Is It An Invention? First things first. You can not patent an idea simply because you believe you are the first person to come up with it. A patent is there to protect an ‘invention’, not simply an understanding. When you apply for a patent what you’re doing is specifying, through text and drawings, the way your invention works. In return for this public release of I Want To Patent My Idea, if it really is new the state will grant you exclusive rights to it for 25 years. Therefore to be able to patent your idea, its core concept has to be explainable in easy and direct terms.
The other reason you can’t just patent an understanding is it must involve a novel and inventive step. The novel bit is not hard but a standard misconception is that many people think they are able to apply for a patent as they are the very first person to come up with the concept. However when you take a seat for your first meeting using a patent attorney one of the first things they would want to establish is if your invention is actually an invention. It is definitely important to understand this, so you don’t spend your time considering patenting something which is simply not patentable. A very simple explanation with this ‘obviousness’ test is as follows: Would a hypothetical skilled person, that knows everything but lacks the slightest spark of inventive ingenuity, develop 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 after that your idea is not really an invention, its simply the logical application of current day knowledge to a different problem and therefore you can’t patent it.
This is an excellent description in legal terms of the EU strategy to judging inventiveness (the UK is slightly different): Will there be any teaching in the prior art, as a whole, that would, 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 the teaching [the teaching of the prior art, not just the teaching of the closest prior art], thereby coming to something falling inside the regards to the claims, and therefore achieving just what the invention achieves? It’s the “would, not simply could” which is the very important definition here.
The Usa is a little different to Europe and actually this inventiveness step is regularly improperly tested or applied, ultimately causing many patents being granted in america which can be actually very obvious logical application of existing ideas. Most companies have spent huge sums of income trying to overturn such patents but although a granted US patent may be overturned its is very rare that certain is. In several ways the US patent system is more similar to what many individuals assume about patents over here, should your the initial person think of a concept then you could patent it. The obvious downside is that numerous bad patents happen to be unfairly granted and possess unfairly blocked many more from being able to produce products which must not have been protected by patents to start with.
Commercial Value – If you’ve reached here then hopefully you may have Inventhelp George Foreman Commercials that could be patentable. The following tests are frequently completely overlooked at the outset but are also vital. The first and most important is the thing that will a successful granting of any patent do for you personally? Patents cost money. Sure you can search and file yourself nonetheless its incredibly time-consuming and like all things legal bringing in a professional, by means of a patent attorney, is normally a much better route. Carrying out the searches and filing your patent application through an attorney will definitely cost a couple of thousand pounds. You then have a relatively short time before you must decide if you are intending to submit the patent in other countries around the world, which costs more money and in case you are filing in lots of countries the translations may become extremely expensive. Once you’ve got your patent you then have ongoing costs every year to patent offices to maintain the patent active. So whatever it is your trying to patent has to be worth this from a commercial business perspective (if you are postpone by the idea of needing to spend several thousand pounds using a patent attorney is the thing that your doing well worth patenting in any way?).
Many people and companies file for patents to gain the IP, to enable them to then attract investors to help them get their invention forward. If you’ve watched a few instances of Dragon’s Den on the TV this must have become very obvious that investors do not take wild risks and if you wish someone to buy your organization or idea they should feel secure by doing this. In case you have a patent for recommended that may be commercialised it will often provide exactly this protection for an investor so you are a stage closer to getting these to part using that important cash (you’ll probably have also realized that although investors are sometimes not very nice people they have a tendency to simply want to work with nice people!).
Another misconception is the fact that once 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 a person infringes on your patent it is down to one to stop them, typically by spending large sums of money with lawyers and using the courts. When the infringer is a large company, or several companies infringe your patent you should be able to fund the court action. In case your invention is commercial enough then these legal steps is definitely not a problem as you’ll get the money, win the case and ultimately get much of it back. However, if your fighting a big company which has a lot of money to string your legal action for a long period will it be actually worth the cost? Will be the idea your trying to patent commercial enough to warrant all of this.
There are many smaller companies out there that view patenting as a complete waste of money and time and would rather direct their resources, attention and funds at being the first to market and first to innovate. In the event you be one of those rather than spending what is plenty of your time and expense protecting your idea?
You might be looking to patent your invention to then license it to a different company to create. For twelve months from filing your patent you may have international patent protection and you want to utilize the first 10 months with this to ensure your idea may be commercialised before needing to choose which other countries also to apply in and giving your attorney a month or two to carry out the required work. You must move bloody fast! In case you are approaching big companies they are going to often take a few months to return to you before you even show them the invention and begin negotiations. Should your doing this 6 – 8 months in their far too late as they know you might have almost no time and will often play for time to force you right into a bad business position, or simply just with 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 file you patent application you can get round this by asking companies (such as us) to sign non disclosure agreements and begin work on the growth and development of your products or services in advance 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 do have that elusive brilliant idea. Book a consultation using a patent attorney (a bit of good attorney should offer you a first appointment free of charge) and obtain cracking! For more information there are lots of great web resources on filing for patents which we won’t attempt to re-create here.
A couple of patent help tips – When researching an invention you’ll often must go through existing patent applications to ensure your idea is new. Patents can be many pages long and horribly worded, but generally its merely the first primary claim in a patent which is crucial. The others will just be lesser claims the patent can fall back to in case the higher claims be overturned or rejected through the patent examiner.
Where there may be ambiguity in a claim the patent description is able influence the claims and might therefore happen to be deliberately written as a result, so examine the description to find out if it tries to provide this.
Patent claims usually are not exclusive. Just because claims describes one way of doing something doesn’t imply that it couldn’t be performed differently.
Patents include a detailed description which is generally intended to produce an explanation / instructions of methods the invention might be utilised. Bear in mind that this only must cover one specific use of the invention and doesn’t exclude the claims being utilized in alternative methods.
Claims generally connect with an Apparatus (equipment designed or assembled for a particular purpose) or a Method (a means of doing something), and quite often patents include both with the intention the method claims may be fallen back on should the apparatus claims be rejected.
Interestingly one of many aims of patents is always to promote What To Do With An Invention Idea. Whilst blocking other businesses from copying ideas may seem to do the precise opposite, the 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 having a product they wish to produce as well as the existing patent seeming to block it. There exists almost always an easy method round a patent but the aim is to try to get it done in a manner in which leaves you with a commercial product which still serves its purpose inside an affordable way (great patents block this by protecting against all the economical means of achieving the same).
Filing a patent application doesn’t mean that any searching will be done. All of that happens will be the application is filed and given the once over. It can then be examined in more detail by way of a patent examiner but whether or not the patent is awarded it can be overturned anytime if prior art may be proved. If you would like your application to get a amount of commercial value (in case your doing it for IP purposes) you have to also perform a search. However even then bear in mind 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 in the united kingdom then this UK patent office search will needless to say be the greatest route, but if you intend to submit internationally keep in mind searches completed for EU or international applications will often be significantly more detailed and thorough. This is because you can find a lot more EU patent examiners which has a tendency to suggest that individual examiners are able to be considerably more knowledgeable in their specialised areas. It is possible to elbgql for 3rd party searches but whilst these are often very expensive (£1000 and upwards) they are not necessarily a lot better than the search the UK patent office provides except if you spend a lot of money (the expense of great britain search is subsidised). The thing to always remember about searches is the fact that its tough to quantify searching result. Simply because searching didn’t find prior art doesn’t mean that another search won’t.
There is absolutely no point giving the patent attorney excessive information. They should write the patent using their knowledge and experience, not from the bad attempt. Here’s what needs to be ideally provided:-
* Drawings and descriptions of the drawings to obtain the idea across.
* The main advantages 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 need to read them and will therefore are more expensive. 1 or 2 might be helpful though.