Is It An Invention? First things first. You can not patent an idea just because you think you are the first person to come up with it. A patent is there to protect an ‘invention’, not simply a concept. When you apply for a patent what you’re doing is specifying, through text and drawings, how your invention works. In return for this public release of Inventhelp Company, 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 must be explainable in basic and direct terms.
The other reason you can’t just patent a concept is that it must involve a novel and inventive step. The novel bit is simple but a common misconception is the fact that many people think they can apply for a patent because they are the initial person to come up with the concept. However, when you take a moment for the first meeting having a patent attorney one of the first things they would want to establish is whether or not your invention is actually an invention. It really is vital that you appreciate this, so that you don’t spend time looking at patenting something that is actually not patentable. A very simple explanation with this ‘obviousness’ test is as follows: Would a hypothetical skilled person, that knows everything but does not have the least spark of inventive ingenuity, think of the identical idea if they knew all the prior art (all previous ideas), but had not read your patent application? If the reply is yes then your idea is not an invention, its simply the logical implementation of current day knowledge to a different problem and therefore you can’t patent it.
This is a great description in more legal relation to the EU strategy to judging inventiveness (the united kingdom is slightly different): Will there be any teaching inside the prior art, overall, that could, not merely could, have prompted the skilled person, faced with the objective technical problem formulated when it comes to the technical features not disclosed by the closest prior art, to modify or adapt said closest prior art while taking account of the teaching [the teaching of the prior art, not only the teaching from the closest prior art], thereby reaching something falling within the terms of the claims, and thus achieving what the invention achieves? It’s the “would, not merely could” this is the very important definition here.
The Usa is different to Europe and actually this inventiveness step is regularly improperly tested or applied, resulting in many many patents being granted in the US that are actually very obvious logical implementation of existing ideas. Many companies have spent huge sums of money attempting to overturn such patents but although a granted US patent can be overturned its is incredibly rare that certain is. In lots of ways the US patent product is more similar to what lots of people assume about patents over here, in case your the initial person develop a concept then you can patent it. The most obvious negative thing is that numerous bad patents have already been unfairly granted and also have unfairly blocked many more from being able to produce items that should never happen to be protected by patents to start with.
Commercial Value – If you’ve reached here then hopefully you may have Inventions Ideas which may be patentable. The following tests are often completely overlooked at the outset however are also important. The foremost and most significant is the thing that will an excellent granting of a patent do for you personally? Patents cost money. Sure you can search and file yourself however its incredibly time-consuming and just like all things legal bringing in a professional, by means of a patent attorney, is generally a far greater route. Undertaking the searches and filing your patent application via an attorney will cost a few thousand pounds. You then have a relatively short time period before you must decide if you are planning to submit the patent in other countries all over the world, which costs more money and should you be filing in plenty of countries the translations could become very costly. Once you’ve got your patent then you have ongoing costs each year to patent offices to keep the patent active. So whatever it is your trying to patent offers to become worth this from a commercial business perspective (if you are put off by the idea of being forced to spend several thousand pounds having a patent attorney is exactly what your doing really worth patenting at all?).
Many people and companies file for patents to gain the IP, to enable them to then attract investors to assist them to take their invention forward. If you’ve watched a few instances of Dragon’s Den on the TV it should have become very obvious that investors usually do not take wild risks and if you want someone to invest in your company or idea they have to feel secure by doing this. For those who have a patent for recommended that can be commercialised it will often provide exactly this protection for an investor so you are a stage closer to getting them to part using that important cash (you’ll probably also have noticed that although investors are often not too nice people they have a tendency to only 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, their state won’t actually stop them. If someone infringes on your own patent it really is right down to one to stop them, typically by spending large sums of money with lawyers and making use of the courts. If the infringer is a large company, or several companies infringe your patent you need to be in a position to fund the legal action. Should your invention is commercial enough then these legal steps is definitely not an issue as you’ll get the money, win the truth and ultimately get most of it back. If however your fighting a big company which has many money to string from the legal action for a long time could it be actually worth it? Will be the idea your looking to patent commercial enough to warrant this.
There are many smaller companies out there that view patenting as a complete waste of time and expense and prefer to direct their resources, attention and cash at being the first one to market and first to innovate. Should you be one of these as opposed to spending what is plenty of your money and time protecting your idea?
You might be looking to patent your invention to then license it to a different company to produce. For one year from filing your patent you have international patent protection and you need to utilize the first 10 months with this to make certain your idea can be commercialised before being forced to decide on which other countries to also apply in and giving your attorney monthly or two to undertake the essential work. You need to move bloody fast! Should you be approaching big companies they will often take several months to return to you before you can even demonstrate to them the invention and start negotiations. If your carrying this out 6 – 8 months in their too far gone because they know you might have no time and definately will often play for time and energy to force you right into a bad business position, or just in the hope you will not complete the patent once the one year is up. When you can’t tell anyone regarding your invention before you decide to file you patent application you will get round this by asking companies (including us) to sign non disclosure agreements and start work on the development of your product or service beforehand so you hit the floor running the second the application form is filed.
In the event the above hasn’t put you off then maybe you actually have that elusive brilliant idea. Book a scheduled appointment with a patent attorney (anything good attorney should provide you with a first appointment free of charge) and get cracking! For more information there are many great web resources on filing patents which we won’t attempt to re-create here.
A couple of patent help tips – When researching an invention you’ll often need to go through existing patent applications to make sure your idea is completely new. Patents can be many pages long and horribly worded, but generally its just the first primary claim in a patent which is essential. The remainder will surely be lesser claims the patent can fall back to if the higher claims be overturned or rejected through the patent examiner.
Where there could be ambiguity in a claim the patent description is able influence the claims and could therefore have already been deliberately written as a result, so look over the description to see if it tries to provide this.
Patent claims are not exclusive. Simply because claims describes one way of doing something doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be done differently.
Patents include a detailed description which can be generally meant to provide an explanation / instructions of how the invention may be utilised. Keep in mind this only must cover one specific use of the invention and doesn’t exclude the claims used in other ways.
Claims generally relate to an Apparatus (equipment designed or assembled for the purpose) or perhaps a Method (a means of performing something), and often patents include both with all the intention that the method claims may be fallen back on should the apparatus claims be rejected.
Interestingly among the aims of patents is to promote Inventhelp Vibe. Whilst blocking other companies from copying ideas may seem to accomplish the precise opposite, the natural reaction when dealing with a patent it to attempt to work around it. We’ve worked with several companies and done exactly this, having been briefed using a product they wish to produce and also the existing patent seeming to block it. There is more often than not a way round a patent however the aim is to attempt to get it done in a manner in which leaves you using a commercial product which still serves its purpose within an affordable way (great patents block this by protecting against all the economical methods for achieving the same thing).
Filing a patent application doesn’t imply that any searching will be done. All that happens is the application is filed and because of the once over. It is going to then be examined in depth by way of a patent examiner but whether or not the patent is awarded it could be overturned anytime if prior art may be proved. If you would like the application to have a degree of commercial value (in case your doing it for IP purposes) you have to also perform a search. However even so be aware that searches are not necessarily as skilled as you might expect and patent office searches will never necessarily search anything besides previous published patent applications and filings. If you are just filing in the united kingdom then a UK patent office search will obviously be the greatest route, but if you are planning to submit internationally be aware that searches completed for EU or international applications will often be considerably more detailed and thorough. The reason is that you can find far more EU patent examiners and this has a tendency to mean that individual examiners can be much more knowledgeable in their specialised areas. You can elbgql for 3rd party searches but whilst these are often extremely expensive (£1000 and upwards) they are not necessarily superior to the search the UK patent office provides unless you spend a lot of money (the cost of the UK search is subsidised). The one thing to continually remember about searches is that its very hard to quantify searching result. Because searching didn’t find prior art doesn’t imply that another search won’t.
There is no point giving the patent attorney a lot of information. They have to write the patent off their knowledge and experience, not out of your bad attempt. Here’s what ought to be ideally provided:-
* Drawings and descriptions of the drawings to obtain the idea across.
* The benefits of the invention.
* Modifications that are easy to the invention.
* Crucial points and optional points.
* Don’t include loads of existing patents – they’ll only have to read them which will therefore cost more. One or two could be helpful though.