Is It An Invention? First things first. You cannot patent an idea just because you believe 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, the way your invention works. In exchange for this public release of Tech, 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 has to be explainable in simple and direct terms.
Another reason you can’t just patent an idea is that it must involve a novel and inventive step. The novel bit is simple but a standard misconception is the fact that many individuals think they are able to obtain a patent since they are the very first person to create the idea. However, if you take a seat for the first meeting using a patent attorney one of the first things they may wish to establish is if your invention is really an invention. It is really important to understand this, so that you will don’t waste time looking at patenting something that is actually not patentable. A very simple explanation of the ‘obviousness’ test is as follows: Would a hypothetical skilled person, you never know everything but does not have the least spark of inventive ingenuity, come up with exactly the same idea when they knew all the prior art (all previous ideas), but had not read your patent application? If the answer is yes in that case your idea will not be an invention, its simply the logical use of current day knowledge to a different problem and thus you can’t patent it.
This is a good description in legal regards to the EU approach to judging inventiveness (great britain is slightly different): Will there be any teaching inside the prior art, as a whole, that would, not merely could, have prompted the skilled person, up against 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 this teaching [the teaching from the prior art, not only the teaching from the closest prior art], thereby coming to something falling within the regards to the claims, and thus achieving just what the invention achieves? It’s the “would, not merely could” that is the all important definition here.
The US is a little different to Europe and this inventiveness step is regularly not properly tested or applied, resulting in many patents being granted in the US which can be actually very obvious logical implementation of existing ideas. Most companies have spent huge sums of cash seeking 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 many people assume about patents right here, if your the initial person come up with an idea then you can certainly patent it. The obvious downside is that lots of bad patents have been unfairly granted and also have unfairly blocked numerous others from having the capacity to produce products that must not have already been protected by patents in the first place.
Commercial Value – If you’ve have got to here then hopefully you might have I Want To Patent My Idea that could be patentable. Another tests are frequently completely overlooked on the outset however are also vital. The foremost and most significant is exactly what will an effective granting of a patent do for you personally? Patents cost money. Sure you can search and file yourself but its incredibly time-consuming and like all things legal bringing in a specialist, by means of a patent attorney, is normally a much better route. Undertaking the searches and filing your patent application with an attorney will definitely cost a couple of thousand pounds. You then use a relatively short period of time before you have to decide if you are intending to submit the patent in other countries throughout the world, which costs more income and in case you are filing in lots of countries the translations may become extremely expensive. Once you’ve got your patent afterwards you have ongoing costs each year to patent offices to help keep the patent active. So whatever it is your looking to patent has got to become worth this from a commercial business perspective (in case you are delay by the idea of needing to spend several thousand pounds with a patent attorney is what your doing worthy of patenting at all?).
Many people and corporations apply for patents to gain the IP, to enable them to then attract investors to assist them to place their invention forward. If you’ve watched a couple of episodes of Dragon’s Den on the TV it should have become very obvious that investors tend not to take wild risks and if you wish someone to buy your organization or idea they should feel secure in this way. If you have a patent for a great idea that may be commercialised it will often provide exactly this protection for the investor so you are a stage even closer to getting these to part using that all important cash (you’ll probably have likewise observed that although investors are often not too nice people they have an inclination to simply want to do business with nice people!).
Another misconception is that once 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 a person infringes on your own patent it is actually down to one to stop them, typically by spending large sums of cash with lawyers and making use of the courts. When the infringer is really a large company, or several companies infringe your patent you have to be in a position to fund the court action. Should your invention is commercial enough then these legal steps will not be a difficulty as you’ll discover the money, win the situation and in the end get much of it back. However if your fighting a large company which provides extensive money to string from the court action for a long period will it be actually worth it? Is the idea your seeking to patent commercial enough to justify all of this.
There are lots of smaller companies on the market that view patenting as a waste of money and time and choose to direct their resources, attention and funds at being the first to market and first to innovate. Should you be one of them rather than spending what could be plenty of your time and expense protecting your idea?
You could be seeking to patent your invention to then license it to a different company to produce. For twelve months from filing your patent you might have international patent protection and you want to make use of the first 10 months of this to make sure your idea can be commercialised before being forced to decide on which other countries to also apply in and giving your attorney a month or two to handle the required work. You need to move bloody fast! In case you are approaching big companies they will often take several months to return to you before you even demonstrate to them the invention and start negotiations. In case your carrying this out 6 – 8 months in the too late since they know you might have almost no time and definately will often play for time and energy to force you in to a bad business position, or simply in the hope you wont complete the patent once the one year is up. When you can’t tell anyone regarding your invention prior to deciding to file you patent application you may get round this by asking companies (including us) to sign non disclosure agreements and commence work on the growth and development of your product ahead of time which means you hit the floor running the second the application form is filed.
If the above hasn’t put you off then maybe you actually have that elusive brilliant idea. Book an appointment having a patent attorney (anything good attorney should give you a first appointment at no cost) and obtain cracking! For additional information there are numerous great web resources on filing patents which we won’t try and re-create here.
A few patent help tips – When researching an invention you’ll often must go through existing patent applications to make sure your idea is new. Patents can be many pages long and horribly worded, but generally its merely the first primary claim in a patent that is certainly critically important. The others will simply be lesser claims the patent can fall returning to if the higher claims ever be overturned or rejected through the patent examiner.
Where there might be ambiguity in a claim the patent description has the ability influence the claims and may therefore happen to be deliberately written therefore, so examine the description to see if it tries to provide this.
Patent claims are certainly not exclusive. Just because an insurance claim describes a way of doing something doesn’t imply that it couldn’t be done differently.
Patents add a detailed description which is generally meant to produce an explanation / instructions of methods the invention might be utilised. Bear in mind that this only needs to cover one specific use of the invention and doesn’t exclude the claims being utilized in other ways.
Claims generally connect with an Apparatus (equipment designed or assembled for a particular purpose) or even a Method (a way of doing something), and quite often patents include both using the intention that the method claims may be fallen back on if the apparatus claims be rejected.
Interestingly one of the aims of patents is always to promote Invent Help Invention Idea. Whilst blocking other businesses from copying ideas might seem to accomplish the precise opposite, 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 having a product they wish to produce and also the existing patent seeming to block it. There is certainly almost always a means round a patent nevertheless the aim is to try to do it in a way that leaves you with a commercial product which still serves its purpose in an affordable way (great patents block this by protecting against each of the economical methods for achieving exactly the same thing).
Filing a patent application doesn’t imply that any searching will be done. All of that happens is the application is filed and because of the once over. It is going to then be examined in more detail by way of a patent examiner but even if the patent is awarded it can be overturned anytime if prior art can be proved. If you want your application to have a degree of commercial value (if your carrying it out for IP purposes) you need to also do a search. However even then be aware that searches are certainly not necessarily as skilled you might expect and patent office searches is not going to necessarily search anything besides previous published patent applications and filings. Should you be just filing throughout the uk then the UK patent office search will of course be the greatest route, but if you intend to file internationally bear in mind that searches carried out for EU or international applications are frequently far more detailed and thorough. The reason is that you will find a lot more EU patent examiners which tends to mean that individual examiners have the ability to be considerably more knowledgeable within their specialised areas. You can elbgql for alternative party searches but whilst they are often very expensive (£1000 and upwards) they are certainly not necessarily a lot better than the search the united kingdom patent office provides except if you spend a lot of money (the cost of the united kingdom search is subsidised). The thing to always remember about searches is the fact its very difficult to quantify a search result. Because searching didn’t find prior art doesn’t imply that a different search won’t.
There is absolutely no point giving the patent attorney too much information. They need to write the patent off their knowledge and experience, not from the bad attempt. Here’s what should be ideally provided:-
* Drawings and descriptions from the drawings to have the idea across.
* The main advantages 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 have to read them and will therefore will cost more. 1 or 2 may be helpful though.