the inventor by the governing authority as protection to his/her invention. Protecting inventions via patents is an essential requirement for a company to be successful. Since patents can be used in a number of ways, such as to enhance the competitiveness and market value of a business, as a weapon of defense and offence, as a barrier for others to stop from overtaking one’s progress, etc., its protection is indispensable.
Protection of that sort will definitely build the name of the company in the economy and will set an example in the industry. It is obvious that the company will want to be entitled to an exclusive use of that invention. Protection is sought to keep the company ahead of others, by not allowing anyone to use the patented product/ process. The right of exclusive use of the patents is limited for period of 20 years, or it may vary from one territorial area to another, depending on the governing laws.
Points to consider for your patent
Despite the unlimited profits from patenting, not all inventions can be patented. Patenting process offers a huge basket of benefits, but that does not matches with its path for achieving a patent. It’s an expensive, time-taking, and rigorous procedure. One must also consider all the important aspects, pre-requisites, and risks associated while choosing jurisdictions. One should also be aware of other’s IP and respect the same to safeguard oneself from unnecessary litigation or royalty payment, for which the companies must have a patenting strategy.
The following are the four most important aspects which must always be considered while going for a patent for, while ignoring the fact that it offers huge benefits in your favor. One must not expect too much while applying for a patent, since from a number of inventions that gets registered for getting patents, only a few become successful in achieving the patent.
- Procedure cost: Getting a patent registered, is not a cheap task. It involves investments at different levels of its prosecution on the basis of its severity and number of claims covered. One must not only consider the basic office filing fees, but also the attorney fees which may or may not be charged on hourly basis. This additional add on must not be ignored, since the patent prosecution process is a bit long and 100% rule based, for which it is better to hire a professional that could do the needful at the right time.
- Invention Value: While looking for inventions to be patented, the inventor must check if the invention is important and worthy. Since, the patent process is time-taking and expensive process, it is better to sort all your inventions on the basis of its utility and scope of its claims. The one or more invention for which you think it is worth to spend time, efforts, and money, must be filed for patenting.
- Filing territory: Another must-to-check factor is to evaluate in which countries the future of the product lies and then file patents accordingly in those jurisdictions. Sometimes, the product may not hold the same worth to be invested as it holds it in some other territorial area. Filing patents in numerous jurisdictions without a definitive strategy is simply a waste of money. A patent can only be protected nationally, not internationally. The only way of protecting patents on a global basis is to file a patent in each country separately. PCT applications are often confused that it makes a patent valid on international basis, whereas the reality is, that it only gives extra time to the applicant in deciding in which countries he wants to file a national patent application. Also, factors like the countries where it will be doing business, countries with favorable market, countries with maximum customers can be taken, etc. must be considered while choosing a perfect jurisdiction.
- Patent Trolls: The most important aspect that remains hidden from the market are the companies that plays their part as patent trolls. Some businesses, companies, or individuals respect the invention of others, while others open their pirate eyes to credit ‘bad money’ into their account by simply proving the true inventions as fake, wrong, or copied. Patent Troll is a name associated to those people, communities, businesses, or freelancers who aims to take bad advantage of patents without having any financial stake in it, which they claims to be infringed. These people buy low-value patents to threaten nuisance litigation and use it as a business strategy to prove that they have the idea about the patent first. These people are sometimes referred to as Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs) that tries to make money from someone else’s patent by abusing their patent. If your product becomes successful, there might be companies holding patents that can drag you into unnecessary litigation or ask you to pay royalties to the tune of lakhs of rupees. They wait for other companies to develop similar products, and once these products become successful, the patentee companies start suing them or asking for royalties. One must be aware of their presence in the market, and therefore patent search have become so important these days.
After understanding all the important aspects and risks that must be considered before applying for a patent, let us now explore the basic or the universal benefits from patents.
From profits to success
During the 20 years period of patent validity, the patentee gets the exclusive rights to enjoy monopoly rights over the invention, preventing others from making, using, selling, importing, offering for sale or distributing the patented invention without consent, monetize the patent by selling or licensing it to earn profits. If someone found out to be infringing the patent or creating a similar product, the patentee company can sue them. In case the competitors want to use the patented product/ process, they would have to get a license from the patentee company by paying royalty. Also, the R&D team of the patentee can further improvise on the patent, during this patent validity course of 20 years.
Notwithstanding the risks involved, there is a definite relation between patenting and business success. The reasons for success, besides the exclusive rights, are as follows-
- IP Valuation: Valuation has always been the first and foremost step in analyzing the company’s strategy to cope up in the market. Valuation means that the IP company’s should analyze their technological overlap and segregate the IP assets into three categories, namely ‘very valuable’ or worth defending patents, ‘moderately valuable’ or the planned for future use patents, and ‘not valuable’ or no scope for further use patents. On the basis of this classification, they can further join with other companies as mergers to make their patent portfolio stronger. This will make you earn your name through your products in the market.
- IP Investment: A universal fact behind investment is that it must be profitable and should provide returns to the company in a favorable manner. Returns such that the company would gain a unique position in the market due to its protected inventions and possibly financial gains from the same. Patents increase the credibility of a company in the economy making it a lucrative forum for investment. These uncertainties in the minds of the investor can be removed by making a patent portfolio wherein a patent search of similar products is done to prove your leverage against the currently available/ patented products. This will provide fame as you will be investing in the market which always stays full with leading corporates.
- Licensing: Patents can also be licensed to gain extra profits. Licenses can be exclusive or non-exclusive, depending on their usability. In case of exclusive licensing, there is only one sole licensee who can use the patent, whereas in case of non-exclusive, there are several licensees who can exploit the patent. Well, licensing can really build up your profits by asking from royalties in cases where there is an infringement of your patent. In such infringement scenarios, the patentee company usually sends cease and desist letters and obtains injunctions against the competitor who infringes their patented product. However, in scenario of avoiding all these issues, it can bargain with the competitor and obtain royalties for the infringing operations of the competitor. In most cases, the infringing party pays royalties than get tangled in litigation procedures. Licensing will provide you with financial profits.
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