Understanding Patents Law: 5 Ways To Protect Your New Invention
Patent law is a potentially potent tool for any individual or organization that wants to protect its innovative and unique inventions.
Of course, the patent application process can be complex, and the concept of patenting itself is tricky to understand without a little more investigation.
With that in mind, here is a guide to help you make the most of patent law and thereby ensure that your inventions are defendable and licensable.
Table of Contents
Things To Remember When Getting Your Patent
Get Expert Assistance
Unless you are already well versed in patents law, it is certainly sensible to seek the support of legal pros who are trained and experienced in wrangling this matter for clients.
This will allow you to avoid common mistakes, and also give you access to the advice and guidance you will need to extract optimal value from your IP. So while legal advice comes with a price, it is one worth paying.
Take assistance from an experienced patent lawyer or trademark lawyer to make things easy on your side.
Check That Your Invention Is Patentable
Another essential step is to see whether it is even possible to successfully patent your creation in the first place.
One thing which would prevent this is if it falls outside the remit of patent law. You can only gain protection for things like products, machines, and processes, and they must also be demonstrably useful, undeniably innovative, and probably unique.
You also need to make sure that your invention is not already covered by an existing patent. Thankfully you can easily search all existing patents that have been granted, which reduces the amount of time it takes to find an answer.
Don’t Publicly Disclose Your Invention Before Securing A Patent
While you might be keen to shout about a new invention that you think will break new ground and even change the world, it is best to keep it to yourself until it has successfully been granted a patent.
Publicly disclosing details of an invention prior to this might make it harder or even outright impossible to patent what you have developed. In some places, including the entirety of North America, patent law gives inventors a year’s grace during which they can disclose details of their development before winning a patent.
Remember To Take Action
Simply having a patent to protect your invention is not enough; you also need to be prepared to take legal action in the event that you feel your rights are being infringed by a third party.
No one else will step in to do this for you, so half the battle is being on the lookout for cases of your invention being produced and sold by another individual or organization.
When you become aware of this kind of underhanded behavior, you will be able to bring a lawsuit against the other parties involved and should receive compensation as well as the potential to prevent them from continuing with their misappropriation in the future.
Once again, working with legal experts will stand you in good stead, because even owning a patent will not necessarily guarantee that you get the outcome you want when the matter reaches the courts and legal terms start flying.
International Protection Is Not Guaranteed
The last point to bear in mind when seeking to protect inventions with patents is that different global regions have different laws, and you may need to apply for a patent in several parts of the world if you want as much protection as possible.
There are some countries that fall under patent treaties, giving you the same rights across borders. However, not all nations are on board with these agreements, so the savviest inventors will avoid any risk-taking and register wherever makes the most sense to them.