Is It An Invention? First things first. You can not patent an idea simply 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 are doing is specifying, through text and drawings, the way your invention works. In exchange for this public release of Inventhelp Innovation News, 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.
Another reason you can’t just patent a concept is that it must involve a novel and inventive step. The novel bit is easy but a standard misconception is that many people think they could apply for a patent since they are the first person to come up with the idea. However, if you take a moment for your first meeting using a patent attorney among the first things they will want to establish is whether your invention is actually an invention. It really is vital that you appreciate this, so that you will don’t spend your time looking into patenting a thing that is actually not patentable. A very simple explanation of this ‘obviousness’ test is really as follows: Would a hypothetical skilled person, you never know everything but lacks the least spark of inventive ingenuity, develop the same idea should they knew each of the prior art (all previous ideas), but had not read your patent application? If the answer is yes after that your idea is not really an invention, its simply the logical application of current day knowledge to an alternative problem and for that reason you can’t patent it.
This is a great description in more legal terms of the EU method of judging inventiveness (the UK is slightly different): Can there be any teaching inside the prior art, overall, that would, not merely could, have prompted the skilled person, confronted with the goal technical problem formulated when contemplating the technical features not disclosed by the closest prior art, to change or adapt said closest prior art while taking account of this teaching [the teaching from the prior art, not just the teaching from the closest prior art], thereby arriving at something falling in the terms of the claims, and thus achieving exactly what the invention achieves? It’s the “would, not merely could” that is the all important definition here.
The Usa is a little different to Europe and actually this inventiveness step is regularly not properly tested or applied, resulting in many many patents being granted in the united states which can be actually very obvious logical use of existing ideas. Most companies have spent huge sums of cash trying to overturn such patents but although a granted US patent can be overturned its is extremely rare that certain is. In many ways the US patent product is more similar to what many people assume about patents over here, if your the very first person develop an idea then you can certainly patent it. The most obvious negative thing is that lots of bad patents happen to be unfairly granted and possess unfairly blocked many more from having the ability to produce products that must not happen to be protected by patents to begin with.
Commercial Value – If you’ve got to here then hopefully you might have I Want To Patent My Idea that could be patentable. The next tests are often completely overlooked at the outset but they are also vital. The foremost and most significant is exactly what will an excellent granting of the patent do to suit your needs? Patents cost money. Sure you can search and file yourself nonetheless its incredibly time-consuming and just like all things legal attracting a specialist, by means of a patent attorney, is normally a far greater route. Performing the searches and filing your patent application via an attorney will definitely cost several thousand pounds. Afterwards you possess a relatively short time before you have to decide if you are intending to file the patent in other countries throughout the world, which costs more money and in case you are filing in plenty of countries the translations may become extremely expensive. Once you’ve got your patent you then have ongoing costs each year to patent offices to help keep the patent active. So whatever it is your seeking to patent has got to be worth this from the commercial business perspective (should you be delay by the thought of needing to spend several thousand pounds having a patent attorney is the thing that your doing really worth patenting in any way?).
Lots of people and corporations apply for patents to gain the IP, to enable them to then attract investors to help them place their invention forward. If you’ve watched a couple of episodes of Dragon’s Den on the TV it must have become very obvious that investors tend not to take wild risks and if you want someone to invest in your organization or idea they need to feel secure in doing this. For those who have a patent for a good idea that may be commercialised it is going to often provide exactly this protection to have an investor so you are a stage nearer to getting these to part using that all important cash (you’ll probably have likewise realized that although investors are sometimes not too nice people they have an inclination to only want to do business with nice people!).
Another misconception is that when 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 you to definitely stop them, typically by spending large sums of money with lawyers and using the courts. In the event the infringer is actually a large company, or several companies infringe your patent you have to be able to fund the legal action. Should your invention is commercial enough then these legal steps will not be a problem as you’ll find the money, win the situation and ultimately get most of it back. However if your fighting a huge company which has many money to string from the court action for a long period will it be actually worth the cost? Will be the idea your seeking to patent commercial enough to justify all of this.
There are many smaller companies available that view patenting as a complete waste of time and money and prefer to direct their resources, attention and cash at being the first to market and first to innovate. In case you be one of these as opposed to spending what could be plenty of your money and time protecting your idea?
You may be seeking to patent your invention to then license it to a different company to create. For 12 months from filing your patent you might have international patent protection and you need to make use of the first 10 months of this to ensure your idea can be commercialised before needing to choose which other countries to also apply in and giving your attorney a month or two to undertake the required work. You need to move bloody fast! In case you are approaching big companies they will likely often take a couple of months to return to you before you can even suggest to them the invention and start negotiations. If your doing this 6 – 8 months in their too late as they know you have 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 if the twelve months is up. Whilst you can’t tell anyone concerning 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 start work on the progression of your product or service in advance so that you hit the floor running the second the applying is filed.
When the above hasn’t place you off maybe you actually have that elusive brilliant idea. Book a scheduled appointment having a patent attorney (any good attorney should offer you a first appointment at no cost) and get cracking! For additional information 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 have to go through existing patent applications to ensure your idea is totally new. Patents could be many pages long and horribly worded, but generally its just the first primary claim in a patent that is crucial. The others will simply be lesser claims the patent can fall back 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 already been deliberately written therefore, so examine the description to find out if it tries to provide this.
Patent claims are certainly not exclusive. Simply because a claim describes one way of doing something doesn’t imply that it couldn’t be completed differently.
Patents include a detailed description which is generally intended to produce an explanation / instructions of methods the invention may be utilised. Bear in mind that this only must cover one specific use of the invention and doesn’t exclude the claims used in other ways.
Claims generally connect with an Apparatus (equipment designed or assembled for the purpose) or a Method (an easy method of doing something), and quite often patents include both with all 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 I Have An Invention Idea Now What. Whilst blocking other companies from copying ideas may seem to perform the precise opposite, the natural reaction when dealing with a patent it to try and work around it. We’ve worked with several companies and done exactly this, having been briefed with a product they would like to produce as well as the existing patent seeming to bar it. There exists almost always a way round a patent nevertheless the aim is to try to get it done 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 all of the economical ways of achieving the same thing).
Filing a patent application doesn’t mean that any searching will be done. All of that happens will be the application is filed and because of 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 may be overturned anytime if prior art could be proved. If you would like the application to possess a amount of commercial value (if your doing it for IP purposes) you have to also do a search. However even so keep in mind searches usually are not necessarily as skilled as you may expect and patent office searches will not necessarily search anything apart from previous published patent applications and filings. If you are just filing in the united kingdom then this UK patent office search will obviously be the greatest route, but if you plan to file internationally bear in mind that searches carried out for EU or international applications will often be far more detailed and thorough. This is because you can find much more EU patent examiners and this tends to mean that individual examiners can be considerably more knowledgeable inside their specialised areas. You are able to elbgql for alternative party searches but whilst these are often very expensive (£1000 and upwards) they are not necessarily superior to the search great britain patent office provides except if you spend a lot of cash (the cost of the UK search is subsidised). The thing to always remember about searches is that its very difficult to quantify a search result. Simply because searching didn’t find prior art doesn’t mean that another search won’t.
There is not any point giving the patent attorney too much information. They need to write the patent off their experience and knowledge, not from the bad attempt. Here’s what needs to be ideally provided:-
* Drawings and descriptions in the drawings to get the idea across.
* The main advantages of the invention.
* Modifications which are easy to the invention.
* Crucial points and optional points.
* Don’t include plenty of existing patents – they’ll simply have to read them and will therefore will cost more. A couple of may be helpful though.