Is It An Invention? First things first. You cannot patent an idea because you feel you are the first person to come up with it. A patent is there to protect an ‘invention’, not simply an idea. When you apply for a patent what you are doing is specifying, through text and drawings, how your invention works. In return for this public release of Make My Invention Prototype, if it really is new the state will grant you exclusive rights to it for 25 years. Therefore in order to patent your idea, its core concept needs to be explainable in easy and direct terms.
Another reason you can’t just patent a concept is it must involve a novel and inventive step. The novel bit is easy but a typical misconception is the fact many people think they could obtain a patent as they are the initial person to create the concept. However when you take a seat for the first meeting using a patent attorney one of the first things they may wish to establish is whether your invention is actually an invention. It is definitely vital that you understand this, so that you don’t waste time considering patenting a thing that is actually not patentable. A very simple explanation of this ‘obviousness’ test is as follows: Would a hypothetical skilled person, that knows everything but does not have the slightest spark of inventive ingenuity, develop the same idea when they knew each of the prior art (all previous ideas), but had not read your patent application? If the correct answer is yes after that your idea is not really an invention, its simply the logical application of current day knowledge to a new problem and therefore you can’t patent it.
This is an excellent description in additional legal regards to the EU method of judging inventiveness (the united kingdom is slightly different): Will there be any teaching inside the prior art, as a whole, that could, not simply could, have prompted the skilled person, confronted with the goal technical problem formulated when it comes to the technical features not disclosed by the closest prior art, to change or adapt said closest prior art while taking account of that teaching [the teaching from the prior art, not only the teaching in the closest prior art], thereby coming to something falling in the terms of the claims, and so achieving exactly what the invention achieves? It’s the “would, not simply could” that is the all important definition here.
The Usa is a bit different to Europe and also this inventiveness step is regularly improperly tested or applied, ultimately causing many many patents being granted in america which are actually very obvious logical use of existing ideas. A lot of companies have spent huge sums of money seeking to overturn such patents but although a granted US patent can be overturned its is incredibly rare that a person is. In many ways the US patent method is more similar to what many people assume about patents over here, in case your the first person think of a concept then you can certainly patent it. The most obvious negative thing is that lots of bad patents happen to be unfairly granted and have unfairly blocked many more from being able to produce products which should never have been protected by patents to start with.
Commercial Value – If you’ve got to here then hopefully you might have Invention Companies which may be patentable. Another tests are frequently completely overlooked in the outset but are also really important. The foremost and most important is exactly what will an effective granting of a patent do to suit your needs? Patents cost money. Sure you can look and file yourself however its incredibly time intensive and like several things legal bringing in a professional, as a patent attorney, is usually a much better route. Undertaking the searches and filing your patent application through an attorney will surely cost a few thousand pounds. Afterwards you have a relatively short period of time before you need to decide if you are going to file the patent in other countries throughout the world, which costs more income and if you are filing in plenty of countries the translations could become very expensive. Once you’ve got your patent you then have ongoing costs each year to patent offices to maintain the patent active. So anything your looking to patent has to be worth this coming from a commercial business perspective (if you are postpone by the very thought of being forced to spend several thousand pounds having a patent attorney is the thing that your doing worthy of patenting whatsoever?).
Many individuals and companies file for patents to get the IP, so that they can then attract investors to assist them take their invention forward. If you’ve watched a couple of instances of Dragon’s Den on the TV it must have become very obvious that investors tend not to take wild risks and if you wish someone to purchase your company or idea they need to feel secure by doing this. In case you have a patent for recommended that may be commercialised it can often provide exactly this protection for the investor so you happen to be stage even closer to getting these to part with this very important cash (you’ll probably have also noticed that although investors are sometimes not so nice people they tend to simply want to work with nice people!).
Another misconception is the fact after you have a patent no-one else can copy your idea. Well although legally they can’t, the State won’t actually stop them. If someone infringes on your patent it is right down to you to definitely stop them, typically by spending large sums of income with lawyers and ultizing the courts. In the event the infringer is a large company, or several companies infringe your patent you have to be able to fund the legal action. If your invention is commercial enough then these legal steps will not be an issue as you’ll find the money, win the situation and eventually get a lot of it back. However if your fighting a large company which has many money to string out your court action for a long time could it be actually worth it? Will be the idea your looking to patent commercial enough to warrant all this.
There are lots of smaller companies out there that view patenting as a waste of time and money and choose to direct their resources, attention and funds at being the first to market and first to innovate. In the event you be one of them as opposed to spending what is lots of your time and money protecting your idea?
You could be looking to patent your invention to then license it to another company to create. For 12 months from filing your patent you may have international patent protection and you would like to use the first 10 months of this to make certain your idea may be commercialised before needing to decide on which other countries to also apply in and giving your attorney a month or two to undertake the necessary work. You have to move bloody fast! If you are approaching big companies they will often take a few months to get back to you before you could even demonstrate to them the invention and begin negotiations. If your accomplishing this 6 – 8 months in the too far gone since they know you might have virtually no time and definately will often play for time for you to force you in to a bad business position, or simply in the hope you wont complete the patent when the twelve months is up. As you can’t tell anyone about your invention prior to deciding to file you patent application you can get round this by asking companies (like us) to sign non disclosure agreements and start work on the progression of your products or services in advance which means you hit the earth running the second the application form is filed.
When the above hasn’t put you off maybe you actually have that elusive brilliant idea. Book a scheduled appointment using a patent attorney (a bit of good attorney should offer you a first appointment free of charge) and acquire cracking! To learn more there are numerous great web resources on filing patents which we won’t attempt to re-create here.
A few patent help tips – When researching an invention you’ll often need to read through existing patent applications to ensure your idea is completely new. Patents could be many pages long and horribly worded, but generally its just the first primary claim in a patent that is critically important. The remainder will just be lesser claims the patent can fall to should the higher claims be overturned or rejected from the patent examiner.
Where there could be ambiguity in a claim the patent description is able influence the claims and may therefore have been deliberately written therefore, so look through the description to see if it attempts to provide this.
Patent claims usually are not exclusive. Because a claim describes a way of doing something doesn’t imply that it couldn’t be completed differently.
Patents include a detailed description which is generally designed to provide an explanation / instructions of how the invention might be utilised. Bear in mind that this only has to cover one specific use of the invention and doesn’t exclude the claims being used in alternative methods.
Claims generally connect with an Apparatus (equipment designed or assembled for a particular purpose) or even a Method (a way of performing something), and frequently patents include both with the intention that the method claims may be fallen back on if the apparatus claims be rejected.
Interestingly one of many aims of patents is always to promote Inventhelp Innovation. Whilst blocking other businesses from copying ideas might seem to do the exact opposite, natural reaction when confronted with a patent it to attempt to work around it. We’ve dealt with several companies and done exactly this, having been briefed using a product they wish to produce as well as the existing patent seeming to bar it. There exists almost always a way round a patent however the aim is to try and do it in a way in which leaves you with a commercial product which still serves its purpose within an affordable way (great patents block this by protecting against all the economical ways of achieving the same thing).
Filing a patent application doesn’t imply that any searching is going to be done. All that happens is the application is filed and given the once over. It will then be examined in more detail with a patent examiner but even when the patent is awarded it can be overturned whenever you want if prior art can be proved. If you wish the application to possess a degree of commercial value (in case your performing it for IP purposes) you have to also perform a search. However even then be aware that searches are not necessarily as skilled you might expect and patent office searches will never necessarily search anything apart from previous published patent applications and filings. Should you be just filing in the UK then the UK patent office search will of course be the greatest route, but if you plan to submit internationally be aware that searches carried out for EU or international applications are frequently far more detailed and thorough. The reason is that there are much more EU patent examiners which tends to imply that individual examiners are able to be considerably more knowledgeable within their specialised areas. It is possible to elbgql for third party searches but whilst these are generally often very expensive (£1000 and upwards) they are not necessarily much better than the search the united kingdom patent office provides until you spend a lot of money (the price of great britain search is subsidised). One thing to continually remember about searches is the fact that its very hard to quantify a search result. Because searching didn’t find prior art doesn’t suggest that an alternative search won’t.
There is absolutely no point giving the patent attorney excessive information. They need to write the patent using their experience and knowledge, not from the bad attempt. Here’s what needs to be ideally provided:-
* Drawings and descriptions from the drawings to have the idea across.
* The benefits of the invention.
* Modifications which can be easy to the invention.
* Crucial points and optional points.
* Don’t include tons of existing patents – they’ll only need to read them and will therefore will cost more. 1 or 2 may be helpful though.