The Pros and Cons of Patenting your Product Idea

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Do you have an invention that needs patent? Do you know how to patent an idea with InventHelp? If you have an invention that you think is unique and has commercial potential, then you should apply for a patent to safeguard your rights to its exclusive use. A patent gives you the right to stop other people from producing, importing, selling, or using your idea without your consent for a set period of time in the specific country or countries for which you hold the patent. As the patent holder, you can profit by using your invention, licensing it to others for their own use, or mass producing it for commercial distribution.

Pros and Cons of Getting a Patent

Why get a patent?  Here are the advantages of having your invention patented:

  • Exclusive Use – A patent grants you the right to keep others from producing, copying, importing, or selling your invention without prior permission from you. Otherwise, you can file a patent infringement case against a juridical personality or another person for unauthorized use of your invention with the USPTO (if patented in the United States.)
  • Protection for a Set Period of Time – A patent becomes official upon approval by the USPTO. You right to ownership over the invention is protected for a pre-determined amount of time. You can then enjoy exclusive use of a patented invention for your own personal gain or for your business. This way, you can get ahead of the competition.
  • First to Invent – If you are a patent holder, you are deemed to be the owner of the invention, and the first to invent it, even if in reality, someone else may have actually beaten you for the distinction. Thus, it is important that as soon as you have determined that your invention has the potential to be a successful business proposition, do a prior research to find out if there are similar inventions in the past with approved or pending patents. There have been a lot of documented cases where inventors were robbed of their rights of invention by people they trusted – who beat them in filing for a patent application.
  • Financial Gain – There are various ways by which you can profit from your patented invention. These include:
    • Licensing the invention so other people (licensees) can use it
    • Sell it just like any other physical asset
    • Manufacture it in commercial volumes for mass distribution

There are many businesses today that exist primarily to collect and account for the royalties due from their licensed patents. Some do it in conjunction with registered designs and trademarks.

On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages that come with patenting an invention.  Following are some of them:

  • Crucial Technical Information Made Public – By having your invention patented, some technical information about your invention is made available to the general public; and there may be instances when it would be more beneficial for your company to keep some details of your invention away from public scrutiny, especially your competitors. So, why get a patent when it will expose your secret to your business rivals?
  • Long and Winding Process – The process of patent application can consume a lot of time. It is a complex and long process that can take up to three or four years to complete.  With the pace the modern technology is going, by the time your patent application is approved, a new product equipped with more advanced technology may have already overtaken your invention.
  • High Cost – Whether your patent application is successful or not, it will cost you a significant amount of money. The total cost for a single patent application includes the fee for the application itself, cost to search for existing patents for similar inventions, and the patent attorney’s fees should you decide to hire one to draft and represent you in the patent application process. In addition, you have to make sure that your annual fee is paid; otherwise, your patent will lapse. An easy and cheaper option would be to file a provisional patent application that would temporarily protect your ownership rights for one year, as you decide whether it would be viable for you to pursue your regular patent application or not.

Likewise defending your rights in patent infringement cases can be very expensive. However, without an official patent to support your claim, you will have no rights to defend in the first place.

Getting a patent for your invention has both advantages and disadvantages.  It is therefore best that you weigh your options well before deciding on whether to file an application for regular patent or not.

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